Blogging Bayport Alameda

August 16, 2011

Shuttle shuffle

Filed under: Alameda, Public Resources — Lauren Do @ 6:04 am

Yesterday was the launch of the Estuary Crossing Shuttle which is essentially a bus with lots of interior bike racks in it to provide an alternative for pedestrians and bicyclists to using the tube to get from Oakland to Alameda and vice versa.  Map from the City’s website:

Some details from the Alameda Journal article, just ignore the title because it’s not BART’s shuttle:

The new shuttle service runs every 30 minutes between 7-11:30 a.m. and from 3:30-7 p.m. on weekdays.

“AC Transit buses run through the Tube every nine minutes on a more regular schedule, but they can only take two bikes each,” said Cory LaVigne, director of service development and planning for the organization. “I can’t wait to see how this service goes, and if it should be taken further.”

The shuttle service is funded by a one-year $193,000 grant from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District and a 10 percent matching grant from the city of Alameda. It could be eligible for a second year of funding, officials said during Monday’s ribbon-cutting ceremony at the College of Alameda.

The new shuttle is a low-emissions bus powered by natural gas. “We estimate that this service could reduce the level of greenhouse gases by 796 tons a year and the level of air pollutants by 1.5 tons a year,” said Damian Breen, director of incentives for the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.

Is it a perfect crossing solution?   Not really.  I think most people who use the tube sans car would probably prefer a fixed alternative, but given the huge cost of a bike bridge I think it’s safe to say that it probably isn’t going to happen any time soon.   As mentioned in the comments section which diverted from the initial topic, the bike shuttle is a mid-range solution, not a long term one.   Is the crossing shuttle a duplicate of the current route AC Transit runs?  Probably.   But arguably the new Downtown Oakland buses duplicate AC Transit routes as well and they are fairly well used.

Hopefully if Alameda Landing ever gets built out perhaps the Water Taxi idea can get a bit more traction, but in lieu of that the shuttle is a good way of getting a lot of people through the Tube without those uncomfortable and dangerous situations when two people intersect on that tiny little walkway.   I just hope they let that little old couple who schlep those huge bags of recyclables use the shuttle as well.

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79 Comments

  1. —-“We estimate that this service could reduce the level of greenhouse gases by 796 tons a year and the level of air pollutants by 1.5 tons a year,” said Damian Breen,—-

    “…those uncomfortable and dangerous situations when two people intersect on that tiny little walkway.”

    Even more reduction (both $’s and GH gasses) if it missed a turn and drowned in the estuary. Then the two people could intersect on the bus. It’s stuff like this that causes stuff like this:

    http://articles.sfgate.com/2011-08-10/news/29870747_1_budget-numbers-budget-gap-ana-matosantos

    Comment by Jack Richard — August 16, 2011 @ 8:30 am

  2. I have to disagree with the criticism here and on the other thread from yesterday. I say it’s about time, and thanks to the city, and BAAQMD, for making this available on a trial basis. As a west end resident and BART commuter, I got sick of waiting on average 30-40 minutes each night for AC transit bus 51 – just for a 7 minute ride through the tube. Driving to Fruitvale and parking has always felt wasteful, but I got tired of the long wait after dark on Broadway each night (typically 30-40 minutes, until 3 AC 51s would show up in tandem), or the noxious fumes from riding or walking through the tube. Until a longer range solutions is in the works, I am thrilled to be able to ride my bike, at least partway, to work whenever possible. I could never get why AC 51 was part of such a long route as to make short trips off & on the west end of the island such a hassle – meanwhile there are multiple shuttle lines to & from Jack London Square…

    Comment by kelly harp — August 16, 2011 @ 9:29 am

  3. 1: The key to reducing greenhouse gases (GHGs) locally is to reduce motorized transportation overall and “green” (clean up/reduce) the emissions produced by the remaining vehicles on the road.

