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BART Millbrae cuts fail to stem SamTrans bleeding

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  • 5/1 California Rail News
    Published April-May, 2004, in California Rail News BART SFO/Millbrae revamp fails to satisfy San Mateo By Richard Tolmach Regional leaders have told BART and
    Message 1 of 1 , May 20, 2004
      Published April-May, 2004, in California Rail News

      BART SFO/Millbrae revamp fails to satisfy San Mateo

      By Richard Tolmach

      Regional leaders have told BART and San Mateo County to mediate
      their contract dispute, so that lawsuits don't jeopardize future
      transit funding. However, the battle is not over. So far, all that
      the parties have been willing to agree on is to make parking free in
      the three empty lots in South San Francisco, San Bruno and Millbrae.

      BART's inflated ridership projections and misleading statements
      regarding actual rider counts have precipitated a loss of faith by
      its most loyal Peninsula political allies, who want service cut back
      to affordable levels.

      BART's aggressive public relations spin and two reshufflings of the
      schedule -- one in January, another in mid-February -- did almost
      nothing to bolster ridership, and trimmed only a marginal amount of

      San Mateo County was led by BART to believe that its annual costs
      of subsidizing the service would be $6 million, an amount that in
      practice was expended in three months. County auditors, who believe
      the annual cost of BART payments could exceed $26 million, say the
      cost overrun threatens to bankrupt the transit account, undermining
      both Caltrain and SamTrans.

      BART was widely criticized for its threat to sue San Mateo County
      unless it receives $11 million owed under a formula the County views
      as unfair, San Mateo County Board Chair Mike Nevin, who wants peace
      on the agreement he helped foster, has told BART the County will
      pay, but only if BART agrees to a reduced schedule with quarter-
      hourly weekdays.

      As San Mateo sees it, the doubled peak service provides almost no
      benefits, yet pumps up payments by as much as 40 percent. "BART
      doesn't insist on running a second route to Walnut Creek where they
      have strong ridership, so why do they demand it in Millbrae, where
      you could literally shoot a cannon down the platform and not hit
      anyone?" said TRAC Board Member Dan McNamara.

      "The only logical explanation for BART's desire to continue empty
      trains is that the payment formula BART wrote must be a cash cow for
      the district, whether the trains are full or empty!"

      [BATN notes that there have been new developments since the above
      story went to press:

      BART, SamTrans settle SFO extension dispute

      SamTrans, BART reach agreement on Millbrae failure

      SamTrans deal to ax direct SF-Millbrae BART link

      SamTrans, BART make deal on SFO subsidy, service

      BART settles dispute, kills direct Millbrae route

      BART, SamTrans agree on failed SFO line subsidies

      SamTrans, BART agree on dividing SFO extension costs
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BATN/message/18111 ]
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