Can BART Afford It's Expansions?

The Bay Area's 104-mile heavy rail system, BART, is planning major expansions. But many transit supporters, rather than cheering the new service and ridership the extensions would produce, are sounding alarms.

Will BART's expansion plans lead to "cannibaliz(ation of) the core system", as suggested by one transit advocate?

Expansion from the current East Bay terminus of Fremont to San Jose/Santa Clara "would include 16 new miles
of BART trackway and six stations, (and) is one of four major extension projects currently being reviewed by the transit agency, with other projects expanding service to East Bay cities including Antioch and Livermore," reports Will Riesman for the San Francisco Examiner.

"We have a $7 billion shortfall when it comes to getting our current equipment up to a state of good repair," said BART Director Tom Radulovich, who represents San Francisco on the agency's board. "Expanding the system is taking discretionary money that could be used directly for maintenance services. By ignoring our maintenance, we create a system that is less safe, and less reliable."

Thanks to ClimatePlan

Full Story: The high price of BART's expansion



Bay Area Transportation and its Opposition

The Bay Area transportation dialogue is odd. There are absolutely none of your typical anti-transit zealots (anti-tax, libertarian, pro-auto-only) like most other regions. Rather, all the opposition to transit in the Bay Area is from so-called transit advocates who hate BART and any form of high quality rail transportation mode in favor of unattractive buses stuck in traffic or some half assed exurban rush hour only diesel commuter rail shuttle to feed outlying BART stations requiring another transfer and which adds perhaps the 50th separate transit agency to the Bay Area. They are opposed to BART to SJ, BART to Livermore/ACE, Oakland Airport BART rail shuttle and the Muni Central Subway.

Most other places in the US, it is the transit advocates who are screaming for the local transit agency to reach beyond some pseudo-BRT proposal (with no public appeal) in favor of a light/heavy rail line (with public appeal). In the Bay Area, it is the opposite, the transit agencies have more vision than the "transit advocates." Not to mention there is widespread support from common taxpaying citizens in the Bay Area for the BART system and the further expansion of it, there are no wild suburban conspiracy theories about transit expansion in the Bay Area like elsewhere. If BART is what the public at large wants, chooses to ride and is willing to support with their tax dollars, why build anything else?

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