san francisco bay area rail expansion projects promises and performance n.
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  2. THE SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA AS A CASE STUDY • BART Expansions • Dublin – Pittsburg – SFO/Millbrae • Livermore – Warm Springs/San Jose • Caltrain (Commuter Rail) • ACE and Capital Corridor Commuter/ Intercity Rail • Valley Transit (San Jose) Light Rail • San Francisco MUNI Light Rail • Oakland Airport Connector

  3. POINTS TO CONSIDER –PROMISES VS. PERFORMANCE • Capital Cost • Total • Local Share • Revenue Operations Date • Operating Cost and Subsidy • Ridership • Congestion Relief • Real Estate Development

  4. SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA • Following will track Bay Area Major Investments through four Metropolitan Transportation Commission Resolutions from 1988 through 2008 • Where possible, costs are converted to 2008 dollars; some future cost data is only available in year-of-expenditure (YOE) dollars

  5. THE BIG PICTURE • Although not all Bay Area rail projects are BART projects, there are more BART projects than any other and these are the majority of the costs • Virtually all non-BART rail projects are connected to BART extensions, directly through service operated and/or through the political agreements that got them approved and funded

  6. Report to California State Legislature – 1957

  7. 11. Sonoma-Marin Rail Metropolitan Transportation Commission (San Francisco Bay Area) 2002 Map – and costs 13. Capital Corridor 8., 19. New Transbay Terminal, High Speed Rail 2. BART to Pittsburg 15. eBART East Contra Costa Extension 10. MUNI Extensions 18. Oakland Airport Connector 1. BART to SFO/Millbrae 3. BART Dublin/ Pleasanton 16. eBART Tri-Valley 12. Altamont Commuter Express 7., 9. Caltrain Baby Bullet, Electrification 14. VTA Light Rail 4., 5. BART to Warm Springs/San Jose 17. Dumbarton Rail 6. Caltrain to Gilroy

  8. THE BART “TREATY” I • After the original 70-mile BART system opened in 1972, there were great pushes for expansion in all directions • In the East Bay, the Eastern parts of Alameda and Contra Costa Counties were paying the BART sales tax, but not getting rail service (there were connector buses) • The East Bay extension proposals were not believed to be sufficiently cost-effective to qualify for Federal “new starts” grants

  9. THE BART “TREATY” II • BART to SFO was believed to be eligible for Federal “new starts” funding, but SFO is in San Mateo County, and San Mateo had dropped out of BART two decades previously, and there was great resentment about letting it back in, and particularly about San Mateo getting BART extensions prior to East Bay extensions to serve people who had been paying BART taxes for decades without rail service

  10. THE BART “TREATY” III • The deal reached: • Alameda, Contra Costa, and San Mateo Counties would all ask voters for sales taxes to pay for BART extensions • The SFO extension – the only one thought to be eligible – would go for Federal funding, the others would not • San Mateo County would pay a large BART “entry” fee which would pay for a major share of the East Bay extensions out of SFO extension operating profits • San Mateo County would get both BART to SFO and Caltrain improvements

  11. 1. BART TO SFO/MILLBRAE I • This had been key part of long-term BART expansion plan • Extension in three separate phases from Daly City BART station, which sits on San Francisco/San Mateo border: • “Tail track” for storage of trains off-peak • Colma station • Four additional stations, with very strange dual terminus: • SFO as a non-thru station • Millbrae, with cross-platform connection to Caltrain

  12. 1. BART TO SFO/MILLBRAE II • Colma to SFO/Millbrae • Original construction cost projection: $1,315 million • Actual construction cost: $1,938 million • All of overrun ($623 million) was borne by local agencies, causing major problems • Opening delayed ~18 months • Ridership for last four stations in FY08 (14,271) was <40% of projected FY10 ridership of 73,800 • As this was to produce operating “profit,” poor ridership caused/causes major financial problems for BART, SamTrans, & Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), MPO for Bay Area

  13. 2. BART TO PITTSBURG • 7.8 miles, two stations • Opened 1997 • $754 million capital cost • ~14,500 daily trips in FY08 • This was a key part of the “treaty,” with this extension to Eastern Contra Costa County being very important to politico’s from that area.

