Saturday, August 15, 2009

BART has a cow

2007 NTD Program data for BART. [small pdf]

360,000 average weekday BART riders. The highest plausible number
that use the transbay (no hyphen apparently) tube is 50%. So 180,000
BART tubers and 480,000 bridge crossers. That's daily. BART looks
much better with the peak period data. Peak hour bridge is 2300 vph.
That is the equivilant of full trains on almost exactly a two minute
schedule. Tight but possible. Of course there is a problem. Run
that schedule two hours in the morning and two at night and you've
already used up your transbay 180,000 ridership totals.

BART thru the transbay tube carries the daily equivilant two lanes of
traffic but more importantly the equivilant of three lanes at the
critical weekday peak periods.

And at what cost? $360 million annual subsidy. Yep, a $1000/rider.
Still the employees want more money. Fine, a $10 surcharge per trip should cover it.

Public against the strike. SFGate.

Offical BART strike page.


Dan from Madison said...

Awesome - first good analysis I have seen on light rail in quite some time.

Lou Minatti said...

BART's quite handy when I visit SF, particularly since SFO has been linked. I think I paid $5.50 to get down to the Montgomery Street. The BART cars are cool... it's like stepping back into 1976. The interior of the BART cars are complete with yellowed plastic, like very old computer monitors that you may have laying around from 1987. Plus they make cool sounds when they leave the station and speed up.

Rob, what about Muni workers? And what about $1.5 billion (and counting) for a Muni line to North Beach?

Lou Minatti said...

Dan, BART isn't light rail. Muni is. BART is heavy rail.

tj and the bear said...

$1K per rider? Sounds like a juicy subsidy for cutting when government's running lean. Let's see how many people find their ride convenient when the annual pass runs four figures directly out-of-pocket.

Son of Brock Landers said...

in their defense, this may be the last time these ees can strike before they are replaced with cheaper, more efficient robots.

Arthur said...

Breaking news guys, Casey wants to buy an island. If you can stand it, there's a 48 minute video on

averagerainfall said...

Arthur, the bigger news is that Casey's immediate family seems to be as nuts as he is.

At the end of the video, after they indulged him for *ALMOST AN HOUR*, he said something like "Well, I think we're going to have a strictly family conversation so I'm gonna turn this off now".

I hope that the ensuing conversation involved Casey being forcibly institutionalized.

Arthur Wankspittle said...

Unfortunately that didn't happen. Casey's family have both enabled him (the BIL gave him the new website name) and been progressively inured to the nature of Casey's problems. If a stranger to the situation were in that room they would have either walked out after a few minutes saying "scam" or got a piece of 2 x 4 and hit Casey over the head with it until he stopped babbling about lunatic schemes. The family are so used to it and tolerate it, they can't see how out of wack Casey actually is.

WeWantTheFunk said...

. . . the HELL?

Lou Minatti said...

I haven't seen this much Casey hate since the trip to Oz.

Bill in NC said...

So, even for an already built commuter rail system, it's still cheaper to bus them in for free...

Rob Dawg said...

So, even for an already built commuter rail system, it's still cheaper to bus them in for free...

Pretty much but some cases there's so much sunk cost that short term it doesn't pay to switch over.

Face said...

Interesting figures but I wonder how much the subsidy is for the Bay Bridge (old and new) + arteries. It is my understanding that the entire highway system is not directly funded by vehicles and has to be subsidized by taxpayers. According to this link the tolls at least cover maintenance and seismic retrofits:

Rob Dawg said...

More is collected every year in use taxes than is spent on roadways. The only reason the highway trust fund doesn't pay for everything is because of federal diversion and transit subsidies charged to roads users.

Yes, the bay area bridges pay for themselves even have some left over to subsidize transit themselves. The same for the NYC toll bridges.