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New SFO terminal cost-overrun dispute

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  • 12/3 SF Chronicle
    Published Sunday, December 3, 2000, in the San Francisco Chroncicle Dispute Over Cost Of SFO Terminal Contractor at odds with airport Patrick Hoge, Chronicle
    Message 1 of 21 , Dec 4, 2000
      Published Sunday, December 3, 2000, in the San Francisco Chroncicle

      Dispute Over Cost Of SFO Terminal
      Contractor at odds with airport

      Patrick Hoge, Chronicle Staff Writer

      San Francisco -- San Francisco International Airport throws open the doors
      this week to its new international terminal, but behind the scenes,
      airport representatives are feuding with the general contractor over many
      millions of dollars in disputed costs.

      Although commercial passenger flights will begin leaving from the terminal
      starting Tuesday, the gleaming structure still isn't complete. Sixteen
      months after it was originally to have opened, thousands of details
      unrelated to the building's basic health and safety remain unfinished.

      The main terminal's $635 million price tag is at least $259.9 million over
      the starting contract price. Remaining items range from light switch
      covers to improperly hung doors, said Peter Nardoza, the airport's deputy
      director.

      While much of the extra money was for additions to the original design,
      the airport has threatened to seek damages for delay-related expenses and
      what it has called poor workmanship by the lead contractor, a joint
      venture led by Los Angeles County contracting titan Ron Tutor, and its
      subcontractors.

      At the same time, the Tutor-led partnership, which includes Tutor-Saliba
      Corp. of Sylmar, Perini Corp. of Massachusetts and Buckley & Co. of
      Philadelphia, has complained angrily that airport representatives have
      rejected numerous large requests for what are known as change orders --
      unforeseen increases over the agreed-upon contract amount.

      Airport Director John Martin has insisted that for such a large and
      complex undertaking, the entire $2.9 billion airport expansion has gone
      remarkably smoothly.

      Nevertheless, Nardoza acknowledged Friday it will be months before the
      airport knows whether it can negotiate agreements with
      Tutor-Saliba-Perini-Buckley.

      "It is the airport's hope that these claims and counterclaims can reach a
      negotiated settlement, but if a negotiated settlement cannot be reached,
      or course, there can be litigation," Nardoza said. Such disputes, Nardoza
      said, are typical of big construction projects, whether private or public.

      Likewise, Jack Frost, senior vice president of
      Tutor-Saliba-Perini-Buckley, suggested Friday that litigation is not
      inevitable.

      "I don't believe there's anything on the job that can't be settled right
      now," Frost said.

      Nevertheless, a review of official correspondence between airport
      representatives and the Tutor-led venture reveals an often contentious
      relationship, with the airport threatening financial sanctions as
      deadlines passed and repeatedly questioning the validity of some of the
      contractor's bills.

      The airport maintains the hundreds of thousands of pages of letters in a
      secure room in anticipation, among other things, of possible litigation.

      Though often technical in nature, the letters passed between Tutor-Saliba-
      Perini-Buckley and the airport are sprinkled with accusatory words like
      "unconscionable," "inconceivable," "spurious," "contemptuous" and
      "capricious."

      A recurrent complaint from Tutor's people is that the airport's contract
      manager, SFO Associates, did not acknowledge how much extra time and money
      were involved in the substantial revisions that the Airport Commission
      made to its design plans after the original construction contracts were
      signed.

      The contractor has made similar complaints regarding some of its other
      airport contracts, which total several hundred million dollars.

      In the world of public contracting, experts say, the best way to prevent
      such cost disputes is to specify on paper exactly what a project involves
      before seeking bids.

      "You better make sure in that situation that you are rigid about your
      design and not going to make any changes," said David Hatheway, project
      manager for the privately financed Pacific Bell Park, which in March came
      in on time and on budget.

      That is not what the Airport Commission did.

      After signing the international terminal construction contracts, the
      commission added a BART station inside the terminal and reconfigured large
      areas to add more concessions and airline lounge space.

      The deadline for "substantial completion" of the international terminal
      was originally July 29, 1999, but that was moved to last Dec. 31.
      Tutor-Saliba-Perini-Buckley said in October 1999 that it had reached that
      critical milestone, but the airport disagreed. It did not find that the
      contractor had met the goal until this past summer.

      In January of this year, airport contract manager John Draguesku warned
      Tutor-Saliba-Perini-Buckley that delay-related costs "will be accounted
      for, and may result in damages owed to the airport."

      The contractor reacted hotly, demanding documentation of any defective
      work and delays.

      Frost accused the airport in one letter of "belated machinations" and
      called for a meeting with attorneys present. Company project manager
      Michael Kerchner later accused the airport of "posturing" and trying to
      spread blame for delays caused by other contractors.

      For all the fireworks, it is unclear exactly how much money could be at
      stake.

      The airport has neither calculated the potential damages it could seek,
      nor compiled the Tutor-Saliba-Perini-Buckley change orders it has
      rejected. Frost declined to discuss financial implications.

      For comparison, however, a smaller Tutor-led contract for a new boarding
      area so far has produced $5.4 million of rejected change orders out of
      $37.4 million submitted, with $3.1 million still pending.

      So far on the international terminal, airport representatives have
      approved a whopping $259.9 million in change order requests from
      Tutor-Saliba-Perini-Buckley.

      Two other companies with far smaller contracts than
      Tutor-Saliba-Perini-Buckley, meanwhile, have already filed claims with the
      airport for a total of $8.8 million.

      Rob Wassmer, professor of public policy and economics at California State
      University at Sacramento, said the public contracting system encourages
      businesses to bid low and seek changes later, because it is the low bidder
      who wins the job. Once a job starts, it is usually too expensive to
      replace a contractor, he said.

      Whether deserved or not, Tutor has gained a particular reputation for
      generating significant change orders. In 1992, then-Los Angeles Mayor Tom
      Bradley labeled Tutor "a change order artist."

      Tutor has repeatedly sued government agencies and won large settlements.

      In the case of the San Diego Convention Center, which was completed in
      1989,

      Tutor-Saliba sued the city port commission and settled in 1993 for $17
      million. In 1994, Tutor-Saliba won the largest settlement ever from the
      state Department of Transportation -- $39 million -- following a dispute
      over delays in completing a highway bypass in Northern California.

      Tutor's tactics may be coming back to haunt him in Los Angeles, where
      Tutor's lawsuit against the Metropolitan Transportation Agency for $11
      million in subway construction costs prompted the agency to countersue for
      numerous alleged civil violations, including filing false claims.

      In light of that lawsuit, some of Draguesku's more pointed queries about
      contracting bills on the international terminal take on added meaning. For
      example, Draguesku repeatedly questioned Tutor-Saliba-Perini-Buckley's
      billings -- including one for $1.2 million -- for items he said had
      previously been paid.

      He also questioned billings for repair work required because the
      contractor or its subcontractors had made mistakes, such as misalignment
      of floors and door frames.

      Draguesku also said the contractor had in some cases sought milestone
      payments, claiming to have completed work that airport representatives
      found had not even been started. When such payments run into the millions
      of dollars,

      the potential interest one can earn can be substantial.

      Tutor-Saliba-Perini-Buckley "consistently asks for unsupported large
      amounts of money," Draguesku wrote last December, "and these claims were
      unsubstantiated when examined."

      Kerchner, however, protested last year that the airport's representatives
      were holding the general contractor "hostage," and that the contractor was
      being forced to "submit to unfair treatment."

      Refusal to pay for change orders, he said, was breeding "an attitude among
      subcontractors where they become more and more reluctant to perform."

      E-mail Patrick Hoge at phoge@....
    • 4/12 SF Chronicle
      Published Monday, December 4, 2000, in the San Francisco Chronicle BART Draws Revenue From Old Tickets Unspent nickels, dimes add up to $10 million Tom
      Message 2 of 21 , Dec 4, 2000
        Published Monday, December 4, 2000, in the San Francisco Chronicle

        BART Draws Revenue From Old Tickets
        Unspent nickels, dimes add up to $10 million

        Tom Zoellner, Chronicle Staff Writer

        Rob Schumacher looked at his 10-cent BART ticket and chuckled, knowing he
        would add it to his collection when he got home.

        "I've got a whole bunch of these in my sock drawer," said the 37-year-old
        San Francisco vocational counselor. "I always think that one day I'll
        bring them in to add value to them, but I never do."

        Those unspent dimes and quarters left on old BART tickets add up to nearly
        $10 million a year in extra income for the transit system, which has come
        to count on thousands of commuters throwing away or otherwise forgetting
        about their low-value tickets rather than adding money to them. That
        revenue is now built into BART's annual budget projections.

        Technology exists that would allow riders to feed multiple fare cards into
        ticket machines and receive a single card with an aggregate value. No
        transit system in the world has ever tested it, however, and BART managers
        have decided not to make the switch because of fears it would create long
        lines at the machines.

        "We don't want that frustration," BART spokesman Mike Healy said.
        "Especially during rush hour, it can be a real problem."

        Cubic Inc. of San Diego has the contract for BART's ticket machines. Abe
        Wischnia, the company's director of corporate communication, said that
        Cubic could reconfigure the machines but that BART officials had told the
        firm they preferred to keep the windfall of unspent money.

        "They like having the float on those tickets," he said.

        In a subsequent interview, however, Wischnia amended his statement and
        said BART had decided not to reprogram the machines for other reasons,
        including the desire not to create long lines at rush hour.

        Cubic officials wouldn't speculate on how much it would cost to reprogram
        all the ticket machines in the BART system.

        BART accountants use the term "unearned revenue" to describe the pocket
        change that comes when a commuter throws away a ticket with money still on
        it.

        BART's fare collection system has remained essentially unchanged since the
        system opened in 1972. Money can be added to tickets, but multiple tickets
        cannot be pooled into one.

        Customers who have large stacks of penny-ante tickets can still get a
        refund check by mailing them to BART's Oakland office, said Healy, and
        BART has sponsored periodic refund days where people can trade their
        unused tickets for cash at selected stations. However, Healy acknowledged,
        most riders do not take advantage of either offer.

        For reasons that nobody can explain, BART's unearned revenue has risen
        sharply in the last four years. In the fiscal year that ended in 1996,
        unearned revenue amounted to $2.6 million. Last year, it was $9.9 million.

        "It sounds like a lot of money, but then you realize its a very small
        percentage of our totals," said Joe Evinger, manager of operating budgets
        and analysis for BART.

        Last year's total, for example, amounted to 4.5 percent of BART's $216
        million in gross ticket sales, he said.

        All the 300 or so ticket machines in BART stations are scheduled to be
        replaced by 2003. But BART officials said the new machines would not
        include the ability to create aggregated tickets.

        "It's not one of those things that keeps cropping up on our radar screen,"
        Healy said. "It never shows up on our customer satisfaction surveys. My
        guess is that if you spent the money to add to the ticketing technology,
        the chance of people actually using it on a broad scale is pretty slim."

        But Tom Radulovich, a member of the BART board of directors elected from
        San Francisco, said he had asked the staff "about a million times" whether
        the machines could give customers an aggregate ticket.

        "The answer I always get is 'no,' " Radulovich said. "They tell me the
        machines are not physically able to give you all your tickets back if you
        hit the 'cancel' button in the middle of the transaction."

