Getting it Right in the Southeast Bay

Excerpts from BATWG’s August 31, 2017 letter to the San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission:

“…BATWG has long advocated a major upgrade to the ACE service between Stockton and San Jose.  For this reason we support the SJRRC’s decision to examine ways of accomplishing this objective. “However, in our view, the ACE Forward DEIR fails to adequately address this vital issue. Here five ways of bringing ACE up to its full potential:

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Through-routing Transbay Buses

As currently planned all of AC Transit’s transbay buses are scheduled to terminate at San Francisco’s new Transbay Transit Center. Why? Is that the only possibility? This is causing a horrendous bus storage problem. Storing buses in downtown San Francisco is expensive. So why not “thru-route” some of the AC bus lines; that is, combine some of them with a corresponding Muni, SanTrans or Golden Gate line? This would both reduce the need for downtown storage and provide new transit connections for riders. The idea is not new. In fact it’s been talked about at MTC for over 40 years.

Improving the AC Transit Transbay Bus Operations

To attract the needed 60,000 to 100,000 riders a day, AC Transit’s transbay bus service would have to get better all along parts of all lines, some of which run to as much as 30 miles from start to finish. To make the transbay bus service attractive to people who can afford to drive and park would require at least the following:

A relatively small number of high frequency transbay “trunk lines” say, 6 to 8, instead of today’s 29 separate lines emanating from 29 separate parts of the East Bay.

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Reforming the Hi-Tech Shuttle Bus Operations

When Caltrain is finally extended into downtown San Francisco, it will attract enough new Caltrain riders to take tens of thousands of automobiles off the highways and city streets. Even so, there will still be a need for beefed up bus services including a contingent of privately-operated buses. However, an ever-growing number of these over-sized vehicles are crowding and congesting San Francisco’s neighborhoods and interfering with San Francisco’s Muni bus operations. We had previously suggested that there be satellite transfer points between the big long-distance buses operating on the highways and Muni buses ready to convey them along city streets. It now appears that this proposal may not be practical. BATWG continues to urge San Francisco’s government, the County of San Mateo and MTC to take whatever steps are necessary to minimize the damage caused by privately-operated buses, including in particular the consistent and vigorous enforcement of all safety and other shuttle bus regulations.

BATWG’s Program for 2017

1.)  Oakland – Become more involved in rail and highway freight movement.   Continue to focus on Oakland’s lack of traffic signal synchronization, Oakland’s highly deficient street rebuilding program  and Oakland’s costly and often counterproductive street “improvement” programs.  Identify one-way streets that could be returned to two-way traffic.  (All)

2.)  San Francisco –  Support SaveMuni in its attempts to accelerate the construction of the downtown Caltrain extension.   Continue to oppose ill-conceived and wasteful pet projects.  Continue to advocate for improved public transit in San Francisco.  (Cauthen/Feinbaum)

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