Discussion related to commuter rail and transit operators in California past and present including Los Angeles Metrolink and Metro Subway and Light Rail, San Diego Coaster, Sprinter and MTS Trolley, Altamont Commuter Express (Stockton), Caltrain and MUNI (San Francisco), Sacramento RTD Light Rail, and others...

Moderator: lensovet

  by lpetrich
BART planners begin work on new vision for future
After mentioning the creation of the Bay Area Rapid Transit District 54 years ago,
Now, 54 years and 4 million people later, it's BART's turn to think big. Planners are working on a new vision for the future - one that could include express trains, all-night service, new stations along existing lines, trains traveling different routes and extensions to Livermore, Ocean Beach, Brentwood and Crockett. ...

The planning effort, which is just getting started, is called the metro concept, and will focus more on growth within the existing system and the urban core of the Bay Area than on extending the system outward. Still, it could include extensions within the BART district, which includes Alameda, Contra Costa and San Francisco counties.
However, I was unable to find anything about that initiative on BART's site, http://www.bart.gov Yet I found several pages about parts of it.

BART - New Train Car Project - (PDF file with details). BART's fleet is aging. 439 railcars in 1972, 150 in 1988, 80 in 1994. BART has been getting feedback on possible designs, and BART has settled on some overall features: 3 doors per side instead of 2 for quicker boardings, smooth plastic instead of fabric seat covers for easier cleaning, and flat-end cab cars. The original BART fleet features cabs that stuck out, but many of them have been removed, and the later railcars all have flat-end ones.

BART - Livermore Extension Still in the planning stages, but they've decided on an initial phase: in I-580 to a west Livermore station, near Livermore Airport and Las Positas College. From there, it's less than clear -- either in I-580 to east Livermore near Vasco Rd. or else in a tunnel to the Livermore Transit Center and from there to Vasco Rd. near Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

BART - East Contra Costa BART Extension (eBART) It would use DMU vehicles. Any evidence of its construction? It is currently to be built to Antioch, but it could be extended further to Brentwood.

West Contra Costa (wBART), from Richmond to Hercules or Crockett. It would also use DMU vehicles, and it would use existing railroad lines.

BART down Geary Blvd. to the Richmond District and the Pacific Ocean. Seems to me more appropriate for the SF Muni Metro -- it could have a junction at the Central Subway, and it would run on the surface west of Van Ness Ave.

BART - Alameda County mentions possible BART service to Jack London Square. The planning documents mention two possibilities. An infill station between the Oakland Wye and West Oakland station, but that would still be some blocks away. A shuttle between 12th St. and JLS. At 12th St., the shuttle would go on the lower level, where they scrimped on a 4th track.

BART - San Francisco County mentions a proposed 30th-St. infill station between 24th St. and Glen Park. It would also have a crossover and a possible tail track. That will make it easier to run peak-time service to downtown SF; many of the trains could turn back there.

Possible infill station at Solano Ave. in Albany, between North Berkeley and El Cerrito Plaza. The Warm Springs construction will also include a possible infill station, at Irvington.

Other proposals include skip-stop peak-time service, late-night or round-the-clock service, crossovers, and extra tracks. A 4th track for downtown Oakland?

As to late-night service, BART shuts down for maintenance, but with more crossovers, BART could allow for maintenance by running single-track over much of its extent.

However, all these proposals will have to compete with various long-term maintenance and modernization efforts, like for the power supplies.
  by lensovet
I've read the docs for the Jack London square proposals and unless someone decide to just donate money to BART, there's no way it's getting built. You get spend a lot of money to have crappy service running (but then why spend lots of money just to get crappy service?) or you could spend boatloads of money to get good service (but no one has that money).

