Archive for the ‘BART’ Category

Letter writer responds to Herald article on Antioch BART extension, shares concerns

Tuesday, June 12th, 2018

Dear Editor:

‘After waiting almost 60 years Antioch gets extension to BART!’ Vol. 9, No. 6, dated June 2018

This article has been anticipated about as long as residents have been waiting for the new EBart train and Antioch Station to open. It’s a wonderful advancement on the part of BART and a welcome addition for the residents of Antioch!

Although the article is highly positive on the new eBart train, the negative factor involving the parking at the station far outweighs the good it brings when there is absolutely no ability to access and utilize the train because there’s no available parking. By 7:30 am on any given day, the parking lot is packed full. And for those who chose to park on the street, citations and towing added to the agony of not being able to find a spot to park. If you can’t park at the new station, how are you supposed to use the new train system? For those of us who daily commuted on the Tri-Delta 300 Express to BART, this is extremely disappointing as we can no longer take the bus from park-n-ride to the Pittsburg BART, and even then, having a place to park. Sure, the new eBart trains boast a variety of amenities and the “newness” is refreshing; however, with not having adequate parking to accommodate the daily commuters who have been using this park-n-ride location for years to ride the bus to BART, it’s very discouraging to know that we now must try to find another alternative in parking our car if we wish to use BART’s Etrain system.

It is awesome to see the new eBart train up and running. The issue of parking and the overwhelming demand for such on a daily basis limits this “awesome’ness” to a great degree. Both the City of Antioch and BART should have planned way ahead of this station’s opening to ensure sufficient parking was readily-available for the mass of those who would utilize this station – this should have been a prime consideration and know well in advance that the two parking lots would not suffice for the demand of the commuters who have been waiting such a long time for this station to open – only to find now that we can’t utilize its services since we can’t find a parking place.

It’s very sad that I now must rely on someone else to me ff and pick-up at this station if I use BART’s Etrain. The impact of others having to do the same is also a serious issue with more car traffic in the lanes adjacent to the station. The high demand for use of the new train demands a higher use for parking and this now needs to be a key factor to consider in moving forward. Having the BART Etrain finally open is great; allowing the daily commuter to access and use this train system – and can park at its station – is now the immediate need that both the City of Antioch and BART need to consider and rectify.

Michele Garcia

Antioch

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Parking tips for Antioch BART riders

Friday, June 1st, 2018

From BART.gov

Our new BART to Antioch service has been a tremendous success this first week of service, which has meant parking demands in Antioch have exceeded the space available.

In the long term, we are exploring limited options to increase capacity.

In the short term, to ensure public safety, over the weekend we plan to block access to illegal parking in the field across the street from the station.

This step is being taken due to the fire danger as the field is dry and hot engines can spark a fire.

Blocking access is also meant to prevent drivers from parking in Slatten Ranch Road bike lanes.

Tips for parkers: the parking lot at Pittsburg Center Station did not fill up this week.

Pittsburg/Bay Point didn’t fill up until much later than it did before the extension opened and at 10 am, there were still open spots.

Carpooling to Antioch with Scoop is also an option because it guarantees a space before 10 am, allowing users to be flexible with their schedule.

In addition, TriDeltaTransit reconfigured many of their routes to accommodate BART riders.

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New Antioch BART Station opens with guaranteed parking for Scoop carpoolers

Friday, June 1st, 2018

From BART.gov

As of Tuesday, May 29, the Scoop to BART program is offering guaranteed parking until 10 am for carpoolers at the new Antioch Station. BART will allocate permit parking spaces specifically for carpoolers using Scoop. The app connects neighbors and co-workers to fill seats in vehicles already driving to BART stations. The Scoop to BART program helps to get more people to the station, in fewer cars.

“We’re really excited to launch this program at a brand, new station. As people look into their options for how to get to the station, this will be one, right from the beginning. As an end of the line station people will likely be coming to the Antioch station from far away and splitting the cost of that drive can be a big money-saver.” said Jumana Nabti, Manager of Access Programs at BART.

