Bay Area transit ridership down despite subsidies, enticements

Bay Area transit ridership down despite subsidies, enticements 02/09/15 Filed in: Transportation Planning | MTC In today’s Chronicle, Matier & Ross write about how regional transit ridership in the Bay Area has been down for decades despite the many billions of dollars MTC has put into construction projects. This begs the question “Why?” For us, the answer is simple: MTC’s unique combination of indifference, incompetence and unwillingess to do the hard work of policy development has created a politicized unaccountable system that works great for contractors, but does little for Bay Area residents and commuters. See related several posts on…

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LA Times Uncovers Secret HSR Story

LA Times Uncovers Secret HSR Story 07/09/12 Filed in: High-Speed Rail TRANSDEF was the source for the story that ran in the LA Times today on the rejection of an offer two years ago by the French National Railways, SNCF, to build the system between LA and San Francisco. The California High-Speed Rail Authority turned them down flat, but kept the offer secret. Had the HSRA been operating in the public interest, it would now be under contract with an international HSR operator selected through an open bidding process, and be proceeding towards a fully funded LA-SF buildout (which, incidentally,…

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TRANSDEF Comments on HSR Passage

TRANSDEF Comments on HSR Passage 07/08/12 Filed in: High-Speed Rail TRANSDEF’s David Schonbrunn was interviewed on the KPFA Evening News about the Legislature’s authorization of bond issuance for the 130-mile Central Valley High-Speed Rail project. Tags: Press

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Another Day, Another HSR Business Plan: First Impressions

Another Day, Another HSR Business Plan: First Impressions 04/02/12 Filed in: High-Speed Rail Yes, the High-Speed Rail Authority did listen to comments on the last Plan, and yes, they actually did add several desirable elements to the Plan, but in the end, it is still a bad joke: “The key initial operating segment from the Central Valley to the Los Angeles Basis is fully funded.” (p. 7-25) This seemingly good news is new since the last Business Plan. But the punchline is that the newly identified fund source is $20.2 billion from the feds! How fully funded is that, given…

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Hospital Required to Mitigate GHGs

Hospital Required to Mitigate GHGs 03/28/12 Filed in: Climate Change TRANSDEF, along with fellow litigants the Sierra Club and the California Nurses Association, prevailed in a challenge to Sonoma County’s approval of a new Sutter Hospital on the fringe of Santa Rosa. They challenged the Environmental Impact Report as being inadequate in mitigating greenhouse gases, because of the site being totally auto-dependent. After several hearings and appearances before a judge, the County agreed to require Sutter Hospital to provide a shuttle to the hospital from the nearest SMART rail station. Sutter will also provide free bus and train passes to…

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TRANSDEF talks HSR on KPFA

TRANSDEF talks HSR on KPFA 03/19/12 Filed in: High-Speed Rail A lively interview on KPFA’s Morning Mix where TRANSDEF’s David Schonbrunn details what’s wrong with the HSR project, and how to fix it. The program runs 12:00. Tags: Press

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TRANSDEF Debates US HSR Association Head

TRANSDEF Debates US HSR Association Head 01/18/12 Filed in: High-Speed Rail The Voice of Russia Radio hosted an informal debate between Andy Kunz, President of the US High-Speed Rail Association and David Schonbrunn, President of TRANSDEF. The debate runs 6:00. Here is the introductory paragraph on the Voice of Russia website: In California, a project President Obama promised would transform US transportation may never be completed. The state’s futuristic high-speed rail network faces eroding political and public support, increasing cost estimates and criticism from some groups who call the project a “train to nowhere.” But supporters says a national high-speed…

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Save Muni.com Getting Great Press

Save Muni.com Getting Great Press 07/04/10 Filed in: Transportation Planning Here are a series of articles instigated by the great work of Save Muni.com. They are campaigning to inform the public about the folly of Muni’s Central Subway. Amazingly, this $1.5 billion boondoggle will lead to reduced bus service and even longer travel times. Check out these articles: San Francisco Tomorrow Article Serve the people Subway project ruinousSubway travel times disputed Central Subway a budget draining mistake Feds Imperil Central Subway Funding $147 Million Deal Could Derail Central Subway Project Tags: Press, Central Subway, Muni

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Lots of activity on High-Speed Rail

Lots of activity on High-Speed Rail 05/09/10 Filed in: High-Speed Rail A tremendous amount is going on at the California High-Speed Rail Authority. With the ascension of Curt Pringle to the Chair, Quentin Kopp and Rod Diridon have been marginalized (finally!). The Authority hired its new CEO, the first person with actual competence in High-Speed Rail in the agency. The comment period closed April 26 on the Revised Draft EIR intended to replace the EIR thrown out by the Court as the result of our litigation. We filed extensive comments in conjunction with our allies the Planning and Conservation League…

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Central Subway–Vigorous Radio Debate

Central Subway–Vigorous Radio Debate 08/20/09 Filed in: Transportation Planning TRANSDEF’s President David Schonbrunn debated the Central Subway Project Manager on KALW Radio’s City Vision’s program. Check out the podcast. David argued that the subway is so deep that the time it will take to access it will eliminate the travel time savings over the current bus. Also, the route is so badly designed that a transfer to BART and Muni lines will require over a 1000 ft. walk. Residents of Bayview/Hunters Point, who now have a convenient transfer to all the Market Street trains, will lose that connection when the…

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