        That is true, but the machines can be programmed in such a way to issue a
        customer a receipt if the transaction is canceled, said Mike Roll, the
        BART program manager for Cubic. That receipt could later be exchanged for
        a ticket.

        Because of the way a ticket passes through the add-fare machines, Cubic
        engineers would have to create a second mechanical pathway through the
        main ticket machines to allow customers to pool their low-value tickets.

        "It's not just a software issue, it's a hardware issue," Roll said.

        Healy said BART officials had rejected the idea of asking Cubic to
        reprogram a small number of machines to handle aggregated tickets.

        About the SeriesIf you have a question, concern or story idea, please send
        it to Commuter Chronicles, 901 Mission St., San Francisco 94103 or send
        e-mail to:commuter@....

        E-mail Tom Zoellner at tzoellner@....
      • 4/12 SF Chronicle
        Published Monday, December 4, 2000, in the San Francisco Chronicle A Guide to the New International Wing Marshall Wilson, Chronicle Staff Writer Savvy overseas
        Message 3 of 21 , Dec 4, 2000
          Published Monday, December 4, 2000, in the San Francisco Chronicle

          A Guide to the New International Wing

          Marshall Wilson, Chronicle Staff Writer

          Savvy overseas travelers who thought they knew San Francisco International
          Airport inside and out may end up looking like befuddled tourists when
          they visit SFO's new international terminal.

          Beginning tomorrow, SFO starts to transfer all international flights to
          the new $1 billion terminal. Even frequent fliers might consider packing a
          map and compass to avoid getting lost in this new terminal.

          SFO is already the ninth busiest airport in the world, and it is huge. Now
          it is bigger. The 2.5 million-square-foot international terminal is larger
          than most U.S. airports -- in square footage alone, it is the equivalent
          of five Transamerica pyramids. More space to get lost in.

          There are also miles of new access roads and new parking lots. Inside,
          there are new gate numbers and new check-in counters. And little of this
          new system bears any similarity to the old international terminal.

          Thousands of people visited the new international terminal yesterday
          during a daylong open house. As they checked out the architecture,
          restaurants and shops, the question on everyone's mind was whether the new
          terminal would speed air travel as promised.

          "It will be interesting to see how functional it will be," said Tiburon
          doctor Allan Jackman, who traveled to Cuba, Turkey and Paris in the past
          year.

          "There are times when you come back and spend a long, long time in
          customs, " Jackman said. "When I see the improvement, I'll believe it."

          Others were impressed by the array of art work and places to eat.

          "I think they're giving people the feeling of what it's like to dine in
          the Bay Area," said Diane Means, a Palo Alto resident and administrator in
          the Santa Clara Unified School District. "They've tried to create an
          identity."

          After weeks of tests, this is the week anxious SFO officials and
          international travelers have been waiting for. Here's a guide to
          navigating the new SFO.

          GENERAL LAYOUT

          The international terminal was built in front of the old domestic
          terminal, creating an additional entrance to the airport, with the
          boarding gates stretching out like wings to either side. The southern wing
          is designated "A," the northern wing "G."

          To avoid confusion with gate numbers in the domestic terminal, gates in
          the new terminal are preceded by an "A" or "G." Part of the south wing of
          the old domestic terminal will be torn down in a few years but will remain
          in use for domestic flights until then.

          The old international terminal, which is at the midpoint of the old
          terminal complex and first opened in 1954, will be remodeled and expanded
          for domestic flights.

          The departures area for all flights in all terminals -- old and new -- is
          on the top level.

          INSIDE THE TERMINAL

          Forgive newcomers if they look a bit lost in the terminal's vast expanse.

          On the departures level where the ticket counters are located, the roof is
          83 feet above the terrazzo floor, and the building spans the length of
          more than two football fields.

          The terminal is designed to make travel go more smoothly for departing and
          arriving passengers. There are several key differences between the "old"
          SFO and the new terminal.

          The 168 international check-in counters are divided among six islands.
          Unlike the rest of SFO, airlines here share check-in counter space, in the
          sense that if one airline has a very busy day, it can borrow the counter
          desk or two normally occupied by the adjacent airline. That way, an
          airline, in theory, will be able to keep lines short during peak times by
          opening more counters as needed.

          Still, most airlines will have a "home" base to avoid confusion.
          Passengers need to scan any of numerous video terminals to find the
          location of their airline and the correct check-in counters.

          The international terminal has 24 gates for arriving and departing
          aircraft,

          a dozen each in the "A" and "G" boarding areas. The old international
          terminal had a total of 10 gates.

          PASSING TIME

          Rather than being merely a travel portal, the terminal contains enough
          upscale shopping outlets to fill a mall and contains nearly 20 places to
          eat.

          Behind the ticket counters are two food courts. Additional restaurants are
          located in the boarding areas.

          Unlike the current international terminal, the boarding areas will be open
          to people without tickets. SFO officials -- and restaurant and store
          operators

          --expect the terminal will become a travel destination itself for Bay Area
          residents who will eat, drink and shop there.

          GETTING TO SFO

          Until the BART extension opens (scheduled in about a year), travelers
          arrive at SFO by car, bus, taxi or limousine.

          Public transit, shuttles from the Millbrae Caltrain station and charter
          buses deposit passengers on the ground level.

          Signs from Highway 101 point the way for drivers. Two new parking garages
          were built as part of SFO's $2.8 billion expansion, a 1,698-space garage
          on the road to the terminal and a 1,437-space garage on the road leading
          from it. The price is $1 for 15 minutes, up to a maximum of $18 a day.

          Long-term parking is located north of the airport off McDonnell Road, near
          the United Airlines maintenance center. Several privately operated lots
          are also in the area. All run shuttles to the airport.

          SFO operates a toll-free transit line staffed by agents between 7:30 a.m.
          and 5 p.m. They can provide information about shuttle service and public
          transportation. The number is (800) 736-2008.

          CRUISING AROUND

          SFO's AirTrain System will not open until late next year. The line, with
          cars on rubber wheels powered by electricity, will eventually have stops
          connecting the domestic and international terminals, rental and long-term
          parking lots and an as-yet unbuilt airport hotel.

          Passengers also can reach the new international terminal via walkways from
          the old terminal.

          From the north terminal, the walkway is past the United Airlines check-in
          counters. From the south terminal, the walkway is past the Southwest
          Airlines and U.S. Airways check-in counters.

          The walk takes a minute or so and requires taking stairs, an escalator or
          elevator up one level. Another option is to take a shuttle bus that comes
          by every few minutes on the upper, or departures, level.

          SFO ARRIVALS

          Arriving at SFO will be a new experience.

          The terminal is designed to handle a dozen fully loaded Boeing 747s
          arriving simultaneously. The goal is to have the last person off a plane
          out the door in 45 minutes.

          International passengers currently get off the plane and wait for bags. To
          speed up the process, passengers now will first pass through U.S.
          Immigration, then pick up their bags and pass through expanded U.S.
          Customs facilities.

          There are six baggage carousels located in each boarding area, or 12
          carousels in all. There are only two carousels in the old international
          terminal.

          Once through Customs, passengers are on the terminal's second level, where
          taxis, hotel shuttles and limousines are to wait. Shuttles to the rental
          car garage, long-term parking lots and domestic terminal are on the third
          level, as are door-to-door shuttle vans.


          GATES OF THE WORLD

          SFO's new International Terminal changes the face of the world's
          ninth-busiest airport.

          Designed and built to handle the increasing number of international
          flights and passengers to and from the Bay Area, the new International
          Terminal -- with its aviation museum and premier shops and restaurants --
          could almost be considered a destination in itself. The new international
          terminal is the centerpiece of SFO's Master Plan, a construction program
          that includes a new airport-wide electric rail shuttle, improved roadway
          access from Highway 101 and a long-awaited connection to the BART system.

          Aviation Library and Museum

          The library contains the airport commission's 5,000-volume collection of
          commercial aviation publications. The design of the 11,000-square-foot
          Louis A.

          Turpen Aviation Museum, showcasing artifacts related to the history of air
          transportation and SFO, was inspired by the airport's waiting area of 1937
          and incorporates marble floor patterns and ornamental iron scrollwork.
          Both the library and the museum are open to the public. In addition, four
          new exhibition galleries located throughout the new terminal will feature
          rotating displays on world cultures.

          A Whole New Look for SFO

          Given the task of adding a new structure to an airport confined by limited
          land availability, architects designed the new terminal to straddle the
          360- foot-wide roadway that approaches the airport from Highway 101. The
          airport's name is etched on the glass facade facing the traffic to finally
          give SFO a signature look. Two thin wings -- Boarding Area A and Boarding
          Area G -- reach out from the central structure and become the first and
          last of the seven wings that make up the radial structure of the airport.
          Two new nine-story garages for short-term parking complete the project.

          E-mail Marshall Wilson at marshallwilson@...
        • 12/4 SF Chronicle
          Published Monday, December 4, 2000, in the San Francisco Chronicle SFO s Sleek, Tangled Terminal Exterior aesthetics don t compensate for confusing inner
          Message 4 of 21 , Dec 4, 2000
            Published Monday, December 4, 2000, in the San Francisco Chronicle

            SFO's Sleek, Tangled Terminal Exterior aesthetics don't compensate for
            confusing inner corridors

            John King, Chronicle Staff Writer

            No matter how dazzling the design or how snazzy the shops, the ultimate
            test of an airport is how smoothly it works. People are there on a mission
            -- to get somewhere or meet someone.

            That simple fact is what keeps the San Francisco International Airport's
            new International Terminal from being a complete success. Aesthetically,
            the $1 billion structure is stunning. But there's more to life than
            architecture -- and more to traveling, especially from the nation's fifth
            largest airport.

            The terminal already has become a visual landmark: the long wall with its
            austere panels of aluminum and clouded glass creates a presence along the
            freeway that SFO lacked in the past, capped by a dramatic roof of three
            cantilevered trusses. Individually, they resemble bowstrings. Together,
            they could be a sleek bird coasting in flight.

            Wing-like roofs are almost common nowadays at the world's newest airports,
            but this one isn't a gimmick. The building sits above a dozen lanes of
            traffic serving the domestic terminal. That dictates a 380-foot-long space
            between the central columns, creating the need for a bridge-like span
            above the terminal's departure hall.

            The architects turned this challenge into one of the Bay Area's most
            richly satisfying rooms. What's spectacular isn't just the size -- 700
            feet long, 200 feet deep, 83 feet high -- but the sense of potential:
            instead of confronting the typical tight row of airline counters,
            travelers enter a realm that spreads in all directions.

            Everything is muted, from the gray terrazzo floors to the stainless steel
            wall panels to the indirect light that floats in from outside. The only
            significant intrusions are six thin islands of check-in counters,
            perpendicular to the entrances, spaced 70 or so feet apart. Each is topped
            by a slender line of offices cloaked in smoked glass. The counters and
            offices together are roughly two stories high, leaving five stories of
            space below the ceiling.

            The effect is spare, low-key -- but "low-key" doesn't mean stark. There's
            elegance in how the interior columns look vaguely like upright arrows, how
            the columns along the main walls flare outward slightly in the middle. And
            the space is framed by two soft lines of color -- a row of bamboo trees
            form green waves along the front wall, while the rear wall above the
            offices is covered in 21,000 square feet of cherry wood.

