Comments on: BART: increasing system capactity without a new transbay tube http://switchingmodes.com Putting Transit On The Fast Trackā„¢ Mon, 08 Feb 2010 06:42:38 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.com/ By: Michael F. Sarabia http://switchingmodes.com/proposals/bart-capacity-tbt/#comment-339 Michael F. Sarabia Thu, 21 Jan 2010 15:30:21 +0000 http://switchingmodes.com/?page_id=451#comment-339 Why not expand the Dumbarton Bridge with a BART rail? Since BART will reach the Transbay limit, sooner rather than later, it is best not to put all eggs... etc. Someday, a long, long time from now, BART will find its way to San Jose, after it builds (waste $500 Million each) the Oakland Airport Connector and the Bay Point to Antioch eBART extension with a totally new kind of train with its own crews, maintenance people and parts, etc. Is anybody in charge of BART planning? Are they getting "a cut" from their bank loans? Why, put the system in debt for $1 BILLION dollars? Will they have to pay it back? With interest? By increasing fares? Which decrease the number of minimum wage workers than can afford BART? How many minimum wage workers from Pittsburg/Bay Point could afford to continue working at SFO with a daily roundtrip ticket at $21.80? Do they care? They got their pension by now... Why not expand the Dumbarton Bridge with a BART rail?
Since BART will reach the Transbay limit, sooner rather than later,
it is best not to put all eggs… etc.
Someday, a long, long time from now, BART will find its way to San Jose, after it builds (waste $500 Million each) the Oakland Airport Connector and the Bay Point to Antioch eBART extension with a totally new kind of train with its own crews, maintenance people and parts, etc. Is anybody in charge of BART planning? Are they getting “a cut” from their bank loans?
Why, put the system in debt for $1 BILLION dollars? Will they have to pay it back? With interest? By increasing fares? Which decrease the number of minimum wage workers than can afford BART?
How many minimum wage workers from Pittsburg/Bay Point could afford to continue working at SFO with a daily roundtrip ticket at $21.80?
Do they care? They got their pension by now…

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By: Aaron http://switchingmodes.com/proposals/bart-capacity-tbt/#comment-338 Aaron Thu, 31 Dec 2009 20:10:12 +0000 http://switchingmodes.com/?page_id=451#comment-338 D'oh, I missed Rafael's mentioning of the side platforms. Sorry. D’oh, I missed Rafael’s mentioning of the side platforms. Sorry.

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By: Aaron http://switchingmodes.com/proposals/bart-capacity-tbt/#comment-337 Aaron Thu, 31 Dec 2009 20:09:05 +0000 http://switchingmodes.com/?page_id=451#comment-337 I always figured the logical thing would be to build a new Muni Metro tunnel under Mission between 11th and Embarcadero, and allow BART to use both levels of the existing Market Street subway. A Muni Metro tunnel would have much shorter platforms and thus be cheaper to construct, and it would be easier to have just one set of paid areas in the BART system. Another, possibly less intensive solution would be to dig out the outsides of the platforms at Embarcadero and Montgomery. It would allow both sets of doors to open, which should speed things up somewhat. I always figured the logical thing would be to build a new Muni Metro tunnel under Mission between 11th and Embarcadero, and allow BART to use both levels of the existing Market Street subway. A Muni Metro tunnel would have much shorter platforms and thus be cheaper to construct, and it would be easier to have just one set of paid areas in the BART system.

Another, possibly less intensive solution would be to dig out the outsides of the platforms at Embarcadero and Montgomery. It would allow both sets of doors to open, which should speed things up somewhat.