The fact that there are only three tracks in Oakland, by the way, seemed to play a role in all this, if I remember correctly. But basically it won't happen.
  by lpetrich
BART track maps:
New Feature: BART Track Map « Transbay Blog
world.nycsubway.org/United States/San Francisco Bay Area, California/BART: Bay Area Rapid Transit/Track Map

BART has a junction in downtown Oakland, the Oakland Wye. Each leg of the wye:

To Fremont and Dublin-Pleasanton: 2 tracks
To San Francisco and Millbrae: 3 tracks, merging into 2 tracks
To Richmond and Pittsburg-BayPoint: 3 tracks, becoming 4 tracks at MacArthur station before the Richmond and PBP lines split

Downtown Oakland: 12th and 19th Sts, looking northward:
Code: Select all
(top west) (top east)
           (bot east)
When BART was built, the bottom west track was skipped to save money. The Jack London Square shuttle proposal revives that track, at least to 12th St.

Top west = northbound most times, southbound morning rush hour
Top east = northbound
Bottom east = southbound
  by lpetrich
BART - Future BART Project
BART's planners are thinking of setting up two categories of service: "Metro Core" and "Metro Suburban". Metro Core will be frequent, all-stops service for dense areas, while Metro Suburban will be less frequent and with express trains through dense areas. From BART - Future BART Frequently Asked Questions:
BART is just now beginning to study the BART Metro concept in 2012, so it is too early to know the exact projects that would be needed. It is likely that significant new infrastructure would be needed to facilitate the different types of services needed to serve the BART Metro markets. Projects that could result from the studies about BART Metro are:

“infill” stations along existing lines in strategic locations;

additional tracks, including express, crossover and turn-back tracks, at locations strategically identified to improve operational flexibility and capacity and enable more complex service patterns; and

potentially, some new lines using standard BART or other technologies.

It’s important to remember that BART was built 40 years ago, and was planned at a time when the Bay Area looked very different than it does today in terms of land use, travel patterns and demographics. As BART ridership builds and changes, the system will need new and/or replacement infrastructure in many locations anyway. BART believes that these projects should be planned with the BART Metro concept in mind, to allow flexibility in planning future BART services and operations.
  by lpetrich
I've found
Slide 1 - bart_metro_vision_update.pdf (Apr 25, 2013)
How Will BART Expand to Serve Its Growing Ridership? | SPUR (Sept 25, 2013)

BART's "Metro Vision" plan is now a rather sizable wish list, and BART's planners will be selecting which of its numerous items as their priorities. BART is now building lines to the Oakland Airport, Antioch, and east San Jose. In planning:
  • Antioch to Brentwood and possibly Byron and Tracy (eBART DMU)
  • E DP to Livermore -- current plan is for one station in NW Livermore at I-580 and Isabel Ave.
  • E San Jose to downtown SJ and Santa Clara -- awaits funding
From the maps in these pages, I infer these Metro Vision proposals:
  • Fourth tunnel between the Oakland Wye, the 12th St., and the 19th St. stations
  • Second Transbay Tube -- SPUR map shows downtown Oakland - Alameda - SF Mission Bay
  • New San Francisco line: any of
    • Mission Bay - Union Square - Geary Blvd. - west shore
    • Mission Bay - Union Square - Geary Blvd. - 19th Ave. - Daly City
    • Mission Bay - 16th St. - 19th Ave. - Daly City
    • Mission Bay - 10th St. - Van Ness Ave. - Lombard St. - Presidio
  • El Cerrito del Norte - I-80 - Hercules -- wBART -- BART? DMU? bus rapid transit?
  • Ex-SP Eastshore Line: Oakland Coliseum - W Oakland - Richmond - Hercules - Crockett -- commuter rail
  • I-680: Warm Springs - D/P - Walnut Creek - Martinez -- commuter rail? bus rapid transit?
Also, several infill BART stations
  • W Oakland - W Oakland Intermodal - Embarcadero
  • Civic Center - Van Ness Ave. - 16th St. Mission
  • 24th St. Mission - 30th St. Mission - Glen Park
  • Lake Merritt - San Antonio District - Fruitvale - 55th Ave. / Oakland - Oakland Coliseum - 98th Ave. / Oakland - San Leandro
  • South Hayward - Whipple Ave. - Union City - Shinn Intermodal - Fremont- Irvington - Warm Springs - Calaveras Blvd. - Milpitas
  • MacArthur - 51th St. / Children's Hospital - Ashby
  • N Berkeley - Solano Ave. - El Cerrito Plaza
  • El Cerrito del Norte - I-80 Richmond - Richmond
  • Pittsburg / Bay Point - Railroad Ave. - Los Medanos College - Antioch
Shinn Intermodal would connect to Amtrak Capitols and ACE commuter trains.