To participate in the Scoop to BART program, download and register with the free Scoop app for iOS or Android at takescoop.com. Type in the BART station name and schedule a ride either before 9 pm the night before the morning commute or by 3:30 pm for that evening’s commute. Shortly after the deadline, Scoop notifies commuters who have matched with one of their 100,000+ users and provides a guaranteed ride home for passengers unable to be matched into a carpool for their return trip. Scoop coordinates with BART to help verify carpoolers and works with BART police to ensure smooth operations every morning.

“We’re excited to offer our Scoop to BART Program at the launch of the new Antioch Station,” said David Clavens, Head of Marketing at Scoop. “We’re proud to partner with BART to help make commutes more enjoyable and efficient, as well as help provide first and last mile solutions for local commuters across the Bay Area.”

BART to Antioch extends service east of the Pittsburg/Bay Point station using smaller diesel trains. Timed transfers between the standard BART trains and these diesel trains take place at a dedicated platform just beyond the Pittsburg/Bay Point station. The new Antioch Station has just over 1000 parking spaces, with 225 for reserved permit parking (including the Scoop to BART program). The rest are allocated to first-come/first-served parking. More information and FAQ on the Antioch Station is available on the BART website.

The Scoop to BART program is a recipient of the Federal Transit Administration Mobility On-Demand Sandbox grant. This grant funds expansion of the program, and enhancements on Scoop’s app platform that improve the experience for BART commuters. The program is a partnership between BART, Scoop Technologies, and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) 511 Carpool Program.

The Scoop to BART program is now available at Antioch, Colma, Concord, Daly City, Dublin/Pleasanton, Lafayette, Millbrae, North Concord, Orinda, Pleasant Hill, Rockridge, San Bruno, South San Francisco, Union City, Walnut Creek, and Warm Springs Stations.

For more information, visit rideshare.511.org, BART.gov/carpool, or TakeScoop.com/bart.

 

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Antioch BART Station opening celebration Friday, May 25, service starts Saturday

Monday, May 21st, 2018

An eBART train at the Antioch BART Station. Photo by BART.

The wait is almost over for East County residents.  BART to Antioch will open for passenger service on Saturday, May 26, 2018.  To celebrate, BART will hold a community ribbon-cutting celebration on Friday, May 25, 2018 at 11am at the new Antioch Station featuring free preview train rides and local entertainment.

New service is fast, clean, and comfortable

The service between the Pittsburg/Bay Point Station and Antioch is 10 miles long and adds two new stations.  The extension will be able to carry an estimated 2,400 people in each direction, per hour, during rush hours.

“This is a new dawn for transit in this part of the Bay Area,” said BART Director Joel Keller, who serves East Contra Costa County and led efforts to bring the extension to the region. “Making this visionary project a reality took the long-term dedication of East County residents, and the commitment of many local, regional, state, and federal leaders.”

BART to Antioch is part of the Highway 4 Widening Project, which expanded Highway 4 between Pittsburg and Brentwood. The combined project was designed to bring commute relief as soon as possible with minimal disruption to the traveling public.

The $525 million cost of the extension is about half of the $1 billion cost estimated for extending BART’s traditional electric-powered line.

Quiet DMU trains offer a smooth ride

The extension marks the first time BART is using Diesel Multiple Units or DMU train cars.  They meet the US Government’s strictest emissions standards and use renewable diesel, an advanced biofuel produced from bio-based sources such as vegetable oil.

The DMUs run on their own tracks in the median of State Route 4 and connect with the existing BART system at a Transfer Platform just east of the Pittsburg Bay Point Station. At the Transfer Platform, riders simply exit one train and walk across the platform to board the other train. BART passengers trying to reach the Pittsburg Center Station or the Antioch Station will remain in the BART train to reach the Transfer Platform. The Transfer Platform is only reachable by train. 

The trains boast a variety of amenities including digital signs, automated audio announcements, and modern climate control systems for those hot summer months.

