BART, AC Transit Directors Approve Late Night Bus Service

Expanded late night transbay bus service could begin as early as December after BART and Alameda-Contra Costa Transit directors voted to approve the service.

BART directors approved the one-year pilot program Thursday and AC Transit directors approved it Wednesday night… (more)

AC Transit changes: End to paper transfers and debut of day passes for unlimited rides

By Denis Cuff : contracostatimes – excerpt

OAKLAND — AC Transit on Tuesday will change the fare payment method for thousands of East Bay riders in a move aimed at making service faster and more reliable.

The Bay Area’s third largest bus system will end the sale of paper transfers — which buy another ride on another bus for 25 cents — and replace them with $5 one-day passes for unlimited trips.

In a related move also effective Tuesday, AC Transit will begin discounting regular bus fares from $2.10 to $2 if passengers pay with a Clipper card, an electronic fare payment card, instead of cash.

When the changes take effect Tuesday, Clipper card holders will automatically pay $2 for the first ride of the day, $2 for the second ride, $1 for the third ride, and nothing more for further rides… (more)

AC Transit is trying the carrot instead of the stick approarch. Maybe Muni could do the same?

 

 

AC Transit ordered to pay $15.3 million for speed bump snafu

By Malaika Fraley : Oakland Tribune – excerpt

OAKLAND — AC Transit has been ordered to pay $15.3 million to a Richmond woman and her daughter for back injuries the young mother suffered when a bus driver sped over a speed bump in San Pablo in 2011.

The verdict reached Tuesday by an Alameda County jury is the largest personal injury award against the transit system.

“We are still mulling over the verdict as it were and deciding what the steps may be,” AC Transit spokesman Clarence Johnson said, noting the transit agency had no other comment.

Maria Francisco was 20 years old and on her way to the Hilltop mall with her 4-year-old daughter on Aug. 27, 2011, when an AC Transit bus driven by Dollie Gilmore hit a speed bump going 30 mph in a 15 mph school zone on Church Lane.

Jurors saw video of a petite Francisco flying up and hitting her back on the edge of the plastic of the bus’s rear seating, followed by Gilmore accusing her of faking and threatening prosecution as she was crying out in pain… (more)

 

AC Transit Union Rejects Management Offer

Bay City News – excerpt

AC Transit employees have voted by a margin of 561 to 369 to reject management’s offer of a 9.5 percent pay increase over three years.
Leaders of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 192, which represents about 1,800 bus drivers, mechanics, dispatchers, clerical and other workers, had recommended that employees approve the tentative agreement, which was reached last Wednesday.
Union leaders said in a message to members before the vote, “We hope you will see the accomplishments of your negotiating team, to bring you one of the best contracts negotiated in transit or the public sector this year.”…
AC Transit workers had threatened to strike on Aug. 7 if a tentative agreement hadn’t been reached before then, but they haven’t set another strike date since. ATU Local 192 President Yvonne Williams said in a statement today, “We will meet to determine next steps shortly.”… (more)

Transit money should be returned to inland East Bay

By Jason A. Bezis : insidebayarea – excerpt

One million people reside in the inland East Bay (area code 925), the sections of Contra Costa and Alameda counties east of the Richmond/Oakland/Fremont hills. Since 1978 we have paid a one-eighth percent sales tax (AB 1107) for the sole benefit of the San Francisco Muni and AC Transit systems.
The Metropolitan Transportation Commission, with nudging from our city councils and county supervisors, must change this unfair arrangement.
For every $16 in taxable purchases here, one penny is sent to MUNI and another cent to AC Transit. The inland East Bay includes 30 percent of the population subject to the tax. Its cities paid 26 percent of tax revenue in 2011. Yet none of the $16.5 million that the inland East Bay contributes each year is returned here.
In contrast, San Francisco accounts for just 24 percent of the population subject to the tax and 29 percent of revenue. Yet the MTC always sends half of the proceeds to San Francisco… (more)

Some East Bay citizens want a bigger cut of the sales tax transit funds.

Transit Options During Bay Bridge Closure

by : sfstation – excerpt

When the Bay Bridge closes on Wednesday night at 8:00pm, thousands of people who travel daily to and from San Francisco will need to find another way to get across the Bay.

