Archive for the ‘Transportation’ Category

New BART fare gates to be installed systemwide to enhance safety, improve access

Saturday, March 25th, 2023

Source: STraffic

$90 million Next Generation Fare Gate project

BART is moving forward with a historic purchase of brand-new fare gates to be installed systemwide as part of its latest effort to win riders back and overhaul safety in the system. The new fare gates will bring a new look and improved experience, offering state-of-the-art technology that will boost safety by reducing fare evasion, enhancing access for people in wheelchairs and those who bring bikes and strollers on BART, and optimizing the reliability and maintenance needs of the fare gates.

At the March 23, 2023, BART Board of Directors meeting, staff recommended the Board move forward with the first purchase of the $90 million Next Generation Fare Gate project. Staff recommended awarding up to $47 million to STraffic America to implement the project. BART staff will develop an installation timeline with STraffic and will stress-test the new fare gate design at a yet-to-be-determined station later this year. The project calls for all stations to have new fare gates by 2026.

“We want to deter fare evasion, modernize our aesthetic and reduce maintenance,” explained Sylvia Lamb, BART’s assistant general manager of infrastructure delivery, at Thursday’s BART Board of Directors meeting.

The transit agency’s board of directors received an update Thursday on the fare-reliant agency’s long quest to implement new gates that prove harder to jump and prove more reliable.

“There’s an appetite out there to go ahead and get this thing done,” said Bob Powers, BART’s general manager, adding the agency will soon be on a “path that’s going to get us to a systemwide replacement very, very quickly.”

Source: STraffic

Thursday’s presentation was informational only. At the second presentation, to be made on April 13, BART directors will seek the board’s approval for the $47 million fare gate contract.

“This is a very happy day, and I can’t wait to vote next month,” said BART Director Bevan Dufty.

To inform the endeavor, BART built and installed prototypes that it deployed in several stations in its system beginning in 2020, particularly around elevators, in an effort to make it easier for elevator users to tag in and out of the system. It has also retrofitted some of the older gates in an attempt to make them more resistant to fare evasion.

The agency has estimated that fare evasion could cost as much as $15-25 million in lost revenue every year, although the exact figure is difficult to pin down.

The new fare gates will look unlike any other of the current 700 fare gates in the BART system. While the new design has not yet been finalized, the gates will have clear swing barriers that will be very difficult to be pushed through, jumped over, or maneuvered under.

The next generation fare gates will not have the orange fins riders have become accustomed to. They will also be different than the new swing-style fare gates designed by BART staff and recently installed to enclose elevators into the paid area.

The new gates will be able to handle large crowds without slowing people down as they move in and out of stations while processing their Clipper cards. The gates will have advanced 3D sensors that are able to detect if someone is in a wheelchair or has a bike, stroller, or luggage with them, allowing for more time before the swing barrier closes. The gates will have LED lighting on the swing barriers and the pathway through the gate to help visually impaired riders. STraffic has worked extensively with members of the ADA community and is committed to continue this work while designing the BART gates.

“New fare gates will transform the rider experience and will deliver immediate improvements to safety and reliability,” said BART Board President Janice Li. “BART researched world-wide best practices in fare gate designs to help guide this pivotal purchase. I want to thank the local, state, and federal funding sources who have stepped up to support this impactful project. I am committed to seeing this project fully funded and fully implemented without delay.”

To date, BART has secured $73 million of the $90 million project, with funding from:

  • BART Funds (Operating-to-Capital Allocations and Measure RR) $23M
  • County Transportation Agency Funds $28M
  • Federal Funds $15M
  • State Funds $6.5M

In recommending the vendor, BART staff evaluated proposals from industry leaders and scored each proposal on their technical approach, qualifications, experience in delivering similar projects, and price. STraffic America, LLC offered the best value to BART and committed to subcontracting 11% of the work to Disadvantage Business Enterprises.

Allen D. Payton contributed to this report.


Highway 4 lanes in Brentwood to be closed for completion of trail overcrossing March 24-29

Thursday, March 23rd, 2023

One-direction at a time, late night, early morning except Saturday night

Caltrans is scheduled to install the Mokelumne Trail Bicycle and Pedestrian Overcrossing span over State Route 4 (“SR4”) in Brentwood beginning Friday night, March 24 through early Wednesday morning, March 29, 2023. Expect State Route 4 closures between Sand Creek Road and Lone Tree Way.

Weather permitting, Caltrans will be closing the highway one-direction at a time as described below:

March 24th:  Eastbound SR4 closure from midnight Friday until 6:00 a.m. Saturday.

March 25th:  No closure on Saturday night.

March 26th:  Westbound SR4 closure on Sunday from 1:00 a.m. to 7:00 a.m.

