BART needs to think long term: Build new transbay tube

It may sound like a pipe dream now, but BART needs to seriously consider building a new Transbay Tube (or a new bridge across the Bay for BART trains). The Tube is already being used at its maximum capacity during commute hours. They simply cannot stuff any more trains into the tunnel. All of you always compain about inadequate service and trains that are run too far apart. The only way to solve this is to build more transbay crossings to solve Bart's Bottleneck.

It is stupid to build further extensions to Livermore and San Jose. This will only add more passengers on an already overcrowded system. We need that capital to build more East Bay Lines.

Transit developers already recognize the need for more East Bay lines (such as in areas like Emeryville and East Oakland), and some have suggested building a new transbay tube/bridge from the old Naval Air Station in Alameda to the SoMa district of San Francisco (possibly connecting with the Transbay terminal and extending up Geary). See http://sfcityscape.com/log.html.

The only way to realisticly improve BART service is to build more transbay crossings. This will allow for more trains to be run, and for additional East Bay lines to be built. And has it occured to anyone what life would be like if the current Transbay tube was destroyed in an Earthquake? Let me give you a hint: San Francisco stations up 24th and Mission would be underwater.

One option would be to build a twin tube (like the peresent one) that would have one tube for BART (in the primary commute direction) and the other for Amtrak/Caltrain standard gauge rail. Then the new Transbay terminal would connect with Emeryville, Oakland, etc.

Another option would be to connect the (presently unused) Alameda Naval Air Station to Downtown SF. Trains would branch off at Oakland Airport, run to Alameda, then to Downtown.

One thing needed would be better vertical circulation at Embarcadero, Montgomery and Powell. Dual platforms? Skipping stations?

Another bay crossing might connect SFO and OAK airports? A combined auto/BART bridge (would have to be fitted exactly right - high enough for boat traffic, low enough to be out of the approach to the airports.

The NIMBYs in Alameda would never allow a BART line through their city. Not in a million billion years.

All of this sounds good. Now all needs to do is find several billion dollars to get this work done.

Those billions are going into the pockets of BART management.

A good idea, all pipe dreams unfortunately. The day and age of massive public works projects in California is over. If there ever was any doubt, the new Bay Bridge debacle has sealed the deal. Do not expect any new major projects, the money isn't there and neither is the will.

We can do it, they just need to raise the fares again. Bay Point to SFO should be $20 each way, Bay Point to Downtown SF should be $15 each way.

don't you dare say that they don't need to raise fare 20$ to get from bay point to sfo are you crazy but lets say i need to ride bart to sfo i don't intend to spend 40$ on a round trip ticket no way will i ever pay bart 40$ at once thats to damn much and after all the crappy service bart provides that they deserve to get 40$ when ever we go from bay point to sfo i don't think so i agree we need a new transbay tube and maybe they should increase price a little i think maybe by $1 not 20$ way to damn much i would like to see you pay that remember that the high prices don't earn more cash bargains do believe it or not if bart increases to $20 people will quit taking bart because they can't afford it and they think its a rip off but i bart keeps there prices low more and more people will start riding bart and all that cash adds up low prices mean more bart riders more bart riders means more cash

You win!! You are King of the Run-On Sentence!!!

and your the kings of stupidity

Well, at least I can write coherently----

its a forum dummy my writing is just fine i don't see anyone else using grammar or propper spelling your a huge loser

Let me guess--English as a third language or possibly you're (check the spelling) just pure ghetto? Either way you sound like an uneducated lump with the linguistic skill of Koko the gorilla.

idiot don't judge me i have a masters degree maybe i'm just lazy with my grammar when i'm on the computer i am not anything like those ghetto ass punks you see on bart trains your really rude to judge me like that. Your a nasty person that will be living in a cardboard box 1 year from now people like you that insult never achieve much in life i never directly insult people here but if someone insults me i will defend my self. so i'll tell you what why don't you stand your fat ass up put on your shitty pair of 1 dollar shoes that you purchased at dollar tree get your ass outside and do something instead of being a computer nerd lying around the computer all day. I have a life i've got great friends, a great job, and a great wife maybe you should go get a life but wait when you go outside your so ugly you break all the mirrors and scare everyone away you punk ass mother fucker

Where can you get a Master's in Foaming At The Mouth??

haha, get it, PIPE dream and youre talking about the TUBE. good one

YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR

This obviously does not apply to BART.