The bridge is closing until Tuesday morning, September 3rd at 5:00am, when the new eastern span will be unveiled. Transportation officials have said the new bridge could open earlier, but it really depends on the construction process during the time it’s closed. So during the closure, here are a few ways to get around for those who take the span each day.
BART – the transit agency will be expanding service, including 24-hour service at 14 stations. Overnight trains will run on an hourly basis and all trains will transfer at MacArthur station in Oakland from early Thursday morning (August 29) through early Monday morning (September 2). Trains will run from Concord to SFO (and in the reverse direction) with stops at Walnut Creek, MacArthur, 12th Street (Oakland), Embarcadero, Powell, 24th Street and Daly City. Trains will also run from Dublin/Pleasanton to El Cerrito del Norte, with stops at Bay Fair, Oakland Coliseum, 12th Street, MacArthur and Downtown Berkeley. BART will also be adding extra cars to regularly scheduled trains during normal hours of operation.
AC Transit – During the closure, instead of traveling across the span, transbay lines will stop at four BART stations to drop off passengers going to San Francisco and pick up passengers coming from San Francisco (the temporary transbay stops will be at Oakland Coliseum, MacArthur, North Berkeley and West Oakland).
Ferry Service – Both San Francisco Bay Ferry and Golden Gate Ferry service will be expanded during the closure, with additional ferries running both during the week and through the holiday weekend. Police Will ‘Relax’ Parking Enforcement at Ferry Terminals During Bridge Closure. (see RELATED)
There will also be some adjustments for those who take Capitol Corridor trains, and WestCAT and Greyhound bus service. Those who insist on driving can also take alternative routes, including the Richmond-San Rafael, San Mateo or Dumbarton Bridge.  511.org is a great tool for commuter options.  Bay Bridge officials have said that the new span could open sooner than expected, possibly even on Monday, September 2. We’ll let you know if we hear the bridge is opening earlier than expected… (more)

RELATED:
Increased Ferry Service Available For Bay Bridge Closure
Police Will ‘Relax’ Parking Enforcement at Ferry Terminals During Bridge Closure.
Alameda police will relax parking enforcement near both of the city’s ferry terminals, except for flagrant violations such as the blocking of driveways, sidewalks, handicap parking or fire hydrants, according to an announcement from the city manager’s office.
The San Francisco Bay Ferry during the week will be running 10 boats instead of its usual eight, and on the weekend and Labor Day will have five boats instead of three, according to SF Bay Ferry spokesman Ernest Sanchez. More details of local ferry service are available here.

Increased Ferry Service Available For Bay Bridge Closure

AC Transit Workers Reject Tentative Contract Agreement

by – excerpt

AC Transit workers have voted to reject a tentative contract agreement reached with management last week, union officials said today.
Members of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 192, which represents nearly 1,800 bus drivers, mechanics, dispatchers, clerical and other workers, voted Saturday 576 against to 257 for the proposed contract, officials said.
“Our members spoke out, loud and clear,” said Yvonne Williams, the union’s president and business agent, in a statement… (more)

Few Alternatives For Commuters Ahead Of Possible BART Strike

By Tim Ryan : cbslocal.com – excpert

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — Bay Area Rapid Transit’s unionized employees will meet on Tuesday to vote for a strike authorization that could lead to a walkout within a week. The result, transit officials said, would become a regional transportation emergency that will have commuters looking for alternatives of which there are few…
“It’s unused seats in people’s cars that can provide the capacity that make up for 400,000 lost BART trips,” he said… (more)

But where will those cars park?

This is the perfect storm that many of us have been dreading that will prove the point that the public transit system IS NOT READY to replace cars. People cannot walk and bike to work from all over the bay. BART, AC transit, and Caltrans are all at capacity.

SFMTA spends millions of dollars on PR to try to convince the world that SF has the answer to traffic management and everyone should buy their program.

This week may prove our point that removal of parking spaces is premature, at a time when the County Transportation Authority is weighing which transit projects to finance. We hope they will NOT finance Masonic and Second Street “improvements” at this time.

Question: Will Muni add back the lines they took out during the “slow months” while the students are on vacation?

Commute Crisis Could Hit Bay Area if Labor Negotiations Fail

by KQED News Staff and Wires: KQED – excerpt

A commute crisis could hit the Bay Area next month if two of the region’s major transit agencies fail to negotiate contracts with their unions.
Labor contracts for both BART and AC Transit will expire June 30th.
What would be the impact of the strike? And how many Bay Area riders could be stranded if both agencies shut down?
Reporter Stephanie Martin spoke with San Francisco Business Times reporter Eric Young, who has been looking at what’s at stake for the region’s mass transit riders… (more)

This is the reason why we need a balanced transit approach. Without two major transit systems, there is no way people can get to work easily, and in some cases, get to work period.  This is why we need to keep all transportation options open. We sometimes MUST rely on our cars. On days with limited public transit there should be limited parking enforcement.