Thursday, November 29, 2007

New maps and timetables ready, light rail's 20th anniversary, Caltrain proposed schedule change

VTA's web site has now included new bus schedules that will take effect on January 14. Throughout December and early January, VTA will be tabling at various sites offering trip planning to riders.

Light rail's 20th anniversary

20 years ago, the Santa Clara County Transit District opened its first segment of light rail in North San Jose, between Younger Street and Old Ironsides station.

Is the light rail's 20th anniversary something worth celebrating?

After two decades, various system extensions, and an expensive conversion to low floor rail cars, light rail has received way more criticisms than praises. The light rail's passenger load and farebox recovery rank low compared to other light rail systems in the rest of the country. Light rail has not helped turn Downtown San Jose into a major employment or shopping destination. For the majority of commuters having jobs in North San Jose, Sunnyvale, and Mountain View, the 10 mph segment in Downtown San Jose is a huge liability rather than an asset. A lot of folks said that light rail should've skipped downtown and instead head straight to the airport.

The scary part is that these downtown delusionals that were once counting on light rail are now counting on BART in hopes to turn the downtown around. If folks in South San Jose are not riding light rail to downtown, or even drive to downtown at all, why should these downtown delusionals think they could get folks from Oakland or Berkeley to go to downtown San Jose?

Caltrain proposed schedule change

Since the August 2005 schedule change that increased the number of Baby Bullet trains, there are gaps over an hour long in early evening service for both northbound and southbound trains. The current proposal would add an additional round trip within the gap and reschedule other trains to provide an hourly headway. Caltrain says that it can add trains because of the operational efficiency resulted from the new maintenance facility in San Jose.


Jonah P said...

Quite a contrast there, with VTA light rail looking like a complete dud at 20, and Caltrain looking like a serious, successful public transit system, also 20 years after the PCJPB took over service.

accountablevta said...

Imagine what Caltrain could be if VTA were to spend half of what they spent on light rail to Caltrain instead.

JMD said...

Sounds like there is multiple issues here.
First you have the problems in downtown which can be blamed on multiple factors.
Yes VTA light rail is one of the worst but then again using data from Rubin is suspect considering his extreme bias.

Winston said...

Tom Rubin's data mostly comes from the National Transit Database, which is hardly a biased source. Having interacted with him numerous times, I've found his source data are always very high quality. I sometimes disagree with his conclusions, but I've never once seen him abuse data.