Really? The days of major Public Works projects in California are over? Then explain to me how the City of Los Angeles just greenlit the first $585 million of a total $11 billion they are going to spend to upgrade LAX...

Anything is possible as long as we don't prequalify the awful joint venture group they used for the Bay Bridge. Oh and delaying a project FIFTEEN YEARS will cause any project to incur cost overruns. Nobody should have been surprised that the price of steel had risen a little bit since 1989.

So the Bay Bridge is an absolute disaster... wouldn't that mean something like a new Transbay Tube would get pushed through faster, because the alternative (the Bridge) is never going to get done? Of course the timeline is not anytime soon, but don't think that California and the Feds are done building $1 billion+ projects in California. The international tourism dollars are too powerful.

BART itself projects a 40% increase in ridership by 2018, but hasn't identified anything like a second tube that would accommodate this increase. Projecting ridership, though, is a black art (look at the disaster that is the SFO extension).

Generally BART has said that better Automatic Train Control in the tube would alleviate this problem -- headways at peak periods are still around three minutes, and it's not unreasonable to think that A Really Good Computer could safely push trains through the tube every two minutes.

Loading the riders in those two minutes, however, is another matter entirely -- one dropped bag on a station platform and the system's down for 20 minutes.

BART's already paid for an improved Automatic Train Control system that would increase capacity by 6 trains per hour...but it doesn't work:

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/06/17/BAG8OJG1131.DTL

The idea that the existing tube operating at 24 trains per hour is "at capacity" is ludicrous.
No highway could function at such low utilization levels.
And every train has a human operator at the helm.
Imagine driving down the road with two minutes of
blank space between you and the next vehicle.
And there are no possible lane changes allowed.

Well, you see there Einstein, the train has to make a stop at the end of the tube and has to make a stop before it enters the tube. Hence 2 minute intervals. You could pack more trains into the tube (actually you couldn't because of the station stop before entering) but that isn't going to speed anything up.

I don't see why they couldn't push more trains through the tube. I don't see how entering the tube is different than following a train at any station. So if there is a train in front you stay a ways back since you don't want to ram into it.

I mean cars follow a few seconds behind each other at the same speeds. Trains have more mass and inertia, so they possibly can't stop as fast. It still seems like a minute following distance should be plenty and if the one in front stops or slows then the one behind stops or slows also. Or is there some reason they always have to be two or three minutes apart? I seriously don't understand the reason for this kind of distance.

I know it's a bit hard to know where a train is when the tunnels go up and down and curve, but it seems like they could use radar, or positional tagging by passing regularly placed RFID tags or other things to keep track of the position of trains very reliably.

I know there might be switching slowdowns at some junctions if things got off, but it doesn't seem like this would affect the tube that much.

I don't see how having a stop at the ends of the tube means having to have a 3 minute follow time. Even with a 30 second stop at the station and maintaining a minute follow time that's only 90 seconds. I guess I don't understand the logistics or their tracking technology just isn't very accurate or something.

You raise some good points. One of my thoughts, and I welcome any comments, is that BART wants to cover their asses in case something goes wrong (ie, breach in the tube) and limit casualties. Or maybe the software just isn't able to handle it.

I seem to remember a while back BART was going to update software or something to allow 10 more trains per hour in the tube, what happened with that?

Oh, or it might be a rolling stock issue. Maybe BART dosn't have enough rolling stock to have more trains?

-M. Delgado

Whenever BART "upgrades" anything in the system, it is usually obsolete before they finish the installation and training. BART is not known for being state-of-the-art. More like "a day late, and a dollar short".

BART has some "new" software called BAP that doesn't work and probably never will. They should have learned a lesson from the DMV before spending so much money on something that is in a constant state of being re-written. The more bandaids they put on it, the worse it gets.