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By: Rafael http://switchingmodes.com/proposals/bart-capacity-tbt/#comment-309 Rafael Mon, 21 Sep 2009 14:24:12 +0000 http://switchingmodes.com/?page_id=451#comment-309 "Technically BART can run at two minute headways, but loading and unloading passengers takes additional time, so longer headways are needed." Sounds to me like the focus should be on improving pedestrian flow capacity inside the trains, on the platforms and up to the surface. Switching to rolling stock with additional doors and fold-up seats along the sides would be a start. Adding side platforms to the existing Embarcadero and Montgomery stations would involve cutting holes into the existing tunnel walls exactly where the doors of the trains are. For obvious reasons, trains would have to stop at the right location. The side platforms would connect directly to new surface exits west and east of the existing ones, bypassing both SF Muni subway and the shared concourse level. All BART trains would open both sets of doors at these modified stations. Another, possibly more difficult, approach would be to persuade SF businesses to stagger their working hours or, to relocate some back office operations to the East Bay. Spending $10 billion or more on a new transbay tube and BART line down Mission Street may become necessary someday, if only for seismic redundancy, but not yet. Bitter irony: Quentin Kopp nixed plans to include support for future BART/light rail/HSR tracks on the new east span of the Bay Bridge because a project to add cantilevered tracks to either side of the lower deck of the west span plus tunnels through Yerba Buena island plus approaches into SF would have cost $3 billion. Now, SF will have to hope that the extra-fancy new TTC will provide the requisite additional capacity via buses alone. <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neoplan_Jumbocruiser" rel="nofollow">Articulated bi-level motorcoaches</a> might help, but only if there are enough bus lanes in the East Bay to avoid getting these vehicles stuck in traffic before they ever get onto the Bay Bridge. Building ridership will depend on offering travel times that are competitive with BART (hard) and/or greater comfort (easy) and/or lower fares (depends). In addition, it could be valuable to offer free broadband internet access on board the buses. “Technically BART can run at two minute headways, but loading and unloading passengers takes additional time, so longer headways are needed.”

Sounds to me like the focus should be on improving pedestrian flow capacity inside the trains, on the platforms and up to the surface. Switching to rolling stock with additional doors and fold-up seats along the sides would be a start. Adding side platforms to the existing Embarcadero and Montgomery stations would involve cutting holes into the existing tunnel walls exactly where the doors of the trains are. For obvious reasons, trains would have to stop at the right location. The side platforms would connect directly to new surface exits west and east of the existing ones, bypassing both SF Muni subway and the shared concourse level. All BART trains would open both sets of doors at these modified stations.

Another, possibly more difficult, approach would be to persuade SF businesses to stagger their working hours or, to relocate some back office operations to the East Bay.

Spending $10 billion or more on a new transbay tube and BART line down Mission Street may become necessary someday, if only for seismic redundancy, but not yet.

Bitter irony: Quentin Kopp nixed plans to include support for future BART/light rail/HSR tracks on the new east span of the Bay Bridge because a project to add cantilevered tracks to either side of the lower deck of the west span plus tunnels through Yerba Buena island plus approaches into SF would have cost $3 billion.

Now, SF will have to hope that the extra-fancy new TTC will provide the requisite additional capacity via buses alone. Articulated bi-level motorcoaches might help, but only if there are enough bus lanes in the East Bay to avoid getting these vehicles stuck in traffic before they ever get onto the Bay Bridge. Building ridership will depend on offering travel times that are competitive with BART (hard) and/or greater comfort (easy) and/or lower fares (depends). In addition, it could be valuable to offer free broadband internet access on board the buses.

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By: switchingmodes http://switchingmodes.com/proposals/bart-capacity-tbt/#comment-39 switchingmodes Fri, 24 Apr 2009 02:05:45 +0000 http://switchingmodes.com/?page_id=451#comment-39 Most of that is being done: BART does have a staff on hand to help get doors closed, they have taken seats out, and they are replacing the carpet... it's not enough. Most of that is being done: BART does have a staff on hand to help get doors closed, they have taken seats out, and they are replacing the carpet… it’s not enough.