Two new stations  

The new Pittsburg Center Station is located at the Railroad Avenue overpass of Highway 4 in Pittsburg. The new Antioch Station is located at 1600 Slatten Ranch Road in Antioch. Learn more about the stations and service in our FAQ.

Schedule

The BART to Antioch schedule has been incorporated into our QuickPlanner, which can be found on the bart.gov homepage. For schedules by line or by station, enter a date of May 26, 2018 or later.

Community celebration open house

The public is invited to share the excitement with us at a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday, May 25, 2018 at 11 a.m. at the Antioch Station. Free preview train rides will be provided all day and into the evening. 

WHAT: Public celebration of the opening of BART to Antioch.

  • There will be no BART service to event.
  • Free shuttles will run between the Pittsburg/Bay Point and Antioch Stations between 9am and 9pm every 15 to 30 minutes. The shuttles will accommodate people with wheelchairs.
  • Tri-Delta Transit‘s 300 bus also runs between the Pittsburg/Bay Point and Antioch Stations.
  • Attendees will get free rides on the line’s new environmentally-friendly Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) train.
  • The rides will start in Antioch and will end at the transfer platform in Pittsburg.
  • They will not stop at Pittsburg Center Station until after 3pm and will not connect to the main BART system.
  • BART’s new Fleet of the Future train cars will be at the transfer platform for tours, but will not disembark.

WHERE: Antioch BART Station, 1600 Slatten Ranch Road
East of Hillcrest Avenue exit off Highway 4

WHEN: Friday, May 25, 2018
Ribbon cutting ceremony 11am-Noon
Free public train rides 1pm-8pm

Speakers will include BART General Manager Grace Crunican, BART Board members and regional elected officials and transportation leaders. Entertainment provided by the Pittsburg High School Jazz Combo and the Antioch High School Music Masters

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Op-Ed: BART parking – One size does not fit all

Thursday, February 8th, 2018

BART Director Joel Keller. Photo from BART.gov

By BART Board Member Joel Keller

At age 17, after interviewing hundreds of renowned thinkers, Nikhil Goyal wrote a book called, One Size Does Not Fit All.  It offers a prescription to transform the American educational system.

I don’t claim to be as smart as that young man. But I’d like to borrow the title to his book and apply it to BART parking.  Here’s why.

As a BART Director in Contra Costa County, most of my constituents depend on their cars.  They have a very different commute experience than my colleagues whose constituents live in more transit and pedestrian friendly areas.  Consequently, the solutions to help my constituents connect with BART may be different than those of some of my colleagues.

In January, BART staff made a presentation to the Board entitled “BART’s Parking Program: Update and Discussion.”

We board members learned that BART’s revenue from parking has increased from under $5 million in 2003 to $35 million in 2017. BART has a total of 48,000 parking spaces at 34 parking facilities. We have a systemwide waitlist total of 38,000 customers.   Staff presented some possible solutions to dealing with easing the overcrowding in our existing lots.  Those ideas included demand based pricing and variable pricing.  These are fine ideas for consideration, but what about parking expansion?

So, I decided to do what young Nikhil did and speak with some pretty smart thinkers in my district.  I contacted several local business owners about parking at BART.  They asked, “Why is BART just trying to manage the overcrowding, and not capturing the revenue that could be generated by creatively accommodating the people whose names are on the waitlist?”

As a director who represents auto dependent riders, I think they are right. Let’s assume that the 38,000 names on the waitlist contains duplications, and that there are, say, 16,000 potential riders who are willing to pay parking fees to get a spot. That could increase our parking revenue to as high as $54 million, or a $19 million/year increase.

So why aren’t we looking at solutions to find more places to park and charging for those additional spots along with better managing the existing spots that we have now?  Why not create satellite parking lots served by free shuttle buses?  Why not partner with area businesses, local governmental agencies and others to use adjacent and existing parking more efficiently?