            "The idea was to make an environment that's serene, that gives you a sense
            of calm," says Craig Hartman, lead designer for the terminal and a partner
            in the San Francisco office of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.

            Hartman and Skidmore didn't design the project on their own; two local
            firms were partners, Michael Willis & Associates and Del Campo & Maru. But
            the crisp restraint of the design is similar to other work of Hartman's,
            particularly a recent limestone-and-glass office tower at 101 2nd Street.
            His buildings seem to stand apart from passing trends -- a place where one
            often finds the best architecture.

            In the real world, unfortunately, the terminal isn't a place apart; it's
            an intricate piece of a complicated whole. And that's where the troubles
            begin.

            One possible miscalculation involves the signage, which is as discreet as
            the rest of the building. There are no prominent airline logos or
            displays, just small digital signs that can be programmed to announce the
            check-in locations for particular flights. Hartman and airport officials
            are confident the system will be self-explanatory. Still, it's easy to
            picture new visitors standing befuddled, looking for the obvious cues they
            know from other airports.

            The same befuddlement might also appear on the faces of travelers who
            emerge from customs -- not into the seductive great hall, but into a dark,
            low-ceilinged waiting area one level below.

            The spacious room where travelers check in should also be where San
            Francisco greets the world, offering openness and a sophisticated sense of
            style. But because of physical and security constraints, people arriving
            from abroad enter a long sealed-off corridor, go through one of 92 booths
            operated by the Immigration department, pick up their luggage, pass
            through customs -- and step into a space bare but for the trunks of the
            bamboo trees, seating on the edges of the room and medallions representing
            different airports embedded in the floor. Fifteen paces more and travelers
            are on a covered sidewalk, wondering what to do next.

            Compare this to the Denver International Airport, which opened in 1995.
            From customs, the traveler enters a corner of the huge tent-covered
            central atrium, a cozy space enlivened with museum exhibits. In Denver, as
            in train stations of old, you've arrived. Here, it's as if one has emerged
            from a bureaucratic maze into a dim, cramped void.

            Even the approach to the airport is marred. The winged roof and the glass
            wall proclaiming "San Francisco International" look great in photographs
            -- but visitors never get a clear vista, only a tangled sweep of ramps.
            Then they are either whisked into one of the two new parking garages or
            plunged underneath the terminal on their way to the "old" SFO.

            Granted, it's hard to overcome the constraints of the site. There was no
            chance to start anew, as in Denver; a hotel was torn down, rental car
            operations were booted elsewhere, and then the terminal was squeezed into
            place.

            The snug geography also means the two concourses flanking the terminal
            function mostly as long corridors, albeit attractive ones. The architects
            -- Gerson/Overstreet to the south, Hellmuth Obata & Kassabaum to the north
            -- couldn't create the distinctive environment one finds, say, at the
            United Terminal at O'Hare Airport in Chicago, where the concourses are so
            wide, the walkways could be topped with a huge barrel vault that conjures
            up images of a jetliner's frame.

            Still, SFO planners turned the space bind to their advantage. The
            concourses are multilevel structures -- departing passengers on the top,
            arriving travelers one floor below. That's also where passengers enter
            their aircraft, so SFO planners carved out two-story waiting areas. There
            are 40- foot-high windows to watch the activity outside and seating is
            available on both levels. This roominess promises to be far more
            comfortable than the jammed gates at other airports.

            The other places to kill time, of course, are in the two dozen shops and
            restaurants that line various sections of the complex. And as one might
            expect in San Francisco, these spaces -- most designed by small firms
            working for individual tenants -- offer some of the terminal's boldest
            design flourishes.

            Without question, the most creative is the terminal's upscale Restaurant
            Qi.

            This bistro occupies a deep space just off the main hall, and owner George
            Chen and Engstrom Design Group smartly created a retreat that feels
            nothing like the terminal around it. From purple terrazzo floor and
            multicolored wall tiles to a dining room ceiling that Eric Engstrom
            describes as "antique bronze green," this is sumptuous sensory indulgence,
            the perfect contrast to the hall's airy calm.

            In the year ahead, an estimated 7 million international passengers will
            use the terminal. But it's also worth a visit by anyone interested in
            architecture -- for if there's a single Bay Area building so vast and
            distinctive that it seems like its own separate world, this is the one.

            E-mail John King at jking@....
          • 12/3 SF Chronicle
            Published Sunday, December 3, 2000, in the San Francisco Chronicle Letters to the Editor FOR BAY FERRIES Editor -- Gov. Gray Davis recently approved $12
            Message 5 of 21 , Dec 4, 2000
              Published Sunday, December 3, 2000, in the San Francisco Chronicle

              Letters to the Editor

              FOR BAY FERRIES

              Editor -- Gov. Gray Davis recently approved $12 million in start-up funds
              for the Bay Area Water Transit Authority. The appropriation is a landmark
              for Bay Area transportation and sets the stage for a large scale return of
              ferries -- updated to 21st-century standards of speed and efficiency -- as
              a means of regional mass transit.

              The first job for the authority's new president and board of directors
              will be to develop the operating plan for a comprehensive regional water
              transit system. The proposal developed last year foresees up to 28
              terminals linked by 75 vessels carrying 15 million to 20 million
              passengers yearly by 2010.

              The authority's plan will address detailed issues such as terminal siting,
              vessel technology, environmental impacts and finance. Construction will
              begin only when the final plan is approved and funded.

              Residents of the Bay Area know the urgency of finding solutions to the
              region's transportation crisis. Today, the bay is more a barrier than a
              bridge, despite the fact that most of our population lives adjacent to its
              shores. It is also our last great transportation resource.

              Modern high-speed vessels can move commuters from point to point faster
              than they can go by car, and more pleasantly. Water transit isn't a
              panacea for the region's transportation problems but can be an important
              part of the solution.

              With the governor's support, the Bay Area Water Transit Authority is ready
              to get to work.

              R. SEAN RANDOLPH
              President, Bay Area Economic Forum
              San Francisco
            • 12/2 SJ Mercury
              Published Saturday, December 2, 2000, in the San Jose Mercury News 2 insurers hike rates for bigger vehicles New York Times With evidence growing that
              Message 6 of 21 , Dec 4, 2000
                Published Saturday, December 2, 2000, in the San Jose Mercury News

                2 insurers hike rates for bigger vehicles

                New York Times

                With evidence growing that sport-utility vehicles, pickups and large vans
                are causing disproportionate harm to cars and their occupants in
                collisions, two insurers that together cover nearly 25 million vehicles
                have quietly begun making drivers of the bigger vehicles pay more for
                liability insurance.

                Officials of Allstate Insurance Co. and the Progressive Insurance Group,
                the nation's second- and fourth-largest insurers, said this week that they
                had begun raising the cost of liability insurance for many big,
                high-riding vehicles while lowering premiums for the cars that are owned
                by most Americans.

                Farmers Insurance Group, the third-biggest insurer, plans to adopt similar
                pricing next year.

                ``People with standard sedans and smaller cars today are subsidizing
                people with sports utilities and vans and pickups,'' said Kevin Kelso, who
                is in charge of auto insurance at Farmers, a unit of Zurich Financial
                Services Group.

                Out of concern that they would lose some of their best customers, insurers
                until recently have hesitated to adopt pricing plans that shift costs to
                owners of the biggest vehicles.

                Indeed, State Farm, the nation's largest auto insurer, announced a new
                pricing plan on Tuesday that would do just the opposite, reducing the cost
                to drivers of many larger vehicles for the personal injury portion of
                their coverage.

                What the otherwise contradictory moves have in common is that they reflect
                aspects, at least, of reality on the road.

                When big, high-riding vehicles collide with smaller ones, the smaller car
                often is left severely damaged and its occupants with severe injuries,
                while the larger vehicle better protects its occupants from serious harm.
                Yet insurance premiums have ignored that pattern.

                Instead, two drivers with similar records have paid the same for liability
                coverage (for damage and injuries to others) and personal injury coverage
                (for injuries in the policyholder's vehicle), whether they are driving a
                Chevrolet Suburban or a Ford Escort.
              • 12/4 SJ Mercury
                Published Monday, December 4, 2000, in the San Jose Mercury News Widen 101 now or pay more later By Gary Richards Mercury News Staff Columnist Q: I ll trust
                Message 7 of 21 , Dec 4, 2000
                  Published Monday, December 4, 2000, in the San Jose Mercury News

                  Widen 101 now or pay more later

                  By Gary Richards
                  Mercury News Staff Columnist

                  Q: I'll trust you'll devote a column to those who don't agree with the
                  anti-Sierra Club, pro-growth sentiment espoused recently over the proposed
                  widening of Highway 101. I'm not a Sierra Club member, but I was alarmed
                  by your column. One writer wants ``environmentally sustainable'' growth.
                  That's impossible. We cannot sustain growth indefinitely without adverse
                  environmental effects.

                  Another says most county residents want to widen 101 to eight lanes.
                  There's no evidence of that. If anything, the recent election shows that
                  residents want to control growth and fund mass transit.

                  Another is concerned about Cisco's massive campus in South San Jose adding
                  to congestion on 101. Well, speak up! Tell the powers that be that they
                  must plan nearby housing when they plan new high-tech sprawl.

                  We're in an endless spiral of jobs, housing and freeways. That's fine if
                  we want to grow forever. Otherwise, we must plan these things in tandem.
                  Voters overwhelmingly approved Measure K to limit San Jose growth. That
                  was just one of 13 such measures passed in the Bay Area on Nov. 7.

                  No widening of 101. We have to start somewhere to stop growth.

                  Ron Gutman
                  San Jose

                  A: I understand your views, and they have merit. However, county voters in
                  1996 endorsed the widening of 101 from four to six lanes, and the issue
                  now is whether to stick to that deal or widen the freeway further to eight
                  lanes by adding carpool lanes. Widening the road to eight lanes can be
                  done now much more cheaply than in another decade or so. Stick to six
                  lanes, and we lose a chance to encourage more people to carpool -- and
                  miss a chance for a carpool-to-carpool ramp on the interchange from
                  Highway 101 to Highway 85.

                  County voters can congratulate themselves for their pro-transit stances
                  taken this year in approving BART to San Jose as well as light-rail and
                  Caltrain improvements. While no new highways are planned, existing
                  bottlenecks can be upgraded, and this is one of them.

                  This road will be widened to eight lanes -- some day. Wait, and it will
                  cost millions more.



                  Q: Santa Clara County's Measure A contains money for electrifying
                  Caltrain. Is this just for Santa Clara County, or will all of Caltrain be
                  electrified up to San Francisco?

                  Dennis Heller

                  A:The 30-year, half-cent sales tax that was approved by Santa Clara County
                  voters last month won't pay the entire electrification tab. San Francisco
                  will have to pony up money, and there is talk of placing a tax measure on
                  the 2004 ballot. That most likely will need a two-thirds vote, a
                  possibility in transit-friendly San Francisco.