    (The current state and federal budget “crises” – which have been in large part artificially created by intransigent Republican opposition to increasing revenues at all levels as well as pro-corporate de-regulation – pale in the face of the costs associated with the more pessimistic projections of global climate change, including political destabilization, sea level rise,drought, food crises, and other consequences.)

    Now, back to the shuttle, an excellent local response to the global problems of climate change:

    It is currently dangerous and unhealthy to walk of ride the Posey Tube, so the CNG-powered shuttle is an excellent short-term solution that reduces GHGs two ways:

    a) It encourages more people to leave their cars at home and walk or bike between Oakland and Alameda or to reach BART’s Lake Merritt station. (No car trip = no GHGs produced by that vehicle.)

    b) the shuttle itself is greener than most buses, being CNG-powered (CNG = compressed natural gas). And transit riders on existing produce less GHGs per trip riding a shuttle than in single-occupancy vehicles, carpools, or other powered modes.

    The shuttle will benefit students, staff, and faculty at both Laney College and the College of Alameda, since many people are teaching or taking classes at both campuses. It also should increase mobility for lower-income folks and others whose transportation options are limited. In addition it will help cyclists like Kelly Harp and me to extend our range more easily without using a car, which will help us stay healthier and more productive for a longer time.

    The current budget problems in Sacramento and in Washingon are much more politically contrived and easily solved than the looming changes in world climate. Let’s keep our eyes on the ball, Jack.

    Comment by Jon Spangler — August 16, 2011 @ 10:23 am

  4. That’s “Washington.” Sorry…

    Comment by Jon Spangler — August 16, 2011 @ 10:24 am

  5. 2/3
    kelly harp, the shuttle won’t help your night ride problem, but keep up the noise and I’m sure Jon will find a way to expand all freebees in the name of the father gore and the son barry and the holy ghost of future climate predictions (after they can’t even get the past right). http://kutwrite.hubpages.com/hub/Global-Warming-Fake-01

    Comment by Jack Richard — August 16, 2011 @ 10:37 am

  6. Keep your Eyes on the ball Jack…..while they slowly pickpocket the public. …Its a three card monty game and your forced to play.

    Always listen to your Volunteers JS and JKW they will keep you safe.

    Comment by John — August 16, 2011 @ 10:52 am

  7. 3

    “The current budget problems in Sacramento and in Washingon are much more politically contrived and easily solved”

    Who contrived them and how are they easily solved. In 500 words or less

    Comment by John — August 16, 2011 @ 11:01 am

  8. .John, Jon won’t answer your question so I’ll answer for him.

    The Tea Party with Repugs contrived the problem which could easily be solved by raising taxes and getting rid of loopy loopholes like Prop 13…and, of course, by pedaling your ass around town.

    Comment by Jack Richard — August 16, 2011 @ 11:40 am

  9. #7

    “In 500 words or less”

    John, you first

    Comment by oleczek — August 16, 2011 @ 11:59 am

  10. Alameda residents now have a direct connection to BART while the College of Alameda and West Alameda businesses are now directly accessible from all the communities BART serves. Alameda’s Hawthorne Suites will get at least one new guest that I know of. Compared to all other options, shuttles represent a cost-effective way to link Alameda and Oakland.

    Robert Raburn – BART Director

    Comment by Robert Raburn — August 16, 2011 @ 12:20 pm

  11. Jack sounds about right…LOL

    Look….JS got a new sock puppet…. Good to see him back in a Czech hat

    Comment by John — August 16, 2011 @ 12:22 pm

  12. Your doing a fabulous job Robert.

    I noticed alot of Bike riders checking in at our hotels here.

    Comment by John — August 16, 2011 @ 12:34 pm

  13. On TV news last nite (KTVU, I think), the newscaster said:”..100 people a DAY bicycle or walk thru the Posey Tube”. Really? I find that hard to believe, since when I drive thru once a day, I only see about 1 such person a MONTH. Who provided THAT press release–Spengler or JKW? [The flan @that burrito jt U reviewed better be tasty, Jon!]
    The problem these transit plans never address for me is how you can get around better after you have been hit by a car while bicycling or walking–c’est moi–but aren’t yet condemned to a motorized wheelchair. Paratransit is way too limited in time or location to get me out of my car & my car is still the only way to carry stuff around w/me. Can TransForm get a grant to study that?

