Tuesday, September 24, 2019

‘Lying to the Queen is not a good look’

Cold War Steve's satirical take on the UK prime minister's unlawful suspension of parliament, September 24, 2019. Copyright the artist.
Cold War Steve on the unlawful suspension of parliament 

Time Magazine

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BART: One of few successful rail projects

...The San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system is one of the few post-war rail systems that an urban area began to build without the promise of federal support. However, recent additions to the system have received support from New Starts.

Initially, BART suffered huge cost overruns and ridership fell well short of projections. Today, BART is considered to be a vital component of Bay Area transportation, mainly because of the large number of people it carries under the Bay between Oakland and San Francisco. 

However, few people look at the cost of BART to Bay Area transit: paying for BART required reducing resources to bus systems such as AC Transit and San Francisco Muni. (emphasis added)

Similar to Atlanta, Bay Area transit ridership peaked in the early 1980s, with 491 million bus and rail riders carried in 1982. At that time, buses were providing about 70 million vehicle-revenue miles of service per year. 

Although the population of the Bay Area (including Concord and Livermore but excluding San Jose) has grown by a third since that time, rail and bus ridership in the year ending June 2019 was less than 430 million, resulting in a 35 percent drop in per capita ridership.

BART is effectively a subsidy to property owners in downtown San Francisco, which has more jobs than any American downtown other than New York, Chicago, and Washington. If it weren’t for BART, many of those jobs would be in Oakland, San Ramon, or other east bay cities and congestion across the Bay Bridge would be about the same as it is today. 

In the meantime, bus ridership might not have declined by 40 percent since 1982, allowing many more low-income people to use transit to get to work...

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