March 26th-27th:  Westbound SR4 closure on Sunday from 11:00 p.m. until 4:00 a.m. Monday.

March 27th:  Eastbound SR4 closure on Monday from 11:00 p.m. until 4:00 a.m. Tuesday.

March 28th:  Eastbound or westbound SR4 closure on Tuesday from 11:00 p.m. until 4:00 a.m. Wednesday, if needed to complete any remaining work.

Detour Route:

Westbound traffic will exit Sand Creek Road and proceed eastbound on Sand Creek Road to Shady Willow Lane, proceed northbound on Shady Willow Lane to Lone Tree Way, and proceed westbound on Lone Tree Way to the westbound SR4 on-ramp.

Eastbound traffic will exit Lone Tree Way, proceed eastbound on Lone Tree Way to Shady Willow Lane, proceed southbound on Shady Willow Lane to Sand Creek Road, and proceed westbound on Sand Creek Road to the eastbound SR4 on-ramp.

Funding for the $13 million project is provided through Measure J taxpayer dollars from the county’s half-cent sales tax for transportation, the State Route 4 Bypass Authority, and bridge toll funds. The overcrossing is expected to be completed early this year.

For updates and detailed information, please visit To learn more about the project visit Mokelumne Trail Bicycle/Pedestrian Overcrossing.

Allen D. Payton contributed to this report.

Caltrans awards $19 million for safety improvement projects in Contra Costa, $3.3 million for Antioch

Saturday, March 18th, 2023

New HAWK traffic signals in city; includes funds for Byron Highway, Vasco Road

Caltran announced Thursday, March 9, 2023, that it is awarding more than $225.6 million for local projects with $19 million in Contra Costa County designed to reduce traffic deaths and serious injuries on city and county roads. Funding is provided through the Federal Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) Cycle 11. In HSIP Cycle 11 Call-for-Projects, 434 applications from 206 local public agencies, requesting $521.1 million of HSIP funds, were received.  A total of 282 projects from 155 local agencies will receive HSIP funds including Contra Costa County and six of its cities.

Safety enhancements will include pedestrian crossings, bike safety improvements and new traffic signals, roundabouts, turn lanes, rumble strips and guardrails. Caltrans awards these grants every other year to cities, counties and tribal governments.

Antioch had requested $3,72,600 and was granted $3,328,000 in transportation improvement funds. They will be used to provide signal system upgrades at multiple locations and to install High Intensity Activated crossWalK (HAWK) signals at trail crossing to enhance pedestrian and bicycle safety in the city. The signals do not include a green light and drivers don’t have to wait until the red light goes out. (See video of how they work).

Source: City of Phoenix, AZ

“Safety is always Caltrans’ top priority,” said Caltrans Director Tony Tavares. “These projects will enhance systemwide safety features, including enhancing safety for people who walk and bike, and move us closer to our vision of reaching zero fatalities and serious injuries on roadways throughout the state by 2050.”

Caltrans is using the Safe System approach – which emphasizes multiple layers of protection, including safer road designs – to achieve its goal of reducing to zero the number of fatalities and serious injuries on state roadways by 2050. Caltrans’ adoption of the Safe System approach builds on its ongoing work to embed safety in the state’s transportation system, and for that reason all transportation projects the department funds or oversees now must include “complete street” features that provide safe and accessible options for people walking, biking and taking transit.

“True equity on our roads means creating safe spaces for all, where pedestrians and cyclists are valued and protected with the same care and attention as motorists, said Caltrans District 4 Director Dina El-Tawansy. “This critical funding for safety will bring us closer to achieving a sustainable and equitable transportation system for all Californians.”

District 4 includes Contra Costa, Alameda, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano and Sonoma counties.

Projects approved in Contra Costa County include:

  • $2.5M in the city of Antioch for signal system upgrades at multiple locations.
  • $828,000 to install Hawk signals at trail crossings to enhance pedestrian and bicycle safety in the city of Antioch.
  • $1.3M for Byron Highway safety improvements.
  • $715,050 for Vasco Road safety improvements in the county.
  • $249,415 for the county for Walnut Boulevard bike safety improvements (near Brentwood).
  • $7.4M in street lighting and safety improvements in the city of Concord. The project includes installing new lighting, upgrading existing street and intersection lighting, installing pedestrian countdown signal heads, modifying phasing to provide a Leading Pedestrian Interval (LPI) and installing three new Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons (RRFBs) and four HAWK signals.
  • $249,984 to upgrade existing uncontrolled crossing locations to enhance pedestrian safety with flashing beacon systems in the city of Concord.
  • $249,480 to install bike lane buffer delineators to provide physical separation between bicycles and vehicles and install bike boxes at intersection approaches in city of Concord.
  • $531,360 for traffic signal and intersection safety improvements in the city of Danville.
  • $107,910 for Hartz Avenue corridor intersection safety improvements in the city of Danville.
  • $445,860 for pedestrian and bicycle safety improvements in the city of Moraga.
  • $220,500 for pedestrian and bicycle safety improvements in the city of Moraga.
  • $239,040 for safety improvements on arterial roadways in the city of Pinole.
  • $1.4M for Barrett Avenue Road improvements in the city of Richmond.
  • $224,640 for MacDonald Avenue pedestrian crossing safety upgrades in the city of Richmond.
  • $999,990 to replace guardrails in various locations throughout the county.
  • $249,840 to install Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons (RRFBs), bulb-outs and a median refuge island in the county.
  • $1.1M in the county to install bike lanes by widening and restriping the roadway and installing a centerline rumble strip.

