Playing With Politics

A Blog on Law, Politics, Planning, Development, and Other Vices

Posts Tagged ‘BART Extension’

BART – A Love, Hate Relationship

Posted by Roobs on July 12, 2010

I started writing this post a couple weeks ago to talk about BART’s recent Livermore Extension plan.  But instead, it has turned into a post about my relationship with BART; a love-hate relationship.  And as I stop and think about it, I feel no type could describe the relationship between BART and rider better.

Like a lot of transit advocates in the Bay Area, I have an intrinsic issue with BART extension.  When BART comes out and says “we want to extend the system”, my immediate reaction is to raise a Spock-like eyebrow.  These issues are in large part because BART is spending billions of dollars on expanding to areas that have yet to really warrant the exaggerated ridership projections that usually accompany a BART extension proposal.

The problem is that rail lines often merely match the convenience of a car and frequently come at greater than anticipated expense with lower than expected ridership. Given these considerations and a fiscal climate which has forced us to rethink our transit priorities, BART’s enthusiasm for suburban system extensions is misplaced and has the potential to rob the core system of valuable resources.  I believe there is a point when specific modes of rail transit become inefficient compared to other and we should be mindful of the context in which we are trying to connect different parts of a region.

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