                  […]

                  Contact Gary Richards at mrroadshow@... or (408) 920-5335. The
                  fax number is (408) 288-8060. Please leave a daytime phone number. Or try
                  our home page: www0.mercurycenter.com/columnists/richards
                • 12/4 SJ Mercury
                  Published Monday, December 4, 2000, in the San Jose Mercury News County reworks buses routes Fremont, Newark service hours to increase 50% In hopes of getting
                  Message 8 of 21 , Dec 4, 2000
                    Published Monday, December 4, 2000, in the San Jose Mercury News

                    County reworks buses' routes
                    Fremont, Newark service hours to increase 50%

                    In hopes of getting people out of their cars, transit officials will add
                    400 hours of bus service. But it's not clear whether this will change
                    residents' commute patterns.

                    By Matthai Chakko Kuruvila
                    Mercury News

                    Alameda County transit officials will revamp bus service in the Fremont
                    and Newark areas in two weeks, reshaping bus routes and increasing hours
                    of service by 50 percent.

                    Local leaders hope the moves will ease the area's dependency on cars and
                    possibly speed up the crawling pace of commute-hour city traffic.

                    The additional 400 hours of bus service will begin Dec. 17, creating
                    commute routes every 15 minutes, stretching service into late evenings and
                    increasing the number of weekend bus trips.

                    AC Transit also changed bus paths from a decades-old pattern that
                    meandered through neighborhoods to a grid system fixed on major roads.
                    That move is designed to make cross-city transit more efficient.

                    But while the changes address long-standing complaints about a lack of
                    adequate bus service in southern Alameda County, it's not clear whether
                    they will ease the slothlike pace of city traffic.

                    Fremont and Newark are already wedged in by heavily congested interstates
                    880 and 680, where the majority of East Bay commuters slowly creep into
                    Silicon Valley. Many of those commuters leave the highways for local
                    streets. With 20,000 workers expected at Fremont's Pacific Commons
                    business technology park in the next five to 10 years, city traffic is
                    likely to get worse.

                    It's also unclear how many people will actually ride a bus in cities that
                    are increasingly becoming homes for the wealthy.

                    ``This will get some people out of their cars, but I don't think it will
                    make major changes to people's patterns,'' said Gus Morrison, Fremont's
                    mayor, who served on an advisory committee about the bus service.

                    But local leaders hope the refashioned bus service will, at the very
                    least, encourage change.

                    ``There's got to be a point where people take transit to work, instead of
                    sitting on the freeway,'' said Fremont city council member Judy Zlatnik,
                    who 26 years ago lobbied to have Fremont join the transit district. ``We
                    have to improve service enough so that people can use transit.''

                    The new plan's grid pattern should help the cause.

                    A new route map shows new bus lines spread far and evenly across the city,
                    stopping at many of the two cities' major destinations, including Ohlone
                    College, NewPark Mall and the Lido Faire Shopping Center. Thirteen of the
                    14 bus lines will stop at the Union City or Fremont BART stations, and
                    three lines stop at the Centerville train station used by Amtrak and
                    Altamont Corridor Express trains. Many routes also will stop at major
                    businesses throughout both cities, including the historically underserved
                    industrial areas of Fremont and parts of Newark.

                    AC Transit spokesman Mike Mills said that the recession that hit
                    California in the early 1990s prevented the agency from restructuring its
                    route map sooner. After modifying bus service in Richmond down to San
                    Leandro, the agency didn't have enough funds to continue into southern
                    Alameda County, Mills said.

                    Fremont politicians said that the north-to-south restructuring is just one
                    example of south county's lower status in funding -- despite the city's
                    sizable tax base, which has barely trailed Oakland's for years.

                    ``I think that we were the stepchild of the district,'' Morrison said. ``A
                    whole lot of money was being siphoned out of the district.

                    ``These systems were designed when San Francisco was the center of the
                    world,'' he said. ``The world has changed, but it takes a long time to
                    catch up with that.''


                    IF YOU'RE INTERESTED

                    Check out transit information at http://www.actransit.org and
                    http://www.transitinfo.org


                    Contact Matthai Chakko Kuruvila at mkuruvila@... or (510)
                    790-7316.
                  • 12/4 SMCo. Times
                    Published Monday, December 4, 2000, in the San Mateo County Times Sparrow flies onto roadways New three-wheel vehicles cost less than $20,000 By Chris Tribbey
                    Message 9 of 21 , Dec 4, 2000
                      Published Monday, December 4, 2000, in the San Mateo County Times

                      Sparrow flies onto roadways
                      New three-wheel vehicles cost less than $20,000

                      By Chris Tribbey
                      Staff Writer

                      It's 4 feet wide by 8 feet long. It has a dome-shaped roof, one door, air
                      conditioning and a CD player. It can travel in car pool lanes and speed
                      past bridge toll booths, but it isn't a car.

                      Meet the Sparrow -- three wheels of steel that turn heads while zipping
                      along at 70 mph on the highway.

                      "The Sparrow is the vehicle for the 21st century, because it's
                      revolutionary in so many ways," said Anthony Luzi, who sells the vehicles
                      out of his Emeryville home. "It has a front-end assembly like a Volkswagen
                      Beetle, and the chamber looks like an egg."

                      Made by Corbin Motors in Hollister, the Sparrow is a single-person,
                      all-electric commuter vehicle that has found its own niche in the
                      automotive industry.

                      It's designed solely for the intra- and inner-city commuter: A full charge
                      of four hours gives the vehicle a range of up to 60 miles, and storage is
                      at a premium. There's one seat, one headlight, and the driver sits above
                      the one wheel holding up the rear.

                      "It reminds me of go-carts," said San Leandro resident Renee Campanioni,
                      who bought Sparrow number 83 in October. "I always wanted a motorcycle,
                      and this is as close as I'll ever get."

                      Safety of the small vehicle isn't a concern, according to the company. The
                      Sparrow was engineered like a motorcycle helmet, with its spherical design
                      lending structural strength. It may not have an air bag, or be able to
                      take as much physical punishment as an SUV, but its high visibility is
                      also a deterrent against accidents.

                      Campanioni owns a Toyota RAV4, but for her commute to work at First
                      American Title in Oakland, the sports utility vehicle was costing her a
                      bundle in gas costs, not to mention the wear and tear suffered by driving
                      Interstate 880 every day.

                      When the Oakland Athletics were in the playoffs, she saw a couple of
                      Sparrows parked at the stadium.

                      "I had to drive one. That's all it took...I was hooked," she said.

                      Now she uses her Sparrow, with the license plate "Geezmo," to get to work
                      every day. Instead of spending $20 or more a week on gas, she sees an
                      extra $20 a month on her electric bill.

                      And she quickly became popular with her co-workers.

                      "They all want to drive it," she said. "On Halloween I was dressed as
                      Carmen Miranda and driving my Sparrow open to work at five in the morning
                      in Oakland.

                      "Before I get out of it, there are two Oakland cops who had to come over
                      and look at it...they were laughing at me."

                      There's a four- to six-month wait to get one, since there were only a few
                      hundred made in its first year on the market.

                      "They're like pets with (the owners)," Luzi said. "Everyone knows their
                      number, and they understand that when they go into mass production, these
                      are collectors' items."

                      Luzi, who is a shareholder and investor in Corbin Motors, has sold 40 out
                      of his home in Emeryville and office in Hollywood, and said there is an
                      order for more than 1,000 new Sparrows. There are only 175 Sparrows
                      currently on the roads of America, most of them in California. Luzi added
                      that before the end of January, he'll be selling the vehicles out of a new
                      dealership in Berkeley. The Sparrows sell for $14,900.

                      "People love these mainly because they're a no-brainer to operate," he
                      said. "The average individual, with a small amount of mechanical aptitude,
                      can take care of this (vehicle)."
                    • 12/3 SMCo. Times
                      Published December 3, 2000, in the San Mateo County Times Monorail expert boasts Bay Area upbringing By Monique Beeler Business Writer Danville --
                      Message 10 of 21 , Dec 4, 2000
                        Published December 3, 2000, in the San Mateo County Times

                        Monorail expert boasts Bay Area upbringing

                        By Monique Beeler
                        Business Writer

                        Danville -- Transportation expert Jeffery Kimmel is a leading figure
                        behind the Las Vegas monorail, a privately funded public transit project
                        that promises tourists a smooth ride and residents no new taxes to pay for
                        it.

                        But Kimmel, 47, didn't set out to become the creator of a monorail system
                        on the dazzling-bright Las Vegas strip.

                        Perhaps like many young men growing up in the '60s, Kimmel's post-college
                        dream involved floating on a boat off the shore of Mexico. He knew
                        Spanish, had a few business contacts in the shrimp industry and a ready
                        buyer in the states.

                        It wasn't to be.

                        Instead, Kimmel's life took that string of unplanned turns that shape many
                        careers. From boat owner to meat truck driver to the organizer of an
                        innovative monorail project, Kimmel's path has wound circuitously toward
                        an end that pleases him and thrills his father, the man to whom Kimmel
                        gives credit for much of his success.

                        "When he was 15, I told him, 'I'll pay for your education, but you have to
                        get an education. I'm not going to pay for you to go play a flute,'" said
                        Kimmel's father, Bobby Lee, 74.

                        The senior Kimmel said he hasn't been disappointed.

                        Jeffery Kimmel grew up in Hayward, where his father owned a meat shop. On
                        busy days, Bobby Lee would call up his son's principal at James Logan High
                        School to borrow Kimmel and a few friends to unload trucks for a couple
                        hours. In the summer, Kimmel returned to his father's business to drive
                        delivery trucks while the employees took their hard-earned vacations.

                        Working alongside full-time drivers, who paid mortgages and supported
                        families with their hourly wages, provided Kimmel a different form of
                        education.

                        "He put into me the understanding of what it was to work," Kimmel said.
                        "(That's) what made me want to go to college more than anything else."

                        Following graduation with a political science degree from the University
                        of Oregon in 1975, Kimmel headed south across the border.

                        "I came to love the Mexican culture," Kimmel said. "I moved down there and
                        sold everything I owned -- my car, my stereo, pretty much the shirt on my
                        back."

                        After dealing with a few corrupt officials, locating a freezer plant and
                        securing a supplier of waxed boxes, Kimmel was ready to set his shrimp
                        supply business in motion. Then he received word that his mother had been
                        diagnosed with breast cancer, news that instantly brought him back home.

                        His mother's health soon stabilized and Kimmel returned to school, this
                        time to become a lawyer. He knew early in his studies that he didn't want
                        to practice law, but he figured a legal education could prove useful in
                        other fields. After working at a Los Angeles law firm for a year, Kimmel
                        returned -- with a new wife in tow -- to the Bay Area where he got
                        involved in real estate development.

                        "What I found was that I was very interested in the deals that were being
                        done," Kimmel said. "I was always drooling over the deal itself."

                        His experience as general counsel for a development firm eventually helped
                        him land a similar job at a specialty engineering firm in Campbell called
                        VSL Corp. The international company's diverse design and engineering
                        clients exposed Kimmel to projects on bridges, nuclear power plants and
                        people movers.

                        "My office was next to the president's office, and my job was to do
                        whatever work he couldn't get to," Kimmel said.