  14. 3. BART TO DUBLIN/PLEASANTON • Original cost projection: $447 million • Actual construction costs: $770 million • Opened 5/97 • ~21,000 daily trips in FY08 • Cost overruns and other problems meant that the BART Warm Springs extension, originally to be constructed more-or-less at same time, funded from same sources, had to be delayed

  15. 4. BART TO WARM SPRINGS I • Extension of BART Fremont Line to Alameda-Santa Clara county line • Only reason for extension is to enable BART service to San Jose; Warm Springs ridership would be minimal • Originally projected at $689 million, to be completed by early 1990’s • Originally to be paid for by 1988 Alameda County sales tax and operating surplus from BART to SFO service

  16. 4. BART TO WARM SPRINGS II • Cost overruns on Dublin BART extension took all available funding • 2000 Alameda County sales tax was second attempt to fund construction • Current construction cost projection is $776 million • Funding currently questionable, given problems with Sam Mateo County contribution – but I expect that a way will be found to proceed

  17. 5. BART TO SAN JOSE I • Currently in Federal “new starts” environmental clearance process for MOS-1 • Maps first, then discussion

  18. Project Background –Approved CEQA ProjectBART to Milpitas, San Jose and Santa Clara • 16.1-mile extension • 6 stations (plus 1 future) • 2 at-grade • 3 subway • 1 aerial • 1 optional at-grade • Maintenance facility in San Jose/Santa Clara • 6 minute headways

  19. Berryessa Extension Project Alternative The Berryessa Alternative is the project being evaluated in the federal New Starts funding process.

  20. 5. BART TO SAN JOSE II • In 2001 Regional Transportation Plan, MTC showed cost/new passenger for BART to San Jose at over $100 • $200 for daily round trip • $1,000 per week • $4,000+ per month • $50,000+ per year • The average bus project was $7, many lower • Naturally, BART to San Jose was the highest priority project in the RTP

  21. 5. BART TO SAN JOSE III • When VTA took over planning, it changed the assumptions, chiefly to project that downtown San Jose would grow substantially around the BART stations: • 180,000 new residents • 176,000 new jobs • 144 million square feet of office space • MTC projected 11,500 daily riders, VTA has projected 78,000-111,500

  22. 5. BART TO SAN JOSE IV • Consider this: If the San Jose CBD were to achieve this type of growth, and given that BART would only serve the CBD from one direction and short stub from another, the number of people who would be entering the area would be unable to use BART, plus the necessary freight movements, would cause surface and freeway travel to decline to a crawl

  23. 5. BART TO SAN JOSE V • Some of the implications of the plans are almost funny in their disregard for common sense – for example: • The 2004 EIR showed an average BART fare of $4.81, in 2003 dollars; in 2003, the actual average BART fare was $2.04 • The average fare/passenger mile was $.592; the actual 2003 BART average was $.167 • Given the recent experience with BART to SFO’s ridership and fare revenue projections, this should be considered closely

  24. 5. BART TO SAN JOSE VI • Construction Cost Projections (Warm Springs-San Jose): • 1988: $2,180 million • 2002: $5,137 million • 2006: $5,799 million • 2008: $7,023 million (YOE) • Anyone who wishes to place a bet on these not being exceeded, please see me right after this panel presentation is completed

  25. 5. BART TO SAN JOSE VII • This project is so bad that, when a high-ranking delegation from Santa Clara County called on the U.S. Secretary of Transportation to approve the project, he advised them to pull it out of consideration because it would receive a “not recommended” • That Secretary of Transportation was Normal Mineta, the former Mayor of San Jose, ten-term Congressman representing the area, and the man who had a great deal to do with “inventing” earmarking of “new start” grants in order to get San Jose’s first light rail project funded

