Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Light rail, Altamont Pass, etc

Light Rail COA

BayRail Alliance will be hosting a meeting next week on the COA for the VTA light rail system. VTA's Kevin Connolly will be presenting. As reported here earlier, VTA is conducting a COA for the light rail to outline future system improvements and proposed operation scenarios to boost light rail ridership. Ridership on the VTA's light rail is lagging behind other similar systems in Portland, Sacramento, and San Diego.

November 19, 2009
7:00pm
City of Mountain View, Council Chambers
500 Castro Street, Mountain View (by Mercy Street)

Meal option will not be provided for this meeting.

Altamont Pass

ACE, FRA, and CHSRA are hosting a series of meeting today and next week to start the environmental planning process for the Altamont Corridor. Although Altamont did not make the cut to be the high speed corridor between Central Valley and the Bay Area, Sacramento nonetheless included Altamont as a complementary corridor in Proposition 1A.

The good part is that the corridor could be transformed into a near-HSR route with high quality passenger service. The bad part is that there's no funding available to build it, since it is secondary to the main HSR route, which is more likely to receive whatever HSR money that will be made available.

Even if there's no money associated with it for now, a parallel planning effort would make the Altamont a strong back up option if the Pacheco Pass option proves to be infeasible. As we already know, CHSRA does not have an agreement with UP, and not until the passage of Prop 1A, that the Pacheco Pass has generated local opposition in San Jose because of its alignment south of the Diridon station (and some of the proposed solutions proved to be sillier and more expensive). A well designed Altamont corridor could avoid impacts local neighborhoods and provide service in area with high TOD potential (North 1st Street).

All meeting will be held from 3:00–8:00pm in drop-in open house format:

* Tuesday: Robert Livermore Community Center, 4444 East Ave., Livermore.

* Thursday: San Joaquin Council of Governments, 555 E. Weber Ave., Stockton.

* Nov. 17: Fremont Teen Center, 39770 Paseo Padre Parkway, Fremont.

* Nov. 18: Le Petit Trianon Theatre, 72 N. Fifth St., San Jose.

6 comments:

Joe said...

any updates on what was presented at the COA meeting?

accountablevta said...

Here's the presentation shown at last week's meeting:

http://www.vta.org/studies/lrt_system_analysis/bay_rail_alliance_11_19.pdf

arcady said...

I think there are some important ideas in there, but they all require some capital expenditures to implement and I honestly have no idea how much money is actually going to be spent on this. I think the focus on speed is the right idea, and the idea to speed up the downtown section is a good one, and the 65 mph/express train idea for the south line is sufficiently cost-effective that it's worth trying. A savings of 5 minutes on the express section, plus the 3-4 minutes through Downtown makes the commute from the south to North 1st that much more competitive. An extension to SJSU also seems like a cost-effective idea, especially if they're going to be rebuilding the downtown section, and building a wye at 1st/San Carlos would provide the operational flexibility to turn trains from the north as well as the south. Also, operationally, kicking the Vasona line off North 1st would allow for more effective inter-line connections during the evening, when there are 30 minute headways.

arcady said...

Also, they don't seem to mention any of the quick fixes like changing the delayed-activation crossings on the Mountain View line, because it's silly to force the train to stop and wait for the gates to go down when there aren't any passengers getting on or off, and there aren't any cars on the road either.

Anonymous said...

Why doesn't VTA operate a shuttle from Santa Teresa - Diridon for Sharks home games? Seems like it would be an easy way to boost off-peak ridership and fill up those park and ride lots.

Lombardo Olimpia said...

Vta's kevin connolly, vta's kevin connolly, is so unobservant i could feel the Isaiahs attend around the hood like a bunny rabbit