Posts Tagged ‘caltrain’

The Same Old Grind: Taking CL TRANE to Work – But At Least It’s Reliable

Monday, August 25th, 2014

As reliable as an aging Honda Civic, which is pretty reliable indeed.

One supposes this car driver is a Cal Train fan:

7J7C5963 copy

Icons of the Bay Area: CalTrain’s Baby Bullet Beneath Sutro Tower

Thursday, May 8th, 2014

Well, this photo doesn’t show a real bullet train, you know, whooshing past Mount Fuji or anything, but it does have a so-called “Baby Bullet” down at the bottom – that’s the best I can do at this time.

Click to expand

What the New “Lucky Strike” Upscale Bowling Lounge in SoMA Looks Like, Now That It’s Open

Friday, September 21st, 2012

It looks like this:

Click to expand

Quite a lot of stuff going on in that shot, huh?

I hadn’t seen the place since it opened up in March 2012.

This is what things look like back then:

The thing about Lucky Strike at 200 King near 4th Street is that’s it’s not like any bowling alley you’ve ever seen. Call it a “gastropub-ish funhouse” or an “upscale bowling lounge” instead.

Get the deets here and now let’s take a look.

Exterior at 200 King:

Click to expand

L.S. on the left, AT&T Park on the right, kitty-corner:

And the CalTrain station is to the right as you look outward:

Here’s the main bar and restaurant seating area. The idea of the communal tables on the left is to have them at Goldilocks height, not too low and not too high, to allow mixing and conversation betwixt those sitting and those standing.

OMG, this place is bigger than I thought it would be.

Moving on to the Einstein Room, with billiards and other diversions to entertain your brain:

But lets go further in, let’s go bowling:

Shoes shoes shoes!

On the way to the lanes:

I don’t know what this is:

Here we go, here are some of the lanes:

The main bowling area will have art all around, made by innumerable local artists. Here are some Obey Giants from Shepard Fairey, who used to be local.

Moving on past the Lebowski Wall(!) to…

…the Green Room, your own private party space with your own private lanes! OMG.

Can you imagine what kind of large, rich, youthful companies have already made reservations to rent out the Green Room and portions of the main bar area? Oh yes you can, give a guess and you’ll be correct. Anyway, here are the special Green Room lanes, one of which is named in honor of Brian Wilson, a part-owner.

In short, Lucky Strike is going to be awesome.

See you Friday!

San Francisco Corruption Revealed on the Floor of the House – Central Subway to Nowhere – A Short Speech

Friday, July 6th, 2012

The Subway to Nowhere. House Chamber, Washington, D.C. June 27, 2012. Remarks by Congressman Tom McClintock (R-CA).”

“Mr. Chairman:

This amendment forbids further federal expenditures for the Central Subway project in San Francisco.

The project is a 1.7 mile subway that is estimated to cost $1.6 billion –– and those cost estimates continue to rise.  Its baseline budget has more than doubled in nine years and shows no signs of slowing.  The current estimate brings the cost to nearly $1 billion per mile.  That’s five times the cost per lane mile of Boston’s scandalous “Big Dig.”

It was supposed to link local light rail and bus lines with CalTrain and Bay Area Rapid Transit, but it’s so badly designed that it bypasses 25 of the 30 light rail and bus lines that it crosses.  To add insult to insanity, it dismantles the seamless light-rail to BART connection currently available to passengers at Market Street, requiring them instead to walk nearly a quarter mile to make the new connection.  Experts estimate it will cost commuters between five and ten minutes of additional commuting time on every segment of the route.

The Wall Street Journal calls ita case study in government incompetence and wasted taxpayer money.”

They’re not alone.  The Civil Grand Jury in San Francisco has vigorously recommended the project be scrapped, warning that maintenance alone could ultimately bankrupt San Francisco’s Muni.  The former Chairman of the San Francisco Transportation Agency has called it, “one of the costliest mistakes in the city’s history.

Even the sponsors estimate that it will increase ridership by less than one percent, and there is vigorous debate that this projection is far too optimistic.

I think Margaret Okuzumi, the Executive Director of the Bay Rail Alliance put it best when she said,

Too many times, we’ve seen money for public transit used to primarily benefit people who would profit financially, while making transit less convenient for actual transit riders.  Voters approve money for public transit because they want transit to be more convenient and available…it would be tragic if billions of dollars were spent on something that made Muni more time consuming, costly and unable to sustain its overall transit service.”