  26. 6. CALTRAIN TO GILROY • Operates with track rights granted by UP - $4 million one-time cost, with option to buy half of alignment • ~$93 million capital costs • Opened for service 1/1/92

  27. 7. CALTRAIN BABY BULLET • North of Gilroy service, Baby Bullet serves approximately eight stations, less than half those of “regular” service • Time savings as much as 57 vs. 84 minutes • ~22 Baby Bullet trains (one-way) working weekdays, vs. ~78 local and limited trains • Started Service June 2004 • Cost: ~$135 million • Caltrain Ridership up 48%, FY03-FY07 • Success of Baby Bullet appears to be main reason why BART to SFO ridership low

  28. 8. NEW TRANSBAY TERMINAL I • Current Transbay Terminal pre-WWII, originally where Key System Electric Interurban trains from East Bay interfaced with MUNI streetcars and buses • Transportation Center of Bay Area, with several bus transit operators, Greyhound, others; BART one block away • Serious seismic safety issues require significant rebuilding, replacement – or new purpose for facility

  29. 8. NEW TRANSBAY TERMINAL II • Caltrain does not serve San Francisco central business district, stopping approximately one mile short of Market St. • Part of BART to SFO “treaty” was bringing Caltrain to the actual CBD, thereby eliminating need for transfers at end of trip • City of San Francisco very interested in “redevelopment” of area, with new Transbay Terminal as the key element • Proposed SF terminus for California High Speed Rail

  30. 8. NEW TRANSBAY TERMINAL III • Major part of cost is multi-track subway over one mile under San Francisco CBD, near Bay • Cost projections: • Existing structure seismic retrofit and code compliance: $ 91 million • Replace bus terminal: $ 182-221 million • Bus/train terminal (1988): $ 840 million • Bus/train terminal (2002): $2,229 million • Bus/train terminal (2006): $2,741 million • Bus/train terminal (2008): $4,185 million (YOE)

  31. 8. NEW TRANSBAY TERMINAL IV • Although project was assumed to be fully funded in prior plans, it is now shown with a multi-billion dollar shortfall • Plans have assumed that HSR would pay $400-500 million for access – which now appears questionable, even after passage of Proposition 1A • Part of the latest cost increase is requirement to do project in two phases, the first being bus only ($1,189 million), but with later additional of rail in design

  32. 9. CALTRAIN ELECTRIFICATION • Cost projections have ranged from ~$500-700 million, and have gone up and down. • This has been largely “sold” to the public as a “clean green” measure, getting rid of diesel locomotives, plus speeding up service • It appears, however, that one very important driver is that it would be difficult and complex to operate the proposed new Transbay Terminal without electric “subway” service

  33. 10. MUNI EXTENSIONS I • Many different extensions, completed and planned: • “F” – Market & Wharves – traditional streetcar service on Market street and North around the Embarcadero to Fisherman’s Wharf, much of the service operated with MUNI’s historic collection of streetcars from around the world – outstanding as an element of San Francisco’s tourism and convention business desirability, well utilized, and was not expensive to construct

  34. 10. MUNI EXTENSIONS II • “N” – Extension of MUNI Metro (subway under Market Street) on surface to South of downtown • Serves Giants ballpark (one of the very few build in the U.S. without public sector funds), which is essential, given the shortage of parking in the area • Serves Caltrain SF Station, providing excellent transfer service to Market Street corridor • Highly utilized • Relatively inexpensive to build

  35. 10. MUNI EXTENSIONS III • “T” – Third Street • Basically replaced highly utilized bus routes • 5.4 miles, 19 stations • Construction Cost: $696 million • Projected ridership (2015): • Total 71,000 • New 670 (.9%) • The project provides a significant improvement in speed and consistency of travel for pre-existing riders • This is “local match” for the Central Subway LRT