The maps also showed possible stations at Lakeshore Ave. NE of Lake Merritt and Bayshore Blvd. in SE SF. These are off of the proposed lines, but they fit into another proposal: 2nd BART tube under the bay would serve region well - SFGate -- MacArthur - Lakeshore - Lake Merritt BART - Alameda -- the 2nd tube - Ballpark - Central Subway / Caltrain - Civic Center or continuing Dogpatch - Bayview / Hunters Point - SFO
  by lpetrich
FutureBART has an interactive activity where you see what projects you can fund with various funding sources.

The possible funding sources are all local, increases in various taxes and fees, and also in BART fares. The latter does not provide all that much money, it seems.

There are several possible things that one can fund.

The cheaper ones are:
  • Bus service: transbay and I-680 express
  • Capitol-Corridor commuter rail
  • Increasing track and station capacity, including in downtown Oakland
  • Adding infill stations
The more expensive ones are:
  • Fully fund BART maintenance and repairs
  • A second Transbay Tube
  • Extensions to west San Francisco, Livermore, Hercules, and Brentwood
  by lpetrich
Unfortunately, the futurebart.org interactive-planning page has now been pulled, and the URL now redirects to a more "normal" page at BART's site: Future BART Project | bart.gov But I've found some surviving discussion of it.

511 Contra Costa » FutureBART: The Game Where You Control the Destiny of BART lists "Your Overall Benefits":
  • Regional Economy
  • Compact Land Use
  • Keeps BART Affordable
  • System Reliability
  • Manages Crowding
  • Improves Cost-Effectiveness
  • Increases Flexibility
FutureBART -- The Trendy Things

Select your funding sources. All assumed to remain in place for 30 years.
  • BART Bond
  • BART Sales Tax
  • Vehicle License Fee Regional Gas Tax
  • Higher BART Fares Bridge Tolls Parcel Tax
Fix and Modernize BART
  • Fully fund all of BART's maintenance and repair backlog for 30 years
More Train and Station Capacity
  • Station Capacity in Urban Core
  • Track Capacity in Oakland
  • Track Capacity Throughout
  • Extensions in Alameda and Contra Costa
  • Second Transbay Tube
  • Western San Francisco BART Extension
  • Enhancing Transbay Bus Services
  • Express Buses in I-680 Corridor
  • More Rail Service in the Inner East Bay
  • Infill Stations in the Urban Core
TransForm -- FutureBART.org – more than just a cool game
  • If you don’t select “Fix and Modernize BART” or any of the “More Station and Train Capacity” investments, you can’t maximize the benefits.
  • If you select ANY of the New Transit Service Items, system reliability goes down. This means more delays, more breakdowns, and fewer cars in service. We – and the over 400,000 people who ride BART every weekday - would like to avoid this.
  • When we select “Fix and Modernize BART”, “More Train and Station Capacity”, and just one of the smaller New Transit Services options, we maximized ALL of the benefits!
  • The game reflects reality: even with the biggest possible budget, you can’t do lots of expansion AND keep the system in good shape too! Try it – even if you select all the Funding choices, you can’t do any two of the big-ticket “New Transit Service” items AND “Fix and Modernize” BART at the same time. There just isn’t enough money to do all three. Just like us, BART has to choose!