This administration is attempting to put federal taxpayers – our constituents — on the hook for nearly a billion dollars of the cost of this folly through the “New Starts” program – or more than 60 percent.  We have already squandered $123 million on it.  This amendment forbids another dime of our constituents’ money being wasted on this boondoggle.

Now here is an important question that members may wish to ponder:  “Why should your constituents pay nearly a billion dollars for a purely local transportation project in San Francisco that is opposed by a broad, bi-partisan coalition of San Franciscans, including the Sierra Club, Save Muni (a grassroots organization of Muni Riders), the Coalition of San Francisco Neighborhoods, and three of the four local newspapers serving San Francisco?

Why, indeed.

I’m sorry, I don’t have a good answer to that question.  But those who vote against this amendment had better have one when their constituents ask, “What in the world were you thinking?”

# # #

This amendment to the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Act (HR 5972) was approved by the House on June 29th.  The legislation next goes to the Senate.

MUNI’s 83X “Twitterloin Express” Service Begins Today – From CalTrain to the Corrupt Twitterloin and Back

Monday, June 11th, 2012

Sixteen months ago:

Prospective Twitter Landlord Gave Newsom Rent Deal

Today:

“Here it is- the first run of the new “twitter line”. Guess how many people on board?! pic.twitter.com/YSezC2GF

From the CalTrain Station to Twitter and back again

So the lesson is this: If you have influence with former Mayor Gavin Newsom and he thinks you can help him fulfill his dream of becoming President of these United States, then maybe you’ll get your own bus line.

Hurray.

Oh, and do you think that this M-F bus line will cost less to operate than it costs to employ just one MUNI employee?

I don’t. But that’s what MUNI is saying

MSM Question of the Day: Do Trains Run on Gasoline? The SF Examiner’s “Caltrain could be off gas by ’19 under new plan”

Thursday, March 15th, 2012

Uh, trains don’t run on gasoline, for various good reasons.

(I thought this was common knowledge.)

Or natural gas neither, if that’s what you were going for.

Click to expand

“Diesel” would have worked though.

Yes, like the jeans.

Just saying.

Bro-ham.

OMG, Our New “Lucky Strike” Upscale Bowling Lounge in SoMA is Going to be Incredible! Opens March 9 – Sneak Peek Photos

Tuesday, March 6th, 2012

The thing about Lucky Strike at 200 King near 4th Street is that’s it’s not like any bowling alley you’ve ever seen. Call it a “gastropub-ish funhouse” or an “upscale bowling lounge” instead.

Get the deets here and now let’s take a look.

Exterior at 200 King:

Click to expand

L.S. on the left, AT&T Park on the right, kitty-corner:

And the CalTrain station is to the right as you look outward:

Here’s the main bar and restaurant seating area. The idea of the communal tables on the left is to have them at Goldilocks height, not too low and not too high, to allow mixing and conversation betwixt those sitting and those standing.

OMG, this place is bigger than I thought it would be.

Moving on to the Einstein Room, with billiards and other diversions to entertain your brain:

But lets go further in, let’s go bowling:

Shoes shoes shoes!

On the way to the lanes:

I don’t know what this is:

Here we go, here are some of the lanes:

The main bowling area will have art all around, made by innumerable local artists. Here are some Obey Giants from Shepard Fairey, who used to be local.

Moving on past the Lebowski Wall(!) to…

…the Green Room, your own private party space with your own private lanes! OMG.

Can you imagine what kind of large, rich, youthful companies have already made reservations to rent out the Green Room and portions of the main bar area? Oh yes you can, give a guess and you’ll be correct. Anyway, here are the special Green Room lanes, one of which is named in honor of Brian Wilson, a part-owner.

In short, Lucky Strike is going to be awesome.

See you Friday!