  36. Extension from “T” Line

  37. 10. MUNI EXTENSIONS IV • Central Subway LRT • 1.7 miles, three (?) stations • Ridership (2030): • Total: 44,000 • New: 4,800 (11%) • $1,289.75 million (YOE) – $759 million/mile • Project would provide speed advantage for some, but given the small number of stations, many others are better served by existing transit connections (Note: This project is in the Congressional District of the Speaker of the House of Representatives)

  38. 11. SONOMA-MARIN RAIL I • DMU commuter rail between Cloverdale in Northern Sonoma County to Larkspur Ferry Terminal in Central Marin County • ~70 miles of track; 14 stations; 13 trains per day, each way • Single-track operation • Initial 5,300 daily (one-way) ridership • Capital cost: $541 million (YOE), including ~$90 million for bicycle/pedestrian trail for entire length of project

  39. 11. SONOMA-MARIN RAIL II • The proposed ¼¢, two-county sales tax to build and operate SMART had previously been defeated three times at the polls; last month, it exceeded the two-third majority required with 69.5% approval • The original plans for SMART verged on the hilarious: • If operated at specified, the second South- bound train would have had a head-on collision with the first North-bound one • There were no plans to store the cars at the South end of the line from the morning peak – and no other way of handling them

  40. 12. ALTAMONT COMMUTER EXPRESS • Commuter Rail Service operated between Stockton in Central Valley and San Jose through Alameda County • Reaction to Bay Area real estate prices and lack of availability, which has made such long distance commutes common • Three-county “joint venture” • 86 miles of track, 10 stations, four trains each way each workday • 2,800 daily (one-way) trips (FY07)

  41. 13. CAPITAL CORRIDOR • Intercity (not transit) rail; Auburn-Sacramento-Oakland-San Jose • 170 miles of alignment; 17 stations; 16 trains per day, each way • Approximately 6,000 daily (one-way) riders • Serves eight counties, six agencies represented on 16-member Board • Amtrak operates service; BART has management/planning/financial oversight responsibility

  42. 14. VTA LIGHT RAIL I • This section is provided primarily to demonstrate one of the main problems with BART to San Jose; namely, VTA, the sponsor of the project, is the worst transit operator in the U.S. • When the opponents of Proposition B, the 1/8¢ sales tax that is supposedly the final funding piece for BART to San Jose stated that VTA light rail was the worst in the U.S. in their ballot argument, VTA took the them to court – after hearing both sides, the Judge let the statement stand

  43. 14. VTA LIGHT RAIL II • Greater San Jose may be the world capital of the “everybody going everywhere” travel pattern, despite attempts at governments to change this – this makes serving this pattern with transit very difficult • VTA compounds this central issue with some of the worst management, particularly in terms of cost control, in the transit industry or local government (Santa Clara County is well known in California government circles as “Santa Claus County” for its pay and benefits packages)

  44. 14. VTA LIGHT RAIL III • To illustrate how poorly VTA is run, the following graphs show my favorite cost-effectiveness metrics for VTA and its peers, with subsidy/passenger and subsidy/ passenger-mile, using data from the Federal Transit Administration’s National Transit Database for the 2005 reporting year • Light rail first, then bus

  45. 14. VTA LIGHT RAIL IV • In my long experience in doing peer performance metric analysis, I have never found any agency that is so consistently either one of the worst or, commonly, the absolute worst, on every single metric as VTA; they are clearly the place to go when you are looking for truly terrible transit agency performance in every possible way

  46. 14. VTA LIGHT RAIL V • In transit, a major part of the service planning is finding the right tool to serve the need • You only invest in high-cost guideway transit when there is a large demand for service in a corridor – and that is only one of many requirements. Light rail requires far more ridership than bus to make sense, and heavy rail far more than light rail. • VTA started by operating the worst bus service in the U.S., so it moved on to failing at light rail – and now it wants to try heavy rail?