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By: anonymouse http://switchingmodes.com/proposals/bart-capacity-tbt/#comment-38 anonymouse Thu, 23 Apr 2009 20:22:58 +0000 http://switchingmodes.com/?page_id=451#comment-38 Come to think of it, if Embracadero is the bottleneck, have they really optimized the signal blocks on the approach? Could they reduce dwell times by having station agents on the platform moving people along? Paying 10 people's salaries is MUCH cheaper than building a new tunnel. And I still think BART can cut the number of seats, or maybe just make them smaller. They really are luxurious even by East Coast commuter rail standards, like having a couch. Oh, and rip out the carpet from trains. It's responsible for way too much maintenance downtime. Come to think of it, if Embracadero is the bottleneck, have they really optimized the signal blocks on the approach? Could they reduce dwell times by having station agents on the platform moving people along? Paying 10 people’s salaries is MUCH cheaper than building a new tunnel. And I still think BART can cut the number of seats, or maybe just make them smaller. They really are luxurious even by East Coast commuter rail standards, like having a couch. Oh, and rip out the carpet from trains. It’s responsible for way too much maintenance downtime.

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By: switchingmodes http://switchingmodes.com/proposals/bart-capacity-tbt/#comment-37 switchingmodes Thu, 23 Apr 2009 15:40:13 +0000 http://switchingmodes.com/?page_id=451#comment-37 Your idea would work (sort of), if trains could pass. The problem is the demand is at Embarcadero and Montgomery. So, even if trains could pass to avoid those stations you would have an even worse situation then there currently is for those trains that do stop there. This would also create another bottleneck: passengers would then take BART back the other direction to the station they need. Furthermore, such a plan would be confusing for passengers and logistically very challenging. It would also not be especially effective because currently BART is limited to two minute headway times in the best of situations. The approach presented here tackles the problem from many angles. It spreads out the Embarcadero Station station demand out by building a new station at the Ferry Terminal and by building new stations South of Market. It then allows doubles the trains per hour by running trains very close together - think of it like having 20 car BART trains - which can be done because those trains head to different stations. If there where six door trains and excellent logistical and technical planning, I think the TB tube could have one minute headway times. If you add to that <I>some</I> less seating in new <a HREF="http://thetransportpolitic.com/2009/04/13/why-dont-we-get-articulated-trainsets/" rel="nofollow">articulated</A> train sets, we'd have something just as good, if not better than, a $10b + new TB tube. Your idea would work (sort of), if trains could pass. The problem is the demand is at Embarcadero and Montgomery. So, even if trains could pass to avoid those stations you would have an even worse situation then there currently is for those trains that do stop there. This would also create another bottleneck: passengers would then take BART back the other direction to the station they need. Furthermore, such a plan would be confusing for passengers and logistically very challenging. It would also not be especially effective because currently BART is limited to two minute headway times in the best of situations.

The approach presented here tackles the problem from many angles. It spreads out the Embarcadero Station station demand out by building a new station at the Ferry Terminal and by building new stations South of Market. It then allows doubles the trains per hour by running trains very close together – think of it like having 20 car BART trains – which can be done because those trains head to different stations. If there where six door trains and excellent logistical and technical planning, I think the TB tube could have one minute headway times. If you add to that some less seating in new articulated train sets, we’d have something just as good, if not better than, a $10b + new TB tube.

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By: BART: increasing system capacity without a new transbay tube « SwitchingModes.com http://switchingmodes.com/proposals/bart-capacity-tbt/#comment-36 BART: increasing system capacity without a new transbay tube « SwitchingModes.com Thu, 23 Apr 2009 14:06:31 +0000 http://switchingmodes.com/?page_id=451#comment-36 [...] Popular BART: increasing system capactity without a new transbay tubeProposalsSo Close and Yet So FarBART: increasing system capacity without a new transbay tubeObama Is [...] [...] Popular BART: increasing system capactity without a new transbay tubeProposalsSo Close and Yet So FarBART: increasing system capacity without a new transbay tubeObama Is [...]