The Only Bay Area Transit App Worth Having is the Brand-New “511 Transit App” – Find It In Your Android Market for Free

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

(You know, someday I’ll have to explain why my aging Samsung smartphone is better than your brand-new iPhone 4S, you know the one that has that big “Apple” chip inside that’s made by, um, Samsung? My phone cost $40-something, the sales tax was $40-something, the monthly bill is $40-something (plus San Francisco’s rather high tax scheme, which means I’m paying $50-something per month), I talk as much as I want, I download as much as I want (but no texting, texting is not in my plan, oh well, someday I’ll tell you why that’s sometimes a good thing), I have a bigger, better screen, I have a lighter phone, and before the year is up, I’ll get another brand-new phone. And BTW, what’s the Apple “experience” about? Is it the experience of choosing between the unreliable network (AT&T) and the slow network (Verizon)? Why is it that my phone never drops calls and gets double-digit scores on the same test that you see in the previous link? It’s like 11 Mbps indoors in the Financh. That’s like an order of magnitude faster, right? Not that I care, really, but what am I missing but not paying extra for an iPhone? The phone I have is faster, better, harder, stronger than any iPhone. And, as a bonus, it’s way cheaper. Just saying.)

Sorry iPhone owners, the Only Bay Area Transit App Worth Having isn’t out yet for Appleland, but you Android users should step right up and type “511 transit” into your “Market” icon thingy.

MUNI sucks, of course, but 511 Transit works awesome with MUNI. Try it and you’ll see.

See?

All the deets:

“GPS-Based Trip Planning Available for more than 30 Bay Area Transit Agencies

OAKLAND, Calif., Feb. 22, 2012  – The Bay Area’s 511 traveler information system is now offering its first smartphone app for transit users. The free 511 Transit App is a multiple-agency public transit trip planner using GPS-based location tools for smartphones. Ideal for a daily commute, weekend errand or occasional trip, the app serves both residents and visitors who are planning transit trips within the nine-county region.

“We are pleased to offer this unique and powerful tool for transit riders in the Bay Area,” said Adrienne J. Tissier, chair of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC). “Now you can use one app to plan trips on more than 30 public transit agencies, accessing the most complete coverage for the San Francisco Bay Area.”

The free 511 Transit App can be downloaded through the Android Market (search for: 511 Transit). A version for iPhone 4 will be released soon. The new app provides door-to-door transit trip planning and scheduled departure times for transit routes near your location or from a location you specify. It includes information for 720 routes and more than 23,700 transit stops throughout the region. An interactive, dynamic map shows routes and stops along the way, as well as your current position while on the move. Walking directions to and from stops and fares (including transfers) are also displayed.

“Smartphones and on-the-go trip planning are becoming increasingly common, and 511 is now extending its Bay Area transit planning tools to these faster, more compact platforms,” said Tom Spiekerman, 511 Transit project manager. “Currently, 511 customers plan more than one milliontransit trips per month using the popular website version of the 511 Trip Planner. The new app brings core features of this tool to customers on the go.”

Additional app features include:

–  Recently viewed locations and trips are saved automatically, as well as
favorites.

 –  GPS positioning enables users to set their current location as a
starting point for a trip, or to find nearby stops and transit routes
with scheduled departure times.

–  The app incorporates transit agency announcements that may affect a
trip’s itinerary.

511 Transit App customers are able to provide feedback on the new app by clicking on the “Help/Info” button to send an email to the 511 Team.

The new app complements numerous options people already have to access 511 traveler information. Smartphone and other mobile phone users may access many of 511′s most popular features through the mobile 511 site (m.511.org), by calling 511 from any Bay Area phone, or by receiving real-time transit Departure Times texts (SMS).  Desktop users can access the information from 511.org.

The 511 Transit App includes data from SF Muni,  BART, AC Transit, VTA, SamTrans, Caltrain,  Golden Gate Transit, County Connection, Vallejo Transit, LAVTA, Sonoma County Transit, VINE (Napa County) and more than a dozen additional agencies. For a complete list of all transitagencies included in the 511 Transit app, please visit the trip planning page at 511.org.

For more information, please see the 511 Transit App for Android Fact Sheet.

About 511
511 is a one-stop phone and web source for up-to-the-minute Bay Area traffic, transit, rideshare and bicycling information. It’s free of charge and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from anywhere in the nine-county Bay Area. Call 511 or visit 511.org. 511 is managed by a partnership of public agencies led by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, the California Highway Patrol, Public Transit Agencies, and the California Department of Transportation.

SOURCE  511″

Meet Your San Francisco Bike Sharing Program – 500 Bicycles and 50 Stations Coming Next Year to FiDi, SoMA, Civic Center

Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

I guess they have the money now and they’re working on figuring out who’s going to run the thing.

Appears as if the SFMTA has given up on a giant Parisian Velib-style program with 5000 bikes strewn all over town – they’re starting small. Regardless, some of this free advice still applies.