More information on the program is available at Caltrans’ HSIP page, including a full list of approved projects.

Allen D. Payton contributed to this report.


Bus Bridge Alert: Major BART track work between Rockridge & Orinda weekends April 1-June 11

Tuesday, March 14th, 2023

Source: BART

On five non-consecutive weekends

BART’s next major track improvement project will focus on a portion of the Yellow Line. On five non-consecutive weekends in April, May, and June workers will replace an interlocking between Rockridge and Orinda stations. Interlockings allow BART to safely move trains from line to line and are an essential part of the system. Free buses will replace train service between Rockridge and Orinda stations on all five weekends.

The weekend dates for this project are April 1-2, April 15-16, May 13-14, May 27-29 (Memorial Day weekend), and June 10-11. Riders can expect delays of 30 minutes in the work area on shutdown weekends.

Yellow Line trains will run every 30 minutes on shutdown weekends. On each night of the weekend shutdowns the last scheduled departure from Antioch to Orinda that normally leaves at 11:44pm will be cancelled. Riders traveling westbound from Antioch must catch the earlier train at 11:14pm each night.

The equipment being replaced is decades old and has outlived its design life. Riders will enjoy a smoother, safer, more reliable, and quieter ride once the projects are complete. The Yellow Line is the busiest in the BART system.

This upcoming work is part of BART’s overall effort to improve the safety and reliability of the 131-mile, 50 station system. There are now more rebuilding projects happening across BART than at any point in its 50-year history. You can learn more about the progress of this work by reading the 2022 Measure RR Annual Report published by the independent Measure RR Bond Oversight Committee.

You can keep up with the latest updates for trackway repair projects that impact service by going to our Alerts and Advisories page. BART’s Trip Planner has been improved to show the full customer journey including bus bridges.

Learn more about the work happening between Rockridge and Orinda stations on our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page and Fact Sheet for the project.

Transit Driver Appreciation Day to be celebrated with free fares in Contra Costa March 18

Friday, March 10th, 2023

By Leeann Loroño, Manager of Customer Service and Marketing, Tri Delta Transit

Transit Driver Appreciation Day is Saturday, March 18 and Tri Delta Transit, County Connection, and WestCAT are celebrating in a special way– by going FARE FREE for the day. No payment will be required on all three agencies buses for fixed route and paratransit. Additionally, Tri Delta Transit’s ride-hailing service, Tri MyRide, will not require any payment for the day either.

Transit Driver Appreciation Day started in 2009 in Seattle as a blog about appreciating bus drivers. By 2014 the name was changed to cover the diverse transportation available throughout the United States. The day is set aside to thank and appreciate transit drivers for the great contributions they make to the community.

“The contribution drivers make has never been realized more than over the past three years of the pandemic. Transit operators performed a critical and essential service during this time by continuing to provide public transportation,” said Tri Delta Transit CEO, Rashidi Barnes. “Through these unprecedented times, our drivers showed continued courage, patience and perseverance.”

Transit Driver Appreciation Day, also known as Transit Operator Appreciation Day, continues to be a notable day for those who value public transportation. Through COVID-19 and risking possible exposure to the virus, transit operators continue to show up, adapting to ever changing regulations and working with unpredictable changes in ridership numbers as well as adapting to new schedules. Plus, national driver shortages add new responsibilities to cover shifts, perform extra cleaning and sanitizing of vehicle, all to ensure our transit system can keep running.

“There’s been a lot of unknowns in the past few years in public transit operations,” acknowledged Bill Churchill, General Manager of County Connection. “There can be a lot of multifaceted work a transit driver has to perform, including, thoroughly checking their vehicle before every route starts to ensure the safety of the riders, navigating traffic and accidents, learning new technology, and remembering customer service duties,” Churchill added, “We’re so proud that, despite any setbacks, we’ve maintained a high on-time performance rate—a testament to the dedication and hard work of our drivers.”

