Archive for the ‘BART’ Category

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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Contra Costa’s CyberTran awarded U.S. patent for Transportation Internet

Monday, October 2nd, 2017

Rendering of a CyberTran transit station. Renderings courtesy of CyberTran International, Inc.

Ultra-Light Rail Transit system vehicles travel throughout connected rail networks at low, medium and high speeds, direct to destination and at much lower capital deployment and maintenance costs

CONTRA COSTA COUNTY, CA – CyberTran International, Inc. (CTI) offers the most innovative approach to solving the world’s traffic congestion problems. The recent patent approval for fixed guideway transportation systems, with lower cost of ownership and optimized benefits, validates what they’re calling the Transportation Internet technology. This system can be thought of as the computer-controlled technology solution to the problems of mass transit cost overruns and inefficiency.

Artist rendering of a CyberTran vehicle and station with overhead solar panels generating the power to operate the system.

CTI’s Ultra-Light Rail Transit (ULRT) is a mass transit system with the ability to build out Urban Circulator systems, Commuter Rail systems and High-Speed Rail systems and connect them to one network where small rail vehicles carrying up to thirty passengers can travel throughout the network Direct-to-Destination (nonstop). This allows ULRT to serve three separate markets, low, medium and high speeds! Until today all three markets have been served by three separate distinct technologies that can only be connected at transfer points where passengers have to disembark one system only to transfer to another to reach their destination.

Currently, CTI is closing in on funding for the purpose of demonstration and deployment. “Everybody wants to be second, nobody wants to be first,” said Dexter Vizinau, President of CTI.

Transit officials are hesitant to take a chance on a small and innovative company. The BART system started out as a demonstration project and the technology was the first of its kind. Today, CTI has approximately ten cities that are willing to be first, he explained.

In every major metropolitan region of the world, people are stuck in traffic. Today’s solutions aren’t working.

“Expanding today’s transit systems are too costly to build and maintain, yet transit officials continue to approach this as a solution, with little result,” said Neil Sinclair, CTI Board Chairman. “There’s a $78 billion backlog in transit systems maintenance in the U.S. and the only way to pay for it is to raise taxes. In the meantime, we’re all stuck in traffic with no end in sight.” That is, until today.

Overview rendering of the offline CyberTran stations.

“Our patent validates everything we’ve already proven,” Vizinau continued. “Two full-scale prototype vehicles have already been built and tested. The test vehicles have achieved speeds of up to 60 mph and have climbed a 10% grade, which means ULRT can go over the Sepulveda Pass in Los Angeles and also travel up the Grapevine Summit in Southern California. Bullet train systems and L.A. Metro-like systems cannot climb steep grades and therefore either have to tunnel or go around.”

By building out ULRT networks in cities at 35 mph, and then connecting them together throughout a region at 80 mph, ULRT becomes a commuter rail system like BART and Metro in Los Angeles. ULRT can handle the same throughput as BART during rush hour via the Transbay Tube. CTI can then connect regions with a high-speed line. The ULRT System design is flexible and can expand easily. Guideways and civil structures are manufactured offsite and assembled onsite allowing ULRT systems to be constructed more efficiently. CTI can construct long-distance systems in up to a quarter mile per day. The system was designed to reach speeds of up to 150 mph. (See related article)

CyberTran’s ULRT system also operates from solar power. Canopies of solar panels above the guideway can generate more than one megawatt per mile and eight times more energy than the system consumes, and supply renewable energy to surrounding communities resulting in a net gain to CTI.

Rendering of a possible CyberTran station on the second floor of an office building and campus.

Transit officials currently purchase transit systems from foreign companies. CTI plans to manufacture ULRT transit systems for a global market in Contra Costa County. “We’ve been to China five times in as many years. There are six hundred cities in China that can use this,” says Sinclair. Councilmember Rich Kinney of the City of San Pablo states, “West Contra Costa County in particular has to solve the I-80 corridor congestion issue to attract more businesses and jobs to our cities. This is our opportunity to effectively address that issue. May we not continue to kick the proverbial can down the road – it’s time to embrace the full deployment of CyberTran right here at home.”

Earlier this year the city councils of Oakley, Brentwood and Antioch each voted unanimously to join the cities of Richmond and San Pablo to support efforts by CTI to obtain the needed funding for systems in both Western and Eastern Contra Costa County. (See related article) In addition, CTI has the support of U.C. Berkeley in their efforts to bring the technology to market. (See related article)

The next steps for CTI are to obtain funding to build two showrooms and a factory. This calls for one low-speed demonstration track up to 35 mph, and one rapid speed demonstration track up to 150 mph – in curves and with left and right banking. Both demo tracks and factory construction are to be done concurrently. There were no funding programs to support transit innovation, such as ULRT, at the federal level until CTI lobbied Congress to create one. Program legislation was created and approved in 2014 under a Republican-controlled Congress and Senate. CTI was hopeful that President Obama would release the program funding but it did not happen. CTI is hopeful about the President Trump’s infrastructure package and is encouraged by their reception in Washington, D.C.

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Sen. Glazer’s legislation to create inspector general for BART approved by Senate

Thursday, September 14th, 2017

SACRAMENTO – The state Senate on Thursday passed legislation 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 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.

The bill was approved by the Senate on a 27-13 vote.

Glazer, a longtime critic of BART, insisted that voters 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.

“BART stands to gain about a billion dollars from the toll revenues this measure would generate,” Glazer said. “It’s only fair that riders and residents get an extra set of eyes and ears inside the agency to hold the 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.

And in a twist, Glazer, who has been at odds with BART’s unions in the past, insisted on adding a line to the inspector general’s mission requiring the office to assess whether management was using best practices to promote “positive and productive” relations with employees and their representatives.

“The vast majority of BART employees are hard-working, dedicated public servants who share their customers’ desire to have trains that run on time, stations that are safe and clean, and escalators and elevators that work when they are supposed to,” Glazer said. “I hope the employees and their unions will find an inspector general to be an effective ally in making those things a reality.”

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 praised Sen. Beall, and Assemblymen David Chiu and Phil Ting of San Francisco and other members of the Bay Area legislative delegation for a collaborative process that allowed for input from throughout the region and a final proposal that included the crucial provision to oversee BART’s administration and spending.

“No one got everything they wanted, but this is a fair compromise that will give the voters an opportunity to fund projects designed to relieve congestion throughout the entire region while providing independent oversight of the district’s practices,” Glazer said.

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