I believe each of these ideas merits further discussion and I look forward to a robust exchange of ideas when this item returns to the Board. I am sure that there are other ideas that we should explore, but as I said at the Board meeting, the solution to overcrowded parking cannot be a “one size fits all.”

The needs of auto dependent stations are different than the needs of stations in more urbanized parts of the District. While the solutions may be different, the differences should be respected.

Director Keller represents the BART District 2, which includes Antioch, Brentwood, Concord (partial), Oakley, Pittsburg, Bay Point, Byron, Knightsen, Bethel Island, and Discovery Bay.

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Parking Permits for Antioch BART Station available Jan. 16

Thursday, January 4th, 2018

Screenshot of the Antioch BART Station animation. From BART.gov

New fare information available now

 

By Allen Payton

According to the BART website’s East County Extension page, parking permits for the new Antioch Station which is planned to open in May along with the Pittsburg Center Station, will be available for purchase beginning January 16. According to BART Director Joel Keller there will be 1,000 parking spaces and about 124 reserved spaces available. However, he said the reserved permits don’t get you a specific spot, just one of the reserved parking spots in the lot.

1/5/18 UPDATE: On Tuesday, January 16, 2018 at 11 AM, BART will open up the waitlist for passengers that would like to sign up to reserve a monthly permit, which guarantees a parking space until 10am each weekday. There will be a limited number of these permits available and they will be available on a first-come/first-served basis. The cost for the monthly permit will be $105 per month. You will only be charged for the permit if you are offered one and not until the extension officially opens. You may sign up to join when the waitlist at www.Select-a-Spot.com any time after January 16, 2018 at 11am. This website is also available through a link on the www.BART.gov/Parking webpage.

Monthly reserved permits will only be available at the Antioch Station. The Pittsburg Center Station will not offer any reserved parking permits, due to a limited number of parking spaces at the station.

There will be other parking options available as well:

Daily Fee Parking

Both stations will offer daily unreserved parking for a fee of $3. This parking is first-come/first-served in any marked “Fee” lot. Look at signs to the entrance to each section of the lot to determine if it is a “Fee” or “Permit” area. After 10am, any unused Permit spaces are open to all parkers for the Daily Fee.

Permit Parking

The Antioch Station will offer “Permit” parking. Customers with permits will be allowed to park in the designated areas of the parking lot. Permit spaces are available until 10am each weekday morning. After 10am all unused Permit spaces are available to anyone for the Daily Fee. All permits will be available on the www.Select-a-Spot.com website. There also will be a link to that website on www.BART.gov/Parking

Types of Permits:

  • Single Day reserved permits will cost $6 a day.
  • Airport/Long-Term Permits will cost $7 a day.
  • Monthly reserved parking permits will cost $105

New Fares

The BART Board adopted the parking fees and fares at the December 7, 2017 board meeting.

BART is applying its existing distance-based fare structure to calculate fares for the new service.  For the 9.1-mile trip between Pittsburg Bay/Bay Point and Antioch Station, the Clipper fare will be $2.00 (starting Jan 1, 2018 there will be a $.50 surcharge on all paper ticket trips).  All BART discount programs will be applied to these fares.

The table below shows 2018 BART to Antioch sample fares using the adult Clipper card, a fare paid for with a paper ticket will be an additional 50 cents.To view the animation of the Antioch BART Station, click here. To view the animation of the Pittsburg Center BART Station, click here.

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BART Board to hear from public on Antioch extension ride costs and parking fees, Nov 16 & Dec 7

Thursday, November 9th, 2017

A two-car eBART train undergoes testing in the middle of Highway 4 between Hillcrest Avenue and A Street/Lone Tree Way on Friday evening, July 1, 2016 for the Pittsburg and Antioch extension. Herald file photo by Allen Payton

BART Director Joel Keller. Photo from BART.gov

By Joel Keller, District 2 Director, Bay Area Rapid Transit District

The BART Board will consider both BART to Antioch fares and BART to Antioch parking fees at a public hearing on November 16th meeting. On December 7th, the Board will be asked to approve the BART to Antioch fares and parking fees.