                        As part of his duties, Kimmel became involved in an innovative
                        transportation project in Irvine that would have built a monorail system,
                        starting with a route between the John Wayne International Airport and an
                        office park.

                        The problem was that taxpayers consistently rejected tax increases that
                        would have paid for the system. So, Kimmel offered a deal to the head of a
                        local real estate company who was building a nearby office park.

                        "We convinced him we could get bonus density -- meaning he could build
                        more square feet on the parcel," Kimmel explained. In exchange, the realty
                        firm would agree to build the first leg of the monorail project.

                        The parties involved agreed, but the deal collapsed when the real estate
                        market dropped dramatically in 1990. The concept of creating
                        public-private partnerships to build public transit systems, however,
                        remained alive.

                        "We kept that under our hat," Kimmel said. "And (we) went off looking for
                        opportunities again."

                        In 1993, Kimmel secured a similar project for VSL to develop a 1-mile
                        monorail ride between MGM Grand and Bally's hotels in Las Vegas. By this
                        time, Kimmel had conceived of a more far-reaching monorail system that
                        would stretch four miles from end-to-end on the Las Vegas strip. His
                        company, now under new ownership, had other plans. As part of a corporate
                        restructuring, VSL would drop the transportation division.

                        "Nine months after I got that project, I left the company because I had a
                        vision for (the monorail), and my company wasn't going to support it
                        anymore," Kimmel said.

                        Kimmel took his case and his vision to the hotels.

                        "I was doing everything I could do to convince the resorts, meaning MGM
                        Grand and the Hilton, that this experimental project was feasible both
                        financially and technologically," he said.

                        Their interest was piqued by the promise that ridership would pay for the
                        project, the hotels' leaders were further persuaded by a later independent
                        study that backed up Kimmel's ridership claims.

                        The journey has been rocky, and required the passage of new legislation to
                        allow a privately built transportation system to charge riders a fare. But
                        Kimmel appears to be nearing his destination.

                        Las Vegas voters have approved a bond offering of about $600 million to
                        finance the $650 million project, with the rest coming from resorts and
                        construction companies. Construction began Sept. 20 and is expected to be
                        completed in January 2004.

                        "I'm really proud of him," Bobby Lee Kimmel said. "He gambled. He took a
                        chance and it paid off for him."
                      • 12/2 Oakland Tribune
                        Published Saturday, December 2, 2000, in the Oakland Tribune BART scrambles to keep up with population boom By Chris Tribbey Staff Writer A passenger riding a
                        Message 11 of 21 , Dec 4, 2000
                          Published Saturday, December 2, 2000, in the Oakland Tribune

                          BART scrambles to keep up with population boom

                          By Chris Tribbey
                          Staff Writer

                          A passenger riding a BART train through Hayward once saw something so odd,
                          so insulting to a regular commuter, she had to complain about it.

                          The passenger called BART and said, "Oh, my God! There's only one car
                          running!" recalled Betty Soohoo, assistant chief transportation officer
                          for BART.

                          That empty car wasn't carrying passengers, and it wasn't an operator out
                          on a joy ride. It was a test car running on BART's 2.3-mile test track
                          between Whipple Road and Industrial Parkway. The track is home to 24-hour
                          tests five days a week.

                          What she didn't know was that one car represents the near future of BART.

                          BART logged an additional 41,000 more rides on its system this past year,
                          and every one of its 39 stations saw an increase in daily ridership. A
                          boom in the Bay Area's population and longer commutes between home and
                          work has sent BART scrambling to keep its stations and trains in optimal
                          condition.

                          In early October BART saw its all-time record for ridership in a single
                          day shattered, when it logged 366,800 exits during the baseball playoffs.
                          The standing record was 357,000, set shortly after the Loma Prieta
                          Earthquake.

                          Midway through a $1.1 billion systemwide renovation project, BART is
                          hoping new technologies and upgraded trains and cars will make for easier,
                          faster rides.

                          For eight hours every day, cars that have problems are run along the test
                          track, so engineers can determine what's wrong. At any one time, about 40
                          of the 670 cars in BART's fleet are out of service.

                          For another eight hours every day, contractors with BART are testing cars
                          that have been gutted and upgraded, running them back and forth before
                          putting them back in use.

                          But it's the remaining eight hours of testing that are most important to
                          BART and hold the most benefits for its riders.

                          The transit district is testing an automatic train control system that is
                          based on a military radio positioning system used in the Persian Gulf War.
                          With radios placed along every mile of BART's 95 miles of track , the
                          system will eventually track trains within 15 feet of their exact
                          location. Through its current cable tracking system, BART can only find
                          trains within 350 feet of their location.

                          The new system can also control a train's braking, unlike the current
                          system. That makes the trains safer and more energy-efficient because
                          power not being used by a braking train can instead be used by an
                          accelerating train.

                          Currently BART runs 22 trains per hour in each direction of its five
                          lines. The technology would increase the number to 30.

                          If it works, BART's trains will run fast enough to make more than 100
                          extra stops at the stations. That's more, less-crowded trains at every
                          station, every hour.

                          "This is the next generation of train control," Rodriguez said.

                          The technology will soon be installed at the Lake Merritt and Fruitvale
                          stations in Oakland. From there it will be expanded along all of BART's
                          rails. Don't expect trains running within a couple dozen feet of each
                          other too soon, though: BART officials say the technology will be phased
                          in over several years.

                          If you're constantly riding any of the three BART lines that serve
                          Hayward, San Leandro and Castro Valley, you may find yourself stuck
                          standing on the trains more often than not.

                          Part of the reason is that there are no 10-car trains running during
                          standing-room-only commute hours.

                          "Fremont riders are crammed into smaller trains," said Andrea Proctor of
                          San Francisco. "Longer 10-car trains during commute hours would do the
                          trick."

                          The Fremont-Daly City trains include nine cars during peak hours (6-9
                          a.m., 3-7 p.m.). The Dublin-Pleasanton trains carry eight cars during peak
                          hours, while the Fremont-Richmond trains will only have six cars during
                          peak hours. All three trains will carry three to four cars during off-peak
                          hours.

                          It's not an evil scheme to pack riders like sardines, BART says. There
                          just aren't enough cars available.

                          "We want to get more cars out there. No one line takes the brunt,"
                          Rodriguez said. "But at any one time there are at least 40 cars out of
                          service."

                          BART is overhauling every one of the 439 original cars in its fleet (there
                          are 670 total). Gutting is actually a better description.

                          The body of the car is taken off and literally miles of wiring are ripped
                          out and replaced before new control equipment, new brakes and new
                          insulation are put back in. And each car still has to be tested before it
                          is put back into service.

                          There are 56 trains out at any one time on BART's five lines, doing 698
                          daily runs, and each carrying at least six cars during peak hours. BART
                          anticipates when more cars are needed (every one of the three local lines
                          had 10-car trains during the baseball playoffs), but until all the cars
                          are renovated and put back into service, there's only one way to avoid
                          standing all the way to San Francisco during the commute.

                          "Take an earlier train," Rodriguez said.

                          It was a good November for BART.

                          Measure A passed in Santa Clara County, paving the way for BART service to
                          Milpitas, Santa Clara and San Jose, a proposition that many thought would
                          never happen.

                          The half-cent transportation sales tax Measure B passed in Alameda County,
                          giving it $291 million beginning in 2002 toward extensions, stations and
                          transit village projects in the county.

                          Another benefit from Measure B is $109 million that BART is due to receive
                          for seismic retrofitting. The money will come years from now, after BART
                          begins work on six county projects that Measure B will partially fund.

                          "Our physical infrastructure is in need of rehabilitation," said Director
                          Roy Nakadegawa, who overseas BART operations in San Leandro and San
                          Lorenzo. "It needs to be more resistant to future major earthquakes."

                          Caltrans recently finished seismic retroffiting on bridges that run over
                          BART rails in Oakland, but actaul retrofitting of the rail itself won't
                          begin for at least a few years.

                          BART has asked San Francisco-based Bechtel, the largest private-owned
                          construction company in the country, to begin putting together a time-line
                          and cost report for retrofitting the rail.
                        • 12/1 Oakland Tribune
                          Published December 1, 2000, in the Oakland Tribune Local transit projects await funds despite Measure B By Rob Kuznia Staff Writer FREMONT -- Measure B, the
                          Message 12 of 21 , Dec 4, 2000
                            Published December 1, 2000, in the Oakland Tribune

                            Local transit projects await funds despite Measure B

                            By Rob Kuznia
                            Staff Writer

                            FREMONT -- Measure B, the half-cent sales tax in Alameda County, might
                            have been overwhelmingly approved by voters earlier this month, but that
                            doesn't mean local transportation projects have the funding to go ahead
                            yet.

                            Jeff Morales, who took over leadership of Caltrans earlier this year,
                            called passage of Measure B a major Bay Area victory during a Fremont
                            visit Wednesday. The two-thirds majority needed for the measure's passage
                            made for a challenging campaign, but more than 80 percent of the county
                            voters supported it.

                            "I don't think you can get 81.5 percent of people to agree it's a sunny
                            day," marveled Morales. "It's an astounding testament to how big the
                            problems are here and how real they are."

                            However, Measure B will not fully fund projects like extending BART to
                            Warm Springs, providing Dumbarton rail service, or building the Union City
                            Intermodal Station, a hub for various transit modes, local transportation
                            officials said.

                            Measure B will pay for about one-third of the Warm Springs project, BART
                            Board President Tom Blalock said. And while the rest of the $330 million
                            has been "programmed" to come from other sources like a San Mateo buy-in,
                            the state and regional funds, there are no guarantees.

                            "They could all be in jeopardy if the economy goes south, but the world
                            would change, too," Blalock said.

                            Worse off is the Dumbarton Rail, which loses about $4 million in operating
                            costs annually. Measure B funds cannot be used for such improvements.

                            Also, the Union City Intermodal Station needs additional money from the
                            state to make the $20 million project happen. Measure B will provide $9
                            million.

                            The region needs cash cows like Measure B just to stay afloat, said Steve
                            Heminger, the executive director for the Metropolitan Transportation
                            Commission.

                            More than 80 percent of those funds will be dedicated to maintaining the
                            system, not expanding it, he said.

                            During Wednesday's Transportation Town Hall meeting, chaired by state Sen.
                            Liz Figueroa (D-Fremont), Morales' main message was clear: To maintain the
                            high quality of life that has attracted an eighth of all Americans to
                            California, the state must tackle the central issue of transportation.

                            "The average commute on the Altamont Corridor is 58 miles," he said to an
                            audience of about 50, many of them East Bay public officials. "That's more
                            than a transportation problem."
                          • 12/1 Daily Review
                            Published December 1, 2000, in the Daily Review Hayward bus upgrade planned AC Transit officials tap Measure B funds to meet high demand By Chris Tribbey Staff
                            Message 13 of 21 , Dec 4, 2000
                              Published December 1, 2000, in the Daily Review

                              Hayward bus upgrade planned
                              AC Transit officials tap Measure B funds to meet high demand

                              By Chris Tribbey
                              Staff Writer

                              SAN LORENZO -- AC Transit officials are hoping funding from Measure B and
                              a $2 million grant will help them improve bus service in Hayward, San
                              Leandro, and the surrounding areas.

