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Recommendations for Improving the Bay Area's Busiest Commute
Dylan Pilaar, Erin McAuliff, and Ratna Amin report on the state, and possible future, of the Bay Area's highest-volume commute: the Bay crossing between San Francisco and the East Bay. Despite increased demand in recent years, no new transportation capacity has been added to the route since 1972. Meanwhile, transbay trips are expected to grow by 70 percent between 2015 and 2035.
"Consensus is brewing that a new transbay rail line is needed to solve the problem. A big-picture vision for a second transbay BART tube (which SPUR called for in a 2009 Report), has gained traction in recent months. A second transbay rail tube — be it for BART, standard rail like Caltrain or Amtrak, high-speed rail or a combination of the three — is essential to solving the Bay Area’s transit capacity crunch."
Such solutions, however, are likely to take decades to plan and deliver, and will not help relieve transportation crunches in the meantime. The article, written by the trio for SPUR on the Medium website, focuses on what can be done while the region works toward next big transportation investments. For a start:
"The new San Francisco Bay Area Core Capacity Transit Study, which kicks off this year, will identify short-, medium- and long-term improvements in the transbay travel corridor. The study — which involves the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, the San Francisco County Transportation Agency, BART, AC Transit, the Water Emergency Transportation Agency and Caltrain — will paint a clear picture of commuter travel patterns and determine how best to address the needs of Bay Area commuters."
SPUR also recommends additional measures while that study is underway, including maximizing capacity and efficiency on the BART system, adding bus lanes on the Bay Bridge and its highway approaches, deploying new demand pricing models to provide incentives for alternative modes, and several more recommendations.