The proposal will extend BART’s distance-based fare structure for the Pittsburg Center Station and the Antioch station, resulting in a 15 cent increase at Pittsburg Center and an 80 cent increase at Antioch.

Sample BART to Antioch Fares:

Pittsburg/Bay Point to Embarcadero: $6.70

Pittsburg Center to Embarcadero: $6.85

Antioch to Embarcadero: $7.50

There will be 262 parking spaces on Bliss Avenue near Railroad Avenue serving the Pittsburg Center Station and 1012 parking spaces at the Antioch Station.

The parking fees are proposed to be effective upon commencement of operation of the Pittsburg Center and Antioch stations as follows:

Daily Fee Parking: $3.00 per day

Permit Fee Parking:

Monthly Reserved Permit: $105 per month

Single Day Reserved Permit: $6.00 per day

Airport/Long-Term Permit: $7.00 per day

Your opinion is valued and you can contact me directly at Joel.Keller@bart.gov or 510-915-7925 or you can let the entire Board know your thoughts by emailing BoardOfDirectors@BART.gov or calling 510-464-6095.

District 2 includes Antioch, Brentwood, Oakley, Pittsburg and portions of Concord and unincorporated Contra Costa County.

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Bridge toll increase bill includes Inspector General for BART as proposed by Sen. Glazer

Tuesday, October 10th, 2017

SACRAMENTO – Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday signed a measure that will give Bay Area voters a chance to create an independent inspector general for BART to hold the sprawling transit district accountable for its spending, service to riders, and timely delivery of capital projects.

The inspector general was proposed by state Sen. Steve Glazer, D-Orinda, as part of a bill, SB 595, by Sen. Jim Beall (D-San Jose) that will ask voters to raise bridge tolls to fund transportation projects designed to relieve traffic congestion in the bridge corridors.

Glazer wanted voters to be given the option of creating the accountability czar as a condition of his support for placing the measure on the ballot. Other major transit agencies, including those in Washington D.C., New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, have long had inspector generals to serve as an independent check on the bureaucracy.

“If an independent check is good enough for transit systems in most of our major metropolitan areas, it should be good enough for BART,” Glazer said. “BART will get about one billion dollars from toll revenues generated by this measure, so it’s vital that riders and residents have someone who be the public’s eyes and ears and will hold BART’s administration accountable.”

If approved by voters, the inspector general would be appointed by the governor from a list of three finalists nominated by the BART board. The person could be fired only with a two-thirds vote of the board and the governor’s agreement.

The BART inspector general would be tasked with investigating fraud, waste and inefficiencies, conducting audits and recommending changes in the agency’s practices that will improve services to riders.

Glazer, who has been critical of management-union relations that resulted in eight days of strikes in 2013, required in the inspector general’s job description that they assess whether  management was using best practices to promote “positive and productive” relations with employees and their representatives.

“BART employees have as much to gain as the riding public by having an inspector general ensure that trains run on time, stations are safe and clean, and escalators and elevators work,” Glazer said. “They are hard-working, dedicated public servants who deserve an effective ally.”

Glazer also pushed for amendments to the bill that ensured Contra Costa and Alameda county commuters would see a fair share of congestion relief projects if the toll increases become a reality.

Projects to improve traffic flow on Interstate 680 and rebuild interchanges where 680 connects to state routes 4 and 84 were included in the final version of the proposed spending plan.

Glazer said he was proud of the collaborative process led by Sen. Beall, and Assemblymen David Chiu and Phil Ting of San Francisco and other members of the Bay Area legislative delegation. Members from throughout the region were able to provide input into the final proposal that included the crucial provision to oversee BART’s administration and spending.

“I look forward to voters determining whether to fund projects designed to relieve congestion throughout the entire region and providing independent oversight of BART,” Glazer said.

Glazer represents the 7th State Senate District in the California legislature which includes Antioch.

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