One of the simplest, highly valuable tasks that the next BART Board can on would be to improve connections and relations with other transit agencies. Designing some method by which to improve last and first mile transfers would vastly change the ability of BART riders to reach their destination efficiently and feel they can rely on transit. The program I envision:
- Ensure real-time information for smaller transit agencies that connect with BART and their integration into 511 real-time service. For example Emery-go-round, Union City Transit, San Leandro LINKS, Soltrans.
- Create a real-time location BART map exclusively for waiting timed transfer bus operators to allow them to make judgement calls on BART arrival times (Bus operators have federal restrictions on devices they use while on-duty.)
- Work with agencies to schedule buses at low frequency times to allow 5 minute window after scheduled BART arrivals. Ask them to direct bus operators to wait for BART riders if they acknowledge BART coming in the direction of the commute. The tool above would help bus operators make the judgement calls when considering waiting passengers and those they have coming.
- During time periods of low BART frequency (20 minute Saturday/Sunday) at single BART stations served by only one line, attempt to coordinate bus schedules to arrive within 5 minutes of scheduled BART arrival.
- Program automated Bus PA systems to identify next departure times as bus approaches its BART station terminus. For buses with LED or display screens, program them to show estimated departure times for BART or other connections.
- Caltrain Weekends and holiday schedule in particular should have timed transfers where possible.
Getting to BART stations is difficult for distant locations in the East Bay, and I would like to create a shuttle program. I would propose finding central points where most BART residents come from, and provide 15-20 minute frequency buses to and from 2 or 3 points during peak hours, and reach BART within the scheduled time of a San Francisco bound train. This alleviate parking requirements and make BART more approachable for residents.
SFMTA Shared Subways
I would pursue a proposal in which at Embarcadero and Civic Center there would there be a direct stairwell and escalator between the two levels. It is frustrating, nonsensical and inefficient for passengers of both systems to have to go to the top of the stairwell to only go back down for the other agency. These two stations being pivotal for transfers between the two systems makes them ideal. This would also alleviate confusion for tourists and newcomers to the city who can’t comprehend the unusual multi-agency transit system break up that the Bay Area has.