The deets:

“…the pilot service area will be centered in San Francisco’s employment- and transit-rich Downtown/SOMA corridor between the Financial District, Market Street and the Transbay and Caltrain terminals.  This area is notably flat, has the densest bikeway network coverage in San Francisco and enjoys the highest levels of cycling, yet those who commute by transit from cities to the east and south encounter difficulties bringing a bicycle with them on BART or Caltrain.”

El Mapa:

Click to expand

So the stations might end up looking a little half-assed, owing to CEQA:

“Heath Maddox, senior planner for the Livable Streets Subdivision of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), says the defining characteristics of the service they’ve outlined in an RFP draft is that the bike system be solar-powered with no need for external AC power and no requirement for excavation that would turn the installation process into a construction project.”

Remember, sharing is caring.

All the deets:

“The map of the pilot service area presents northeast San Francisco. The highlighted area in the map is the bicycle sharing pilot service area bound by South Van Ness Avenue and the Ferry Terminal along Market Street. To the north, the service area boundary includes the Federal Building at Turk Street, Union Square at Post Street, the Broadway and Columbus Avenue intersection, and The Embarcadero at Sansome Street. To the south, the highlighted service area includes the Embarcadero to Mission Bay, Townsend Street and Concourse Exhibition Center.”

Bike Sharing

Bike sharing is coming to San Francisco! A regional pilot program led by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) in partnership with the SFMTA will bring approximately 50 bike share stations and 500 bikes to San Francisco’s downtown core beginning in spring 2012. The SFMTA is working with a regional team to implement this pilot along the Caltrain corridor in San Francisco, Mountain View, Palo Alto, Redwood City and San Jose and shown in this Regional Bike Sharing System map. The project is funded through a combination of local, regional and federal grants with major funding coming from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission’s Innovative Bay Area Climate Initiatives Grant Program (BACI).

What is bike sharing?

Similar to car sharing, bicycle sharing is a term used to describe a membership-based system of short-term bicycle rental.  Members can check a bicycle out from a network of automated bicycle stations, ride to their destination, and return the bicycle to a different station.  Bicycle sharing is enjoying a global explosion in growth with the development of purpose-built bicycles and stations that employ high tech features like smartcards, solar power, and wireless internet and GPS technologies.

Who is involved with launching the San Francisco bike sharing system?

The BAAQMD is the overall regional project lead, coordinating the planning and implementation efforts of the local partners: the City and County of San Francisco, the Cities of San Jose, Mountain View and Palo Alto in Santa Clara County and the City of Redwood City in San Mateo County. The SFMTA is leading the project in San Francisco, and we are working in cooperation with our City and County partners, including the Planning Department, Department of Public Works, San Francisco Recreation and Park Department and the Port of San Francisco. The regional partners will be selecting a contractor in fall 2011 to install, operate, and manage the system.

Where will bike sharing be located in San Francisco?

As the San Francisco Bicycle Sharing Pilot Service Area map (PDF) presents, in San Francisco, the pilot service area will be centered in San Francisco’s employment- and transit-rich Downtown/SOMA corridor between the Financial District, Market Street and the Transbay and Caltrain terminals.  This area is notably flat, has the densest bikeway network coverage in San Francisco and enjoys the highest levels of cycling, yet those who commute by transit from cities to the east and south encounter difficulties bringing a bicycle with them on BART or Caltrain. Much of San Francisco’s densely urbanized northeastern quadrant is similarly well-suited to bicycle sharing.

When will bike sharing launch in San Francisco?

The regional partners will be selecting a vendor to install, operate, and manage the bike sharing system in 2011 with the goal of a system launch in Spring/Summer 2012!

Further Information

If you have any questions, comments or feedback about bike sharing, contact the SFMTA at sustainable.streets@sfmta.com.

Meet MUNI’s Most Popular Bus Route, the #76 Marin Headlands – Only on a Sunday

Thursday, April 21st, 2011

Finally, the Yelpers agreethe 76 Marin Headlands rulez!

Check it, Per Helen L:

“I hate that this bus ONLY runs on Sundays and certain holidays.
I hate that this bus ONLY runs once an hour.
I hate that this bus stops running in the evening.
However, this is still the bestest MUNI route EVER!!!”

Here it is, in action near the Golden Gate Bridge:

Click to expand

See you on the 76!

All the deets after the jump

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