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March 07, 2022

Comments

Barking Dog

Maybe Pine can personally loan Caltrain 500K again

Paloma Ave

I'll say it again.

Dump the 1830's technology.

In the post-pandemic world public transportation is out.

MBGA

I spent more than half my career using Caltrain to commute up to SF and down to Sunnyvale. I was a big supporter of Caltrain. But I think significant commuting on Caltrain is over. As Paloma points it is not useful anymore in the age of fear.

We have proved ourselves unworthy of managing our affairs. We blindly bought the Covid narrative and the last two years have shown that the population here in California can be jacked around to do anything out of fear. Anytime the powers that be want to, they can turn off our ability to commute freely, and they will do so. There is no way we should expect Caltrain to be a reliable mass transit solution anymore. The Health department and the teachers unions have more power than the Transportation department, and certainly more than citizens.

Now that is not to say that we need to dig up the tracks and sell off all the trains. I suggest we keep the tracks and keep a few trains that we can retrofit with messaging to be able to run them up and down the line for promoting the latest group think. Maybe add some public address speakers to replace the horns and large video monitors on both sides of the cars to get the messages across. Big video screens are better than the printed advertising Caltrain was using because the video screens can cycle the promotions in many languages for those that can read.

>>> SAFE AND EFFECTIVE >>> >>> Segura y efectiva >>> >>> SAFE AND EFFECTIVE >>>
>>> SAFE AND EFFECTIVE >>> >>> सुरक्षित और प्रभावी >>> >>> SAFE AND EFFECTIVE >>> >>> 安全有效 >>> >>> SAFE AND EFFECTIVE

HMB

I love commuting by train -- so much nicer than dealing with driving and parking. My problem is that my commute is irregular and I often have to work outside of "normal" commute hours. This is a real pain. It wasn't so bad when trains would run every half hour during the day, but when they run only every hour? If I miss my train, it's a complete hassle to wait another hour and not always possible with work. For an urban corridor like this, trains should be running every 15-20 minutes. Our 2-car family would ditch one of our cars in a heartbeat if the trains would run every 15-20 minutes. I think a lot of people would. I would use it regularly for shopping and visiting and heading for recreational activities and not just commuting to and from work if the trains ran more frequently like a subway/metro.

Christopher Cooke

When I worked downtown, I frequently commuted by Caltrain or BART. Caltrain is a much nicer experience in many ways.I could walk to Caltrain from my house instead of driving to Millbrae BART. The trains are cleaner usually than the BART trains, and the Caltrain stations are cleaner than most BART stations. But CalTrain is much less frequent and does not go to downtown SF, which requires the rider to transfer to Muni, the Jitney, or bring a bike to get to downtown, and to have a more predictable work schedule. BART has a much better schedule but you encounter more city problems, crime and dirty stations. Caltrain has a big problem also that itts schedule tends to get disrupted more than BART, e.g. train delays because of cars and people getting hit. I think we should have one agency managing both systems. This would make the most sense financially and from a commuter rider perspective but it will never happen due to agency rivalry etc.. I do think many revenue problems are likely short term, and not a long term threat to Caltrain, because I think more people will return to working in downtown SF as the pandemic turns into an endemic., and the big employers mandate working in the office 3 or 4 days a week.

MBGA

While it might seem we should have one bigger agency running both BART and Caltrain to save administrative costs and get better coordination, bigger agencies are always worse. I really doubt that a bigger government agency would have overall less employees and make better decisions. It is ALWAYS the opposite. And if we combine Caltrain and BART, then logically the next step would be to combine the other transportation agencies and modes in the bay area, and then California, and then let’s combine all the transportation in the country. And then it all fits into one big world strategy of control. Kind of like a new worldish orderish sort of thing. -- Don’t like it. Don’t want it.

And another thing. I don't expect to go back to normal for long. 1) midterms are coming up and 2) a lot of energy has gone toward creating vex passes and digital passports. I don’t think those guys working on it have been laid off.

Christopher Cooke

there was an article in SF Chronicle yesterday about all of the big companies downtown ordering their employees back to the office for work. MBGA, I think if agencies were consolidated we would or should have better coordinated schedules serving the riders. Right now you can take a BART train to Millbrae but have to wait almost an hour because a southbound Caltrain left a few minutes earlier. Also , as you note, there could be operational efficiencies from a consolidated management. At least that is how things should be done

MBGA

I’ll proudly admit that I have never worked for the government, but I don’t see why it takes combining two agencies to get coordination of schedules. It just requires one intelligent and knowledgable hands-on type of person from each agency talking to each other a bit. Not a large group of affirmitive action managers meeting for months and years.

I know the problem of getting off BART in Milbrae and having to wait in the cold for 59.5 minutes for the next Caltrain to arrive in the evening. But that is an issue of the amount of trains that Caltrain can afford to run; it’s not that the schedules aren’t perfectly coordinated. Too much of the time there is no practicle way to perfectly coordinate them.

My experience in better times was that Caltrain for its part was almost always on time, except for the rare Darwinian event. But in contrast BART was often delayed with mechanical problems or criminal activity. So even if a bigger agency could set up a coordinated schedule, the bigger agency would inevitably lead to even more personel costs that would impact the maintenance budget and then with even less maintenance you’d have even more delays on BART, and then eventually have Caltrain cars breaking down too.

I have my fingers crossed that we’ll see full trains going up and down the peninsula again, but it wouldn’t take much for another virus to get unleashed and scare half the population back into their masked world. There’s always something lurking out there and I think we’ve proved that we are willing to critically disrupt everything to fight a virus that for >99% of the population is survivable.

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