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By: JoeC http://switchingmodes.com/proposals/bart-capacity-tbt/#comment-35 JoeC Thu, 23 Apr 2009 04:51:13 +0000 http://switchingmodes.com/?page_id=451#comment-35 If the bottleneck is off-loading rush hour passengers, is it possible to run a skip-stop service for the four Market Street stations and double up the frequencies? So every other train would stop only at Montgomery and Civic Center, while the next one (at one minute headways) would stop only at Embarcadero and Powell. Basically the two trains would be offloading twice as amny people at each station, but at only half the stations. I guess at some point some of the trains would have to turn back - which might create a bottle neck further out. If the bottleneck is off-loading rush hour passengers, is it possible to run a skip-stop service for the four Market Street stations and double up the frequencies? So every other train would stop only at Montgomery and Civic Center, while the next one (at one minute headways) would stop only at Embarcadero and Powell. Basically the two trains would be offloading twice as amny people at each station, but at only half the stations. I guess at some point some of the trains would have to turn back – which might create a bottle neck further out.

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By: Brian S http://switchingmodes.com/proposals/bart-capacity-tbt/#comment-34 Brian S Wed, 22 Apr 2009 21:32:20 +0000 http://switchingmodes.com/?page_id=451#comment-34 At the Lincoln Tunnel in New Jersey, one lane of the AM westbound (off-peak) lanes is given to contraflow buses heading eastbound into Manhattan. This has worked for decades. Consequently, the buses passing through the Lincoln Tunnel carry more people from NJ into NYC than PATH and NJ Transit rail combined. We can do it on the Bay Bridge. If you show that not throughput of traffic is affected for AM eastbound and PM westbound, there's no reason not to do it. At the Lincoln Tunnel in New Jersey, one lane of the AM westbound (off-peak) lanes is given to contraflow buses heading eastbound into Manhattan. This has worked for decades. Consequently, the buses passing through the Lincoln Tunnel carry more people from NJ into NYC than PATH and NJ Transit rail combined.

We can do it on the Bay Bridge. If you show that not throughput of traffic is affected for AM eastbound and PM westbound, there’s no reason not to do it.

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By: Brian S http://switchingmodes.com/proposals/bart-capacity-tbt/#comment-33 Brian S Wed, 22 Apr 2009 21:26:39 +0000 http://switchingmodes.com/?page_id=451#comment-33 Yes you could use the Bay Bridge for added transit, however not for rail. Instead you can implement a contraflow lane on the bridge and on freeway approaches ton vastly increase transit access and capacity in the Transbay Corridor. By placing one or two contraflow lanes on the lower deck in the AM peak, and on the upper deck in the PM Peak, vehicle capacity would remain roughly the same in the peak direction, with added transit capacity, while only mildly affecting off-peak direction traffic. Yes you could use the Bay Bridge for added transit, however not for rail. Instead you can implement a contraflow lane on the bridge and on freeway approaches ton vastly increase transit access and capacity in the Transbay Corridor.

By placing one or two contraflow lanes on the lower deck in the AM peak, and on the upper deck in the PM Peak, vehicle capacity would remain roughly the same in the peak direction, with added transit capacity, while only mildly affecting off-peak direction traffic.

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By: Erik http://switchingmodes.com/proposals/bart-capacity-tbt/#comment-32 Erik Wed, 22 Apr 2009 18:57:45 +0000 http://switchingmodes.com/?page_id=451#comment-32 I just don't understand that mentality I guess. I mean, reducing service on a transit system is an open possibility when agencies are fiscally strapped, but taking lanes away from cars is absolutely not ever allowed for some reason. The fact that converting a few lanes of that bridge to public transportation services would increase the capacity of that bridge immensely. And it seems like converting the bridge and upgrading it to allow for higher BART speeds would still be far cheaper than building a completely new tunnel under the bay. I just don’t understand that mentality I guess. I mean, reducing service on a transit system is an open possibility when agencies are fiscally strapped, but taking lanes away from cars is absolutely not ever allowed for some reason. The fact that converting a few lanes of that bridge to public transportation services would increase the capacity of that bridge immensely. And it seems like converting the bridge and upgrading it to allow for higher BART speeds would still be far cheaper than building a completely new tunnel under the bay.

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