Rob Thompson, General Manager of WestCAT shared a similar sentiment of transit drivers, stating, “Our drivers truly are the front line for our agencies, their commitment and hard work are invaluable in providing public transit to our communities.”

Drivers are dedicated and hardworking because they drive as a service to the community. “We hope by going fare free, riders can focus on the driver and their rider experience, and visa-versa, instead of focusing on fares,” says Tri Delta Transit Board Chair Anissa Williams. “For Transit Driver Appreciation Day, agencies hope everyone takes a moment to thank their transit driver when riding the bus and posts positive messages on the social media pages of the system you ride so that the drivers can see them.” The transit agencies were also happy to offer free fares, as a day of fare free riding is also nice for passengers and helps to bring attention to this annual day of recognition.

To learn more about these transit agencies, visit, and

Amtrak riders in Antioch can comment on Draft San Joaquins Business Plan Update until March 15

Saturday, March 4th, 2023

The San Joaquin Joint Powers Authority (SJJPA) operates the Amtrak San Joaquins passenger rail line and through bus service which serves Antioch, Martinez and Richmond in Contra Costa County. Each year, SJJPA must develop and approve an updated Business Plan as required by SJJPA’s Interagency Transfer Agreement (ITA) with the State. The annual Business Plan is required to be submitted to the Secretary of CalSTA in draft form by April 1 of each year, and in final form by June 15 of each year to allow Amtrak time to finalize operating cost estimates.

As specified in AB 1779, the Business Plan shall include a report on the historical performance of the San Joaquins Service, an operating plan including proposed service enhancements to increase ridership, short-term and long-term capital improvement programs, funding requirements for the upcoming fiscal year, and an action plan with specific performance goals and objectives. The Business Plan shall document service improvements (rail and thruway/connecting bus) to provide the planned level of service, inclusion of operating plans to serve peak period work trips, and consideration of other service expansions and enhancements.

2023 SJJPA Business Plan

The San Joaquin Joint Powers Authority has released its 2023 Draft SJJPA Business Plan Update. Public comments must be submitted to Dan Leavitt at no later than Wednesday, March 15, 2023. DRAFT-2023-SJJPA-Business-Plan-Update_Public-Review-Draft.pdf


Allen D. Payton contributed to this report.


6th Annual Black Joy Parade in Oakland Sunday, Feb. 26

Friday, February 24th, 2023

By Harlo Pippenger, Consultant, San Francisco Bay Ferry

San Francisco Bay Ferry is proud to sponsor the 6th Annual Black Joy Parade in Oakland, a hyper-positive celebration of the Black experience and community during Black History Month. Visit their booth at the festival to learn more about getting around the Bay Area and California by ferry.

San Francisco Bay Ferry offers daily service connecting San Francisco to Oakland’s Jack London Square, a short distance from the Black Joy Parade and Festival.

Black Joy Parade. Photo from 2020 event

WHAT: The Black Joy Parade is an annual event featuring a festival and procession that brings together the community to highlight Black joy past, present, and future. The parade includes live music, art, vendors of all kinds, food, games, sponsor activations, dance, and more.

WHO: Black Joy Parade, sponsored by San Francisco Bay Ferry

WHEN: Sunday, February 26, 2023. Parade starts at 12:30pm, festival starts at 12pm.

WHERE: Downtown Oakland, CA. The parade begins at 14th and Franklin Streets in downtown Oakland. Festival entrance is at 19th and Franklin Streets.

Ride transit to ring in the New Year with Clipper® on your phone

Wednesday, December 28th, 2022

Don’t drop the ball on safety, savings or convenience

By John Goodwin, MTC

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) and Bay Area transit agencies encourage residents and visitors planning a night on the town to celebrate the new year this weekend to:

  • Travel by bus, train or ferry. Several Bay Area transit agencies — including BART —will extend their usual operating hours Saturday night and early Sunday morning to accommodate New Year’s Eve revelers.
  • Avoid long lines at the station by adding a Clipper card to your phone’s digital wallet ahead of time. No app fee is required, and customers can instantly load cash value with their Apple Wallet or Google Wallet. For those who already have Clipper, make sure you have your round-trip fare loaded before boarding.
  • Go to and visit Clipper’s Apple Pay or Google Pay pages for more information, including step-by-step instructions on how to add a new Clipper card to your iPhone or Android system phone running Android 5 or later.

Clipper will waive the standard $3 new-card fee for customers who choose Clipper on their mobile phone. The $3 fee will be charged to customers who opt for a traditional plastic card. MTC reminds travelers riding on BART that each rider age 5 or older needs their own Clipper card to pay the BART fare.

MTC is the transportation planning, funding and coordinating agency for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area. MTC operates the Clipper system on behalf of the region’s transit agencies.