                              "In the past 10 years, this place has seen tremendous growth, and
                              currently AC Transit's service hasn't met this demand," said Pat Piras,
                              director for AC Transit's fifth ward, which covers Central Alameda County
                              and is the last area in line to have its bus service improved.

                              "Even though the funding for this doesn't start until 2002, we at AC
                              Transit are looking by next fall to improve the bus service in Central
                              Alameda County," she said.

                              Making a pitch

                              Piras was making a pitch to members of a Board of Supervisors
                              Unincorporated Services committee on Wednesday night.

                              Thanks to the passage of Measure B, the renewal of the half-cent
                              transportation sales tax, AC Transit has $4 million set aside for
                              improving service in the area from the Union City-Hayward border to the
                              south, the Palomares Hills to the east and the San Leandro-Oakland border
                              to the north. Every bus route will be examined to see if it meets the
                              needs of riders.

                              The improvements are part of a decade-old venture by AC Transit called The
                              Transit Development Plan. The plan evaluates every bus route in Alameda
                              County. Three of the five wards, down to the San Leandro-Oakland border,
                              saw improvements before the plan was put on indefinite hold when recession
                              hit in the early 1990s.

                              Less than a year ago the plan was reinstated, with the Fremont-Newark-area
                              bus routes getting an overhaul. Riders in those areas are seeing AC
                              Transit buses spend an extra 400 hours on new and pre-existing routes each
                              day.

                              Possible new markets

                              Destinations, frequency of buses, operating hours and possible new markets
                              will all be put under the microscope, according to Tony Divito, the senior
                              transportation planner for AC Transit.

                              "We will examine our service, bring the proposed routes out to the public,
                              and see what they like, and what they don't like," he said.

                              Piras said that the study will aim to entice drivers to leave their
                              vehicles behind and use the bus instead.

                              "You have to attract new riders, and these are people who drive cars," she
                              said.

                              Supervisor Gail Steele, chairwoman of the committee, warned Piras and
                              Divito that they needed to ensure that AC Transit's largest base of
                              customers, those without cars, see the full benefit of any changes made to
                              service.

                              "These are people who are so unhappy, (those) that have talked to me about
                              the service," Steele said. "You need to go down there and get their
                              opinion...no one here uses the bus," she said, referring to the more than
                              20 people in attendance.

                              "You have to go to them, they're not going to come to you," she said.

                              Service upgrades

                              In response, Divito announced a $500,000 grant AC Transit will likely
                              receive from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission. The county has
                              agreed to match the grant, giving AC Transit a total of $1 million a year
                              for the service upgrades.

                              The two-year, Welfare To Work grant is meant to aid people who don't have
                              cars and who work odd hours when bus service is either sparse or
                              nonexistent. The $2 million, when approved, will go toward improving bus
                              service in the area from the South Hayward BART station to Eden Landing,
                              and from Eden Landing to West A Street and the Hayward BART station.

                              "We have all these businesses that operate (24 hours a day, seven days a
                              week) and the people working have no service," Divito said. "We want to
                              make sure we serve the low-income folks."

                              Divito said that AC Transit will look at using the money to add new routes
                              to service this area, and that they should be self-sufficient when demand
                              picks up.

                              For the next eight months, representatives from AC Transit, the cities and
                              the county will begin riding the buses, talking to citizens, and
                              determining what improvements are needed. After an environmental impact
                              report is issued and approved, changes could be seen as soon as September
                              2001.


                              Chris Tribbey is the transportation reporter for The Daily Review. He can
                              be reached at (510) 293-2481, or send e-mail to
                              ctribbey@....
                            • 12/5 SF Chronicle
                              Published Tuesday, December 5, 2000, in the San Francisco Chronicle S.F. to Add Cameras to Catch Red-Light Runners Program to deter traffic scofflaws is called
                              Message 14 of 21 , Dec 5, 2000
                                Published Tuesday, December 5, 2000, in the San Francisco Chronicle

                                S.F. to Add Cameras to Catch Red-Light Runners
                                Program to deter traffic scofflaws is called successful

                                Rachel Gordon, Chronicle Staff Writer

                                San Francisco is preparing to nearly double the number of surveillance
                                cameras set up at busy intersections to nab drivers running red lights.

                                The Board of Supervisors yesterday accepted 11 new cameras from the state
                                Department of Transportation to catch red-light runners. They will be
                                added to the 14 cameras already in operation. Two more cameras are planned
                                for the area surrounding Moscone Convention Center.

                                The number of red-light runners at camera-enforced intersections has
                                dropped more than 40 percent since the program was begun four years ago,
                                according to the Department of Parking and Traffic, which oversees the
                                program.

                                At Fifth and Howard streets, where the first camera was installed, red-
                                light running was slashed 80 percent -- from about 1,000 incidents a month
                                to 200, according to Bridget Smith, manager of the city's Livable Streets
                                Program.

                                "The evidence is overwhelming that the red-light camera enforcement
                                program significantly reduces collisions and the incidence of red-light
                                running," Supervisor Gavin Newsom said. "I wish we could expand the
                                program 100 percent more. All over San Francisco, people are crying for
                                more red-light cameras."

                                From October 1996 to October 2000, the city has issued 25,785 tickets to
                                red-light violators nabbed by the cameras. That accounts for about 25
                                percent of all the drivers who blow through the red lights at those
                                intersections.

                                About 75 percent of the violations are never sent out because officials
                                cannot make out the vehicles' license plates or get a clear view of the
                                driver.

                                The fine for running red lights is a hefty $271.

                                Once all the cameras are installed -- expected within the next year -- the
                                cameras will be rotated among 36 intersections. Drivers will not be able
                                to tell the difference between the intersections with the cameras and
                                those with so-called dummy contraptions.

                                The new Caltrans-funded cameras will be used primarily at five
                                intersections on the north end of the city in areas well-traveled by
                                drivers coming from and going to the Golden Gate Bridge.

                                Three are along Park Presidio Boulevard at Lake Street, Geary Boulevard
                                and Fulton Street. The others are at Marina Boulevard and Lyon Street and
                                Richardson Avenue and Francisco Street.

                                While statistics show that red-light running is down dramatically at
                                intersections where the cameras are installed, the city's traffic and
                                health officials and elected leaders are still scrambling to make the
                                streets safer.

                                So far this year, 28 pedestrians have died in San Francisco, making it one
                                of the deadliest years on record.

                                In past days, two pedestrians sustained serious injuries. A Muni N-Judah
                                street car yesterday struck a 55-year-old woman as she was crossing the
                                street on a green light at Ninth Avenue and Irving Street in the Inner
                                Sunset. The victim, Trisha Fujimori, was taken to nearby University of
                                California at San Francisco Medical Center with ankle and elbow injuries.

                                San Francisco police Officer Eddie Dare said the Muni driver, who also had
                                a green light, was turning right onto Irving Street a little before 1:30
                                p.m. and apparently did not see the woman. Witnesses said he looked both
                                ways before venturing to make the turn. The driver has been taken off
                                driving duties pending the outcome of a Muni investigation.

                                And on Sunday night, an unidentified man, whom police believe was
                                homeless, was the victim of a hit-and-run accident at 16th and Utah
                                streets. The victim, described only as a man in his 40s, was standing in
                                the intersection when a gray or white van struck him and fled the scene.
                                He was taken to San Francisco General Hospital with head injuries and was
                                listed in critical condition.


                                Stopping Red-Light Runners -- Intersections where red light camera
                                equipment is already installed:

                                1. Fifth and Howard streets
                                2. Seventh and Mission streets
                                3. Ninth and Howard streets
                                4. 19th Avenue and Sloat Boulevard
                                5. Pine Street and Presidio Avenue
                                6. First and Folsom streets
                                7. Third and Harrison streets
                                8. Sixth and Bryant streets
                                9. 14th Street and South Van Ness Avenue
                                10. 15th and Mission streets
                                11. Geary and Franklin streets
                                12. Hayes and Polk streets
                                13. Pine and Polk streets
                                14. Fifth and Mission streets

                                Planned Locations:

                                1. Eighth and Bryant streets
                                2. Eighth and Harrison streets
                                3. Fifth and Harrison streets
                                4. Broadway and Van Ness Avenue
                                5. Bush Street and Van Ness Avenue
                                6. Franklin Street and Lombard Street
                                7. Marina Boulevard and Lyon Steet
                                8. Park Presidio Avenue and Lake Street
                                9. Park Presidio and Geary Boulevard
                                10. Park Presidio Avenue and Fulton Street
                                11. Richardson Avenue and Francisco Street
                                12. Third and Folsom streets
                                13. Fourth and Folsom streets
                                14. Third and Howard streets
                                15. Fourth and Howard streets

                                Chronicle staff writer Jaxon Van Derbeken contributed to this report /
                                E-mail Rachel Gordon at rgordon@....
                              • 12/5 SF Chronicle
                                Published Tuesday, December 5, 2000, in the San Francisco Chronicle Signs at Airport Belie S.F. Diversity Sense of welcome lacking, critics say Marshall
                                Message 15 of 21 , Dec 5, 2000
                                  Published Tuesday, December 5, 2000, in the San Francisco Chronicle

                                  Signs at Airport Belie S.F. Diversity
                                  Sense of welcome lacking, critics say

                                  Marshall Wilson, Chronicle Staff Writer

                                  There's no willkommen mat out for foreign travelers at San Francisco
                                  Airport's new international terminal.

                                  For that matter, don't look for a bienvenue, bienvenido or yokoso, either.

                                  SFO officials tout the $1 billion terminal as the gateway to the world.
                                  But some travelers are questioning why, in one of the world's most diverse
                                  areas, nearly every sign is in English.

                                  Signs directing travelers to the parking garages and boarding gates are in
                                  English. Information posters throughout the terminal listing what's where
                                  are in English.

                                  Looking for signs pointing out where to meet a friend returning from
                                  overseas? Need to find a rest room? Better know your English.

                                  "Even Willie Brown's 'Welcome to San Francisco' (sign) is only in
                                  English," said Jason Cohen of Oakland, a business writer for an
                                  engineering and construction company who visited the terminal during SFO's
                                  open house on Sunday.

                                  "No international terminal I've ever been in, either in the U.S. or
                                  overseas, used only one language," Cohen said. "You want to make a visitor
                                  feel welcome. . . . It's hard when you get off a plane and you don't speak
                                  the language."

                                  All of SFO's 24 international carriers this week are scheduled to move
                                  into the terminal, the largest international terminal in North America
                                  with 2.5 million square feet.

                                  "The international terminal at SFO should be a model of multiculturalism,"
                                  travel author Edward Hasbrouck wrote in an Internet critique of the new
                                  terminal. "The most important signs at SFO . . . should be in Spanish and
                                  Chinese as well as English."

                                  SFO spokesman Ron Wilson yesterday said the decision to use English nearly
                                  exclusively came down to a matter of space.

                                  Officials also figured that if they started putting signs in more than one
                                  language, they would be pressured to put them in every language.

                                  "If you start adding a bunch of languages, it becomes a distraction rather
                                  than information," he said.

                                  Wilson added, "You can't print dozens of languages because there's just
                                  not enough room, and those that you do print, others would be offended
                                  whose language is not displayed."