    Comment by vigi — August 16, 2011 @ 12:38 pm

  14. I believe I have confirmed this once before but Jon Spangler does not post under any names but his own.

    Comment by Lauren Do — August 16, 2011 @ 12:40 pm

  15. And the visual aids for the “Gondolas-over-the-Estuary” are still in a closet @CityHall West. Could always resurrect that idea.

    Comment by vigi — August 16, 2011 @ 12:50 pm

  16. The Alameda Donkey Club is looking for grants to study this as a Viable Way of get our Asses back and forth across Estuary so we can Ride Them to School and Work without having to use thos pesky Buses.

    Comment by John — August 16, 2011 @ 1:15 pm

  17. We want to Buy American but the Japanese have interesting solution and the Mules in the Club are Stubborn.

    Comment by John — August 16, 2011 @ 1:47 pm

  18. 100 people a day walk or bike through the tube? Is that 50 one way and then 50 another? are they happier people now? I agree with #13.

    Who does this help more, College of Alameda, West-End businesses, Alameda to Oakland commuters or potential base development? If the answer is a little of everything, then I am OK with it, but it does NOT reduce the greenhouse gases or carbon footprint.

    I think I’ll take the shuttle from Oakland to go to Taco Bell on Webster, hit the Yogurt shop and then the bait shop!

    Comment by Make it go away — August 16, 2011 @ 1:54 pm

  19. 10 Robert, food on BART is a bad idea, period, or has that idea gone away?

    Comment by Jack Richard — August 16, 2011 @ 3:50 pm

  20. West Alameda has many BART connections in the Line 51A (service every 10 minutes), 20 (every 30 minutes), 21 (every 30 Minutes), 31 (every 30 minutes). If the new shuttle increases overall transit use across all modes (not just taking away riders from the existing lines), it will have an impact on GHG’s. The 100 cyclists a day number isn’t suppose to be impressive, it’s incredibly low for such a short connection to a major employment center. That people are willing to brave the tubes on a bicycle is incredible in and of itself.

    BikeAlameda did bike counts of actual cyclists at the tube, my guess is that the 100 number is from those counts. From their 2006 press release:

    While 95 bicyclists and pedestrians used the Posey Tube to cross the estuary, five times as many used the Park Street Bridge. It is not surprising that the Posey Tube count is lower. Although there are many destinations close to the Posey Tube, such as BART’s City Center Station and Amtrak, a ride or walk through the tube exposes one to toxic exhaust and excessive noise. Additionally, the walkway, which must support traffic going in both directions, is too narrow to accommodate wheelchairs, bike trailers, or two passing bikes. The high number of trips over the Park Street Bridge underscores the demand for alternatives to biking or walking through the Posey Tube.

    Comment by John Knox White — August 16, 2011 @ 3:59 pm

  21. I would love to see the video of a 100 people a day walking or riding through that Tube a day on average for a years time.

    In 50 years living here I might have seen 5. Not that Bike Alameda wouldn’t distort the numbers.

    Comment by John — August 16, 2011 @ 4:14 pm

  22. John, do you ever have anything good to say or are you just an asshole all the time.

    Comment by John P. — August 16, 2011 @ 5:06 pm

  23. JKW, I have no problem with a shuttle. If people wish to ride a bike or take a shuttle through the tube with their bike, that’s their business. What I do have a problem with is the price. Why should one mode of transportation be provided free and the others not (and don’t start in on your lame greenhouse gas crap)? The money to operate this freebie doesn’t just show up on somebody’s doorstep, it has to be paid by others who have to pay for their own transportation plus your free transportation.

    Is this considered a lost leader and meant to be a system of user-pay eventually or is it really just a year long experiment in one more way to waste free money?