                                  Federal law requires that certain notices be posted in a variety of
                                  languages in the U.S. Immigration and Customs areas, Wilson said. Foreign-
                                  language signs in these areas also point to the exits once passengers pass
                                  through Customs.

                                  Yet throughout the spacious lobby housing the check-in counters and the
                                  boarding areas, SFO relies on icons next to the English words to point
                                  travelers on their way.

                                  "We depend a lot on symbols, international symbols that mean the same no
                                  matter what country you're from," Wilson said.

                                  And SFO passengers come from a lot of countries. SFO officials expect the
                                  number of international passengers will grow from 7 million in 1998 to 12
                                  million by 2006.

                                  To help steer passengers in the right direction, Wilson said, information
                                  booths are staffed by people fluent in a variety of languages. Translation
                                  services are also available 24 hours a day, he said.

                                  But the fact is that this airport is operated by the City and County of
                                  San Francisco, where voting ballots are printed in several languages, and
                                  some street signs are in Chinese.

                                  "You go to any airport in the world, and there are certain common
                                  languages on their signs," said Cohen, who has traveled to South America,
                                  Europe and parts of Asia.

                                  Or as Hasbrouck put it in his critique, "Those of us who recognize
                                  cultural diversity as one of the best things about the Bay Area should be
                                  embarrassed."

                                  As of today, all Asiana Airlines, Mexicana Airlines and Singapore Airlines
                                  flights will use the new international terminal. SFO officials advise
                                  travelers to contact their airlines for the latest schedules and to allow
                                  extra time for check-in.

                                  E-mail Marshall Wilson at marshallwilson@....
                                • 12/5 SF Chronicle
                                  Published Tuesday, December 5, 2000, in the San Francisco Chronicle Final Call For Transit Wish Lists And why SFO is the place to go even if you don t travel
                                  Message 16 of 21 , Dec 5, 2000
                                    Published Tuesday, December 5, 2000, in the San Francisco Chronicle

                                    Final Call For Transit Wish Lists
                                    And why SFO is the place to go even if you don't travel

                                    Mark Simon

                                    The mass transit wish lists are pouring in, and people have come up with
                                    some dandy notions about what the nondriving commute ought to include.

                                    For example, Joe Mainochi, who lives in Pacific Heights and takes Caltrain
                                    to Mountain View, would like a food and beverage car, seats that recline,
                                    and maybe a tray table that doesn't have to be in an upright, locked
                                    position when the train pulls into the station.

                                    Bob Hoffman divided his list into Dreams, Wildest Dreams and Beyond
                                    Wildest Dreams. In order, they would include frequent trains, clean and
                                    roomy rest rooms and a lounge with bar service for homeward-bound
                                    commuters.

                                    Frederick Hansson said he's willing to pay extra to be guaranteed a
                                    reserve seat and would love to buy a latte and doughnut while on the
                                    train.

                                    So, you can see, there is much for which we can wish, and it costs
                                    nothing. The wishing, that is.

                                    A summary of the suggestions, recommendations and demands will appear in
                                    Thursday's column, so there still is time for you to send me your wish
                                    list.

                                    Make it as blue-sky as you would like, and drawings of your perfect
                                    transit car for the 21st century are encouraged.

                                    SFO SHOULD BE SFOP: They spent $1 billion on the new international
                                    terminal at San Francisco International Airport and, as they say in
                                    Hollywood, the money is on the screen.

                                    The new terminal is every bit as impressive as you've heard, and worth a
                                    field trip, even if you've got nowhere else to go.

                                    In fact, the airport is so much like a mall now that it's a great place to
                                    shop or eat, particularly with the addition of restaurants that far
                                    outstrip the historic food-court quality dining that used to be the norm.

                                    In fact, it's a great place to just hang out, particularly if you're a
                                    devoted watcher of people.

                                    As SFO becomes even more of an international airport, the question is
                                    whether it is truly a regional airport.

                                    That's the label most favored by those who want to build the new runways
                                    at SFO -- it's a regional airport, essential to the region's economic and
                                    social well-being.

                                    The question is why the rest of the region receives a puny share of the
                                    economic benefit from the airport.

                                    The expected answer from airport and San Francisco officials would be that
                                    the airport is city-owned and self-sustaining -- that it paid for its own
                                    expansion and its own operations.

                                    But the reality is that the region pays for the airport -- the money at
                                    the airport comes from fees charged to the airlines, fees the airlines
                                    pass on to their customers.

                                    In other words, the airport is a regional facility when San Francisco
                                    wants something from the region, but it's San Francisco's when there is
                                    something to be taken from the airport.

                                    It's all about attitude, ultimately, and no one does that better than San
                                    Francisco.

                                    Consider this quote in The Chronicle from John Marks, president of the San
                                    Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau, at last week's black-tie gala
                                    christening the new terminal: "Visitors will arrive in a style that is
                                    commensurate with the most popular city in the United States."

                                    Now, maybe this is setting too high a bar for the main tourism official at
                                    San Francisco, but, really, people coming into SFO go places other than
                                    San Francisco for reasons other than visiting the city.

                                    For example, they go to the Peninsula on business.

                                    In fact, I'm willing to bet that more SFO arrivals head to the Peninsula
                                    than to Oakland, the O in SFO.

                                    SFO as a label is an anachronism, in keeping with the largely
                                    anachronistic thinking of most San Francisco officials, who seem
                                    blissfully unaware that the city no longer is the center of Bay Area
                                    economic life.

                                    SFO really should be SFP for Peninsula, or even SFSV for Silicon Valley.

                                    […]

                                    Mark Simon can be seen 7:30 p.m. Fridays on The Chronicle's "Peninsula
                                    This Week" on cable Channel 26, and at other times on local access
                                    channels. You can reach him at (650) 299-8071, by fax at (650) 299-9208,
                                    or by e-mail at msimon@....
                                  • 12/5 SF Chronicle
                                    Published Tuesday, December 5, 2000, in the San Francisco Chronicle S.F. Blueprint for Transit Future Sent Back to Drawing Board After 3 years of work, report
                                    Message 17 of 21 , Dec 5, 2000
                                      Published Tuesday, December 5, 2000, in the San Francisco Chronicle

                                      S.F. Blueprint for Transit Future Sent Back to Drawing Board
                                      After 3 years of work, report doesn't please Transportation Authority

                                      Edward Epstein, Chronicle Staff Writer

                                      Imagine San Francisco in 2030 -- without the traffic.

                                      Buses on jammed Geary Street have been replaced by a subway, at least as
                                      far west as Laguna Street. Another new subway carries people up Third
                                      Street all the way to North Beach. And traffic on Van Ness Avenue is a
                                      breeze, because through traffic coming into the city from the Golden Gate
                                      Bridge now shoots underground.

                                      Quite a dream, but not as elaborate as the one conjured up by members of
                                      the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, who in their roles as
                                      Transportation Authority commissioners asked their staff yesterday for
                                      more work on the long-range plan containing these and other ideas.

                                      The Countywide Transportation Plan, prepared by the authority's small
                                      staff,

                                      has been in the works for about three years. It is supposed to provide a
                                      blueprint for the authority, which dispenses sales taxes for
                                      transportation projects and lobbies for money in Sacramento, Washington
                                      and at the Metropolitan Transportation Commission.

                                      The study suggests that San Francisco will need $5.8 billion during the
                                      next 30 years just to maintain the current system of public transportation
                                      and streets. "We expect to be $1.1 billion short," said Andy Nash, the
                                      authority's executive director.

                                      Nash suggested that the city also needs to examine major new projects for
                                      their transportation and financial feasibility. These include such
                                      previously discussed ideas as the Geary and Chinatown subways; the
                                      so-called supercorridors, which would involve tunneling under Van Ness,
                                      19th Avenue and Oak and Fell streets; and expanding "transit preference"
                                      streets that speed Municipal Railway service by creating transit-only
                                      lanes or use preferential traffic signals for transit vehicles.

                                      Nash's initial thinking is that the supercorridors, which would cost
                                      billions of dollars to build, could be financed privately, meaning
                                      motorists would pay tolls to travel by tunnel under the city. The surface
                                      streets in the corridors would be reserved for local traffic, transit,
                                      bicycles and pedestrians.

                                      The plan also mentions studying how to implement the voter-suggested idea
                                      of extending and putting underground Caltrain from its Fourth and Townsend
                                      station to the Transbay Terminal.

                                      Some supervisors thought the whole package insufficient.

                                      "I'm somewhat dissatisfied by what I see as deficiencies," said Supervisor
                                      Tom Ammiano. "This is going to be treated somewhat as the bible. . . . I
                                      don't think it's providing the answers we seek."

                                      Ammiano said he wanted greater emphasis placed on neighborhood Muni
                                      projects, ways to cut congestion and a study of new financing ideas, such
                                      as the often-discussed creation of a downtown transit assessment district
                                      or cutting San Francisco in on a share of bridge tolls.

                                      Supervisor Mark Leno said the plan didn't prepare the city well enough for
                                      the sweeping changes that California's soaring population will bring. "If
                                      people think it's dense today, just wait," he said.

                                      Ammiano also pointed out that it is important to reach consensus on a plan
                                      because the voter-approved half-cent sales tax for transportation expires
                                      in 2010. The supervisors will have to go back to voters before then to
                                      renew the tax.

                                      Nash said the plan wasn't meant to be a definite blueprint, but rather as
                                      a tool for further study and political decision-making. He suggested that
                                      the authority could amend the plan in two or three years and study new
                                      projects.

                                      Supervisor Barbara Kaufman stood up for the plan. "I think it's been very
                                      carefully prepared," she said. "Given that we're already $1.1 billion
                                      short, I thought this was a more realistic way of looking at this issue,"
                                      she said.

                                      But the authority's Plans and Programs Committee voted 3 to 2 against
                                      accepting the plan. Instead, Ammiano and Leno will meet with Nash to get
                                      their concerns included in a revised countywide plan.

                                      E-mail Edward Epstein at eepstein@....
                                    • 12/5 SJ Mercury
                                      Published Tuesday, December 5, 2000, in the San Jose Mercury News S.F. Airport working to make smooth shift By Aaron Davis Mercury News After billions of
                                      Message 18 of 21 , Dec 5, 2000
                                        Published Tuesday, December 5, 2000, in the San Jose Mercury News

                                        S.F. Airport working to make smooth shift

                                        By Aaron Davis
                                        Mercury News

                                        After billions of dollars in construction and a decade of anticipation,
                                        the most stressful seven days are just beginning for the Bay Area's newest
                                        landmark: the international terminal at San Francisco Airport.

                                        Beginning today, San Francisco's 24 international carriers start a highly
                                        orchestrated transition from the old international terminal to the new one
                                        -- all while trying to keep the nation's fifth busiest airport running
                                        smoothly.

                                        And for all the new terminal's high-tech computer systems, the sanity of
                                        tens of thousands of travelers who must figure out where to catch their
                                        international flights will depend in large part on the work of airport
                                        maintenance crews and some carefully placed duct tape.

                                        Every night this week, airport workers will switch highway exit signs and
                                        peel back tape now obscuring airline logos on signs pointing to the new
                                        terminal. Early this morning, workers were scheduled to uncover signs for
                                        Asiana, Mexicana and Singapore airlines at the new terminal.

                                        ``The theory is, if passengers see a sign for their airline at the new
                                        terminal, they'll know they're in the right place,'' said Mike McCarron,
                                        assistant deputy airport director.

                                        However, if the stories of bewildered international travelers who lost
                                        their way on Monday are any indication, signs alone might not be enough to
                                        stave off confusion this week.

                                        ``My airline told me I was flying out of the new terminal -- that's why
                                        I'm here,'' said Sandra Rossiter, a flight attendant for
                                        Indianapolis-based American Trans Air. ``Where's my plane?''

                                        After nearly 45 minutes of wandering around the cavernous new terminal
                                        with her luggage, Rossiter was told her flight to Germany was leaving in a
                                        half hour -- from the old terminal. She made her flight, but had a few
                                        choice words about San Francisco Airport. As someone used to working with
                                        airports and airlines, if she couldn't figure out where to go, she said,
                                        ``I feel sorry for everyone this week.''

                                        Monday, the scene at the new terminal included art crews putting the
                                        finishing touches on decorative displays, construction workers packing up
                                        their gear and throngs of airport workers checking out the chi-chi
                                        restaurants flanking the new concourses.

                                        Also testing out their skills Monday were dozens of airport workers who
                                        will be responsible for giving lost travelers directions through the new
                                        2.5-million-square-foot terminal in coming days.

                                        In all, airport officials said they are confident the transition will go
                                        according to plan and that by Sunday all of San Francisco's more than 200
                                        daily international flights will be leaving from the new terminal.

                                        More than 80 percent of the international visitors to the Bay Area fly in
                                        and out of San Francisco Airport each year.

                                        Today, 3,480 passengers are expected to pass through the terminal. That
                                        number will jump significantly after midnight, when United moves its
                                        international operations to the new terminal. The airline operates more
                                        than 50 percent of the international flights out of San Francisco.


                                        Contact Aaron Davis at acdavis@... or call (650) 688-7590.
                                      • 12/5 SJ Mercury
                                        Published Tuesday, December 5, 2000, in the San Jose Mercury News Traffic-light triggers to aid emergency vehicles By Gary Richards Mercury News Staff
                                        Message 19 of 21 , Dec 5, 2000
                                          Published Tuesday, December 5, 2000, in the San Jose Mercury News

                                          Traffic-light triggers to aid emergency vehicles

                                          By Gary Richards
                                          Mercury News Staff Columnist

                                          San Jose firetrucks will be getting to their calls sooner -- and perhaps
                                          more safely.

                                          The city is embarking on a plan to allow emergency vehicles to pre-empt
                                          traffic signals at 150 intersections -- saving precious time as they
                                          battle their way through congested streets.

                                          Only 12 downtown intersections are equipped with pre-emption devices now.
                                          Having the capability to flip a traffic light to green will hasten the
                                          response time, fire officials say, and give them more confidence that cars
                                          will stop as they race through a busy intersection.

                                          Triggering devices will be placed on the city's most traveled streets
                                          during the next two years.

                                          ``This should greatly reduce the potential of an accident for responding
                                          units,'' said fire department spokesman Mark Mooney.

                                          Rescue workers have long worried about motorists who fail to stop or pull
                                          over as emergency vehicles race down a street with lights flashing and
                                          sirens blasting away. Livermore and Pleasanton have bought ads on theater
                                          screens, urging drivers to move to the right, as required by state law, to
                                          let emergency vehicles pass. Sacramento officials are handing out
                                          brochures with the same message.

                                          Pre-emption varies from city to city. Mountain View, Santa Clara, Morgan
                                          Hill and Campbell have been equipped with these devices for years, while
                                          Fremont has none. San Francisco uses pre-emption for Municipal Railway and
                                          mass transit, but not for rescue trucks.

                                          Here are the rules when an emergency vehicle approaches:

                                          * Pull to the right and STOP. On an undivided highway, cars traveling in
                                          both directions must pull to the right and stop.

                                          * Do not move to the left. This may confuse drivers.

                                          * If you are in a left-turn lane and cannot move to the right, stay put.
                                          Do not run the red light. Most emergency vehicles will proceed around you
                                          in the open space provided by the other motorists who move to the right.

                                          * Keep intersections clear.

                                          * Remember, a firetruck may make a left turn or may use opposing lanes of
                                          traffic if other lanes are blocked.

                                          And be careful out there.

                                          Contact Gary Richards at mrroadshow@... or (408) 920-5335.
                                        • 12/4 Daily Review
                                          Published December 4, 2000, in the Daily Review Hayward Paratransit Service s budget to double Measure B s passage means program will continue By Chris Tribbey
                                          Message 20 of 21 , Dec 5, 2000
                                            Published December 4, 2000, in the Daily Review

                                            Hayward Paratransit Service's budget to double
                                            Measure B's passage means program will continue

                                            By Chris Tribbey
                                            Staff Writer

                                            While voters were deciding whether to extend Measure B, the half-cent
                                            transportation sales tax, for another 20 years, an entire Hayward city
                                            department was holding its collective breath.

                                            "If it fails, in 2002 when the money runs out (from the 1986 Measure B),
                                            our paratransit program (in Hayward) will cease to exist," said Robert
                                            Bauman, the deputy director of public works for Hayward, before the Nov. 7
                                            election.

                                            The voters did pass Measure B by more than the two-thirds majority vote it
                                            needed, with 82.7 percent of the vote. That was a relief for Hayward
                                            Paratransit Service and the more than 500 people who use it.

                                            "It was either feast or famine," said David Korth, head of the paratransit
                                            program.

                                            If Measure B had failed, the $321,000 the program gets every year would
                                            have disappeared, leaving it to beg the city for help. Instead, beginning
                                            in 2002 when the renewed Measure B begins filtering money to cities in
                                            Alameda County, the program will see its budget nearly double.

                                            "Not only will our normal service expand, but we'll be able to do more
                                            things," Korth said.

                                            That "normal service" means transporting the elderly and disabled in and
                                            around Hayward to everywhere in the Bay Area since 1978. Contracting with
                                            Oakland-based Friendly Transportation, the service takes participants
                                            anywhere they want to go for $2, plus gives them a voucher for every 10
                                            miles they are transported.

                                            "It's cheaper than a taxi," said Castro Valley resident Donna Gerald, 73,
                                            adding that she uses the service to go to Oakland because there is limited
                                            bus service where she lives.

                                            Participants who are approved for the program are given books of 10
                                            vouchers, or more, depending on need, that they can use to be picked up
                                            and dropped off.

                                            "An individual's situation determines how many vouchers they get," Korth
                                            said. "For example, if someone lives away from bus service, they are
                                            eligible for more."

                                            Hayward Paratransit Service was the only paratransit service provider in
                                            the East Bay until 1997, when the East Bay Paratransit Consortium, which
                                            includes BART and AC Transit, was formed as a result of the Americans With
                                            Disabilities Act. The East Bay Paratransit service offers similar
                                            taxi-type transportation, only on a larger scale.

                                            "We try to encourage people residing in our area to enroll in both
                                            (services), but try East Bay paratransit first," Korth said.



                                            The 5.4-mile Foothill Freeway has spent the past 30 years on the drawing
                                            board, and is becoming a hot topic again, with the Alameda County Board of
                                            Supervisors expected to vote on it early next year.

                                            Did you vote for the freeway in the past? If so, do you think it is a
                                            solution to local traffic woes? Or should transportation planners scrap
                                            the whole thing? Send us your comments.


                                            The Commute is a weekly column about local transportation issues. Do you
                                            have a commute story to share? Do you have a question or topic you'd like
                                            the column to address? Contact transportation reporter Chris Tribbey,
                                            293-2481, or send e-mail to ctribbey@..., fax to 293-2490 or
                                            write us at 22533 Foothill Blvd., Hayward 94541.
                                          • 12/4 San Mateo County Times
                                            Published Monday, December 4, 2000, in the San Mateo County Times SFO unveils international terminal By T.S. Mills-Faraudo Staff Writer S.F. Airport -- The
                                            Message 21 of 21 , Dec 5, 2000
                                              Published Monday, December 4, 2000, in the San Mateo County Times

                                              SFO unveils international terminal

                                              By T.S. Mills-Faraudo
                                              Staff Writer

                                              S.F. Airport -- The doors to San Francisco International Airport's new
                                              International Terminal opened to the community Sunday in a grand
                                              celebration, complete with political dignitaries, diverse entertainment
                                              and plenty of pats on the back for a project that took five years to
                                              complete.

                                              "This facility is not just San Francisco's airport, it belongs to all of
                                              this region," San Francisco Mayor Willie L. Brown, Jr. told a crowd during
                                              a ceremony at the Community Open House and Family Day.

                                              Brown raved about the terminal's ability to handle mass amounts of traffic
                                              and about its trendy shops and restaurants.

                                              "It reflects the diversity of San Francisco," Brown said.

                                              Although the terminal was not open for business Sunday, it was packed with
                                              about 60,000 people, according to airport officials.

                                              All of the airlines are expected to start operating out of the new
                                              terminal by Dec. 10.

                                              The new terminal encompasses 2.5 million square feet filled with twice the
                                              ticket counter space of the old terminal, 24 gates, more space for
                                              wide-bodied aircraft, increased baggage handling capabilities, expanded
                                              U.S. Customs facilities, 3,200 new parking spaces, 16 restaurants, 21
                                              shops and a $10 million permanent selection of art work. This all came
                                              with a $2.4 billion price tag -- funded entirely from airport revenue.

                                              The airport's master plan also includes an airport rail transit system,
                                              scheduled for its first run in 2001, which will travel throughout the
                                              airport for easy connections between terminals. In addition, the BART
                                              station, which will provide direct access to SFO for San Francisco and
                                              East Bay passengers, is scheduled to open in 2001.

                                              "Looking at the plans for this airport, no one would have realized what a
                                              beautiful structure this would turn out to be," airport spokesman Ron
                                              Wilson told the audience at the event.

                                              To inaugurate the airport, Chinese lion dancers from Leung's White Crane
                                              Kung Fu Association gave a performance. Other entertainment included 49ers
                                              Gold Rush Cheerleaders, the San Francisco Rad Tap Team and several choirs.

                                              The open house also included a raffle in which each person received a
                                              passport they could fill with stamps at different stations at the event.
                                              After collecting 10 stamps, participants were eligible to win airline
                                              tickets.

                                              The new terminal was received well by community members attending the
                                              event.

                                              "It's magnificent," Daly City resident Charlie Passanisi said. "It's out
                                              of this world. I like its massiveness. It's really a grand monument."

                                              San Francisco resident Maxine Lawler, who often travels internationally,
                                              said she likes the variety of restaurants.

                                              "I love it," Lawler said. "Usually, airports just have places like
                                              McDonald's, and they don't have nice restaurants where you can actually
                                              sit down and eat."

                                              Many visitors commented on the terminal's vast, airy lobby with tall
                                              windows and high ceilings.

                                              "I like all the light that comes in and its spaciousness," Redwood City
                                              resident Julie Johnston said.

                                              You can reach staff writer T.S. Mills-Faraudo at 348-4338 or by e-mail at
                                              tmills@....
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