    Comment by Jack Richard — August 16, 2011 @ 5:18 pm

  24. Jack,

    I’m unclear on what my “lame greenhouse gas crap” is, so I don’t think I’ll start with it today. But I will point out that the Tubes themselves, the streets, traffic lights, etc. etc. all count as “freebies” in your definition.

    Either government is in the business of transportation or they aren’t. Currently, they are, therefore there are different models for providing said service. The shuttle is one. It’s pre-paid by funds collected for transportation rather than on a per-ride basis, just like much of the rest of our transportation infrastructure.

    Comment by John Knox White — August 16, 2011 @ 5:49 pm

  25. I’m unclear on how you determined Tubes, streets, traffic lights, and all the non-stated etc. is my definition of free. Government is most definitely not in the business of transportation. If it was, it would have gone broke long ago…oh wait, it has gone broke. What kind of business can go broke and still be in business?

    But forget all that, my core question was, ‘is this shuttle considered a lost leader’ and will continue on its own after this pile of loose change runs out?

    Comment by Jack Richard — August 16, 2011 @ 6:19 pm

  26. re: freebies: They are all publicly funded transportation infrastructure whose cost “has to be paid by others who have to pay for their own transportation.”

    The shuttle will shut down as soon as the funding is pulled, or could be rolled into AC Transit’s service if it’s successful. My understanding, I had zero to do with this shuttle, is that it’s funded by a one-year grant from the Air District. Given that it’s not charging a fare, it won’t continue if that funding goes away, unless some other entity steps in to fund it (possible source would be Alameda Landing if it ever gets going)

    Comment by John Knox White — August 16, 2011 @ 6:53 pm

  27. Kelly, I don’t know where you work but if you work in SF the ferry is on the West End, and takes you downtown…they give you free MUNI transfers and AC Transit transfers. I take it everyday. A book of 20 is $90 and so $4.50 each way. Think about it if you work downtown. I have met many friends on there and we even have get togethers now and than.

    Other than that I believe the shuttle is a great idea

    Comment by Joe — August 16, 2011 @ 7:06 pm

  28. Re. Freebies: So that was what you were referencing. Nah, that’s not it, everybody has to pay for street-lights. What I meant was, everybody but these shuttlers has to pay the immediate, out of pocket funds to ride their non-shuttle shuttle and avoid GHG’s.

    Comment by Jack Richard — August 16, 2011 @ 7:16 pm

  29. 27. “good idea”, why?

    Comment by Jack Richard — August 16, 2011 @ 7:18 pm

  30. Jack all Studies I’ve read about anything is people prefer things free and some even like to get paid for this type of info.

    I hope that was nicest enough for John P.

    Comment by John — August 16, 2011 @ 8:52 pm

  31. Took my bike on the shuttle to get to work in Oakland today. Nice to leave the car at home and get a little bit of biking in on either side!

    Comment by cyndy — August 16, 2011 @ 8:58 pm

  32. John, if one gets something free himself, I can understand why (Joe) anyone would think it’s a great idea but Joe rides the ferry paying 9 bucks a day, so why is it a great idea that cyndy rides the shuttle free, non sequitur.

    Comment by Jack Richard — August 16, 2011 @ 9:52 pm

  33. Here’s the mode of transportation for commuters, from the 2000 census. (Similar figures must be out for the 2010 census, but I don’t feel like looking for them.)

    From the same page: here’s the number of commuters from Alameda, point to point, also from 2000.

    According to this, about 70 bike commuters travel to Oakland every day, tho it’s not clear by what route. Another 25 travel to Berkeley, which is arguably possible via the tube, for some.

    So that’s roughly 100 bike commuters in all, of which a portion could be travelling thru the tube.

    I also see commuters to San Leandro, plus Concord, Fremont, etc. which I’m not counting.

    http://www.bayareacensus.ca.gov/place/Alameda.xls

    I’d be interested to know how many riders are using the shuttle service now, and a few months from now.

    I would agree that all forms of transportation are subsized, (including the beloved ferry, which is heavily subsidized) so money spent on this shuttle is nothing to get all huffy about.

    I tend to think tho, that if you live on an island, you need to recognize the limits. If you absolutely need to commute by bike, then maybe you should move.

    Comment by dlm — August 16, 2011 @ 9:58 pm

  34. Here’s the link for the 2000 census figures:

    http://www.bayareacensus.ca.gov/cities/Alameda.htm

    Comment by dlm — August 16, 2011 @ 9:59 pm

  35. Jack I understood your point exactly and tried to make humor of it.

    “Jack all Studies I’ve read about anything is people prefer things free and some even like to get paid for this type of info.”

    Meaning No kidding who wouldn’t like a Free limo service to their work or school and not have to Pay and use AC Transit like everyone else. Also Meaning they spent 200K to do this study and come up with a duplicate service that is bleeding red ink and Give it away for FREE and we PAID them for this info. This was designed for a select few at a ridiculous cost .

    You have lived on West End for a few weeks ………You think 100 a day walk or ride thru that Tube a day ?

    If only 10-15 used the tube by walking or riding would your 200K Study look like more of a waste then it does now?

    Comment by John — August 17, 2011 @ 12:37 am

  36. Joe spends 1000 a year on System……….Cyndy spends 0……….But Cindy has a Bike so it’s ok….How could you think that’s not fairJack…. Didn’t you get your Jon Spangler Way of the World Alameda Edition.

    Comment by John — August 17, 2011 @ 12:53 am

  37. do we have to go back to fundamentals of all the corporate welfare like oil subsidies etc. and freeway construction which we all pay for and all the other embedded costs of the status quo to which John and Jack seem to turn a blind eye while they make such a big deal about the all powerful “bicycle lobby”? If every person had to get exact benefit equal benefit to each dollar of tax they paid, we could get nothing done. Wait until we all have to pay the cost embedded in the atmosphere for our nasty driving habits.

    Comment by M.I. — August 17, 2011 @ 7:19 am

  38. DLM,

    Using your “we live on an island” theory of limiting bicycle access, how is it not applicable to all modes of transportation that aren’t ferry (or boat) and swimming?

    Comment by John Knox White — August 17, 2011 @ 7:21 am

  39. To the free ride issue. Cars cross the estuary for free every day, the expenses of maintaining the tubes and roads and lights, etc. are all covered by public subsidies. No different than the shuttle.

    Cyndy is getting no more of a free ride than anyone else. The fact that her mode of transportation doesn’t require her to also pay for gas doesn’t change the fundamental point that everyone’s transportation is subsidized.

    If someone had a car that didn’t require a cost to operate, would you feel this strange outrage at the shuttles lack of a fee? Perhaps there should be a toll at the tubes and bridges, and then everyone can pay for there fair share to cross the estuary. If you cross it, you pay. no public funds to maintain it, etc. That appears to be what you’re really arguing for.

    Comment by John Knox White — August 17, 2011 @ 7:29 am

  40. John, your example is bad. We shouldn’t be basing public financing of public projects on what the person who spends the most does. If, in your example, Joe spends $1000 because he needs a sports car that gets bad mileage, Cyndy shouldn’t have to spend $1000 in shuttle fares so that life if financially fair to Joe.

    Transportation options should be available to people, which ones they choose, and how much they opt to spend on them, is a personal decision, the hating on Cyndy for choosing an option that doesn’t require $1000s in gas annually is just silly. If Joe is upset at the money spent, maybe he should realize that he has the same access to system and make a different choice.

    Comment by John Knox White — August 17, 2011 @ 7:36 am

  41. @ dlm “I tend to think tho, that if you live on an island, you need to recognize the limits. If you absolutely need to commute by bike, then maybe you should move.”

    No limits! If being on an island is a handicap then we need to work harder to overcome our barriers. It’s all about equal access. I choose to ride whenever I can. I choose to carry less stuff and organize my car trips well so I can reduce the the need for using my car everyday. I choose to donate the money I save on gas to Bike/Ped advocacy groups and I choose to care and make an effort to check that my lifestyle is acting in the best interest of my community.

    Am I correct in assuming that there is still no on/off access to BART at 12th street station during peak commute hours with your non-folding bike? I was so pleased to hop off at Lake Merritt and grab the shuttle back to the island that I love and have no intentions of moving from while my kids are still school age!

    Funny, although we live on an island, we sure have a global view.

    Comment by Patty St.Louis — August 17, 2011 @ 8:13 am

  42. Seems like if one moves to an island and needs to commute they should give up driving to work if anything rather than cycling to work. This is because it takes far more resources to get a car to and from an island in terms of weight and volume used on a car ferry or weight and thus wear on bridges. Some islands such as Santa Catalina Island heavily restrict private cars. Here is a quote from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santa_Catalina_Island,_California

    “The use of motor vehicles on the island is restricted; there is a limit on the number of registered cars, which translates into a 10-year-long wait list to bring a car to the island. Most residents move around via golf cart.”

    Comment by Bridge Rider — August 17, 2011 @ 9:06 am

  43. 39.
    -1st paragraph: “Cars cross the estuary for free every day,…-… No different than the shuttle.”

    If you donated a car to me, then there would be no difference.

    -2nd paragraph: “Cyndy is getting no more of a free ride than anyone else.”

    You mean anyone else who rides the FREE public subsidized shuttle for a year. Everybody else pays ‘out of the pocket funds’ to get on their public subsidized conveyance to ride through the public subsidized tube.

    -3rd paragraph: I’m fine with cindy choosing the freebie. I agree with John, offer something free to the public and they’ll take advantage of the price…human nature to bargain down. The point is the free shuttle is not free because it is paid for by public funds…but there is no point-of-use payment.

    The toll idea, is of course, the theoretically correct method for maintaining the tubes. However the inconvenience of paying immediately to use outweighs the benefit. Perhaps technology will solve this problem by reading a bar coded license plate and bill users (including bikers and walkers who would have the option of paying immediately) per month.

    Comment by Jack Richard — August 17, 2011 @ 9:12 am

  44. 43: Not so fast, Jack. The biggest “freebies” in the transportation subsidy game are the subsidies offered to drivers of trucks and autos, and every taxpayer supports the roadway and highway network, whether or not they drive or own a car.

    Everyone pays to subsidize drivers of private autos and trucks through property taxes, government bonds, federal transportation funding, and other non-user-funded road project subsidies. And these non-use-fee federal and state taxes go well beyond what the completely inadequate gas taxes and other direct driver-paid user fees provide. (FYI: I say this as a regular driver who owns a car, buys, gas, pays license fees and insurance, etc.)

    Two simple examples: the entire Interstate Highway system was built with mostly federal funds that came from our income taxes. Subsequent multi-billion-dollar federal transportation bills full of pork barrel projects have been overwhelmingly (90%) devoted to roadways and highway construction and maintenance. (Bike, pedestrian, and transit funding usually take up 1% – 5% of such bills, if we are lucky.)

    If roads and highways as well as the other costs of driving cars and trucks (such as the publicly-subsidized costs of treating lead poisoning, diesel particulate-caused asthma, injured pedestrians treated at public hospitals after autos hit them, etc.) are being so richly publicized, transit and other alternatives to driving cars should be subsidized at least as much as drivers are on a per-passenger-mile basis. And so far, transit, walking, and bikes ARE NOT subsidized at anywhere close to the same levels as drivers of cars and trucks are.

    We won’t even mention the taxpayer-funded federal and state corporate welfare (socialism) offered to oil companies that pay no taxes while “producing” and selling us gas and oil at huge profits(Chevron, Exxon, etc.).

    Comment by Jon Spangler — August 17, 2011 @ 11:28 am

  45. 7-8: Jack and John,

    The Tea Party and Republicans’ dogmatic devotion to Grover Norquist’s “No New Taxes” pledge – a pledge based on incorrect and false assumptions about the nature and value of government as well as the laws of economics – has meant trying to balance government budgets exclusively by reducing spending only.

    The Republicans have insisted on no new taxes – and no tax reforms that might generate new revenues – even when current revenue collection is out of balance, impoverishes poor and middle class people, and concentrates America’s wealth in fewer and fewer hands, reducing our economic growth and our social stability.

    Yes, it IS “contrived,” thanks to Republican intransigence and a bordering-on-treasonous devotion to dogmatism over sound governance, social responsibility, and pragmatism by elected officials in Congress and our legislature.

    It would certainly help the republic if more lawmakers – especially Republicans – rode bicycles more, but only because that would help put them in touch with reality…

    (Fewer than 170 words, BTW. :-)

    Comment by Jon Spangler — August 17, 2011 @ 11:46 am

  46. 11, 14:

    Thanks, Lauren.

    John, You know I do not publish any comments here except under my own name, No need to spread falsehoods or insult other contributors by ignoring their existence.

    Comment by Jon Spangler — August 17, 2011 @ 11:51 am

  47. 13, 18:

    BikeAlameda members did accurately count the bike and ped traffic going through the Posey and Webster Tubes as well as crossing the Park Street Bridge during selected periods in 2006. The raw numbers are here:

    http://www.bikealameda.org/about/newsletter/winter2006.pdf

    These were far from comprehensive counts, as our resources as a volunteer organization were limited, but the numbers were accurate. And it is clear from subsequent observation that the bike and ped traffic through the Posey Tube has increased since 2006.

    Comment by Jon Spangler — August 17, 2011 @ 12:05 pm

  48. Thanks Jon for your thought provoking analysis of the current political scene on the Island. I would seriously suggest you not vote Republican or Tea Party.

    I’m no fan of Grover Norquist, in fact he’s one reason I won’t support Christie for anything outside of New Jersey, but it’s not the ‘no new tax’ thing. I believe that the government has every right and must tax by one method or the other to fund the enumerated powers spelled out in the Constitution. Those two are this one:

    Article I, Section 8, Clause 3:

    The Congress shall have Power] To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian tribes;

    and this one in the Preamble:

    “provide for the common defense”

    All the other stuff that’s taxed is for the benefit of political hacks trying to get elected of trying to stay in office.

    Comment by Jack Richard — August 17, 2011 @ 12:16 pm

  49. My office assistant lives near downtown Oakland and works mid-island, Alameda. She could own a car and have little money left to pay for a safe place to live, healthy food to eat, etc. but has chosen save money by riding a bike to meet her transportation needs. News of the new shuttle made her day. it will dramatically shorten her commute (she smartly refuses to ride through the dirty, dangerous, tube). It will also make her ride in much safer. The public money spent to pay for her shuttle ride is well offset by the savings to society her clean, low impact, traffic easing, fuel saving, health inducing, mode of tranportation creates. I join many other Alamedans on my daily bike commute in from Bay Farm. I’m no tree hugger or commie. Bike riding here in Oakland/Alameda just makes very good economic sense while improving the quality of life for everyone. Having the shuttle at “no cost” is no different than having the tube at “no cost”. Make the tube safe for cyclists and, viola!, problem solved, shuttle moot. The number of cyclists is steadily increasing. I suggest that those of you who refuse to begrudge cyclists the same level of public support that motorists already enjoy wake up and smell the coffee before you drive over to your expensive gym or doctor in your costly car.

    Comment by Alex Plumb — August 17, 2011 @ 1:29 pm

  50. What will the coffee smell like after a year, you willing to pay for your ride then?

    Comment by Jack Richard — August 17, 2011 @ 1:52 pm

  51. 49: No, thanks, Jack. I am neither a Libertarian nor ananarchist. And I’m certainly not rich enough to donate to antisocial, selfish causes like the one you linked to in 49.

    51: Why shouldn’t the shuttle be funded permanently by a tiny annual public subsidy, Jack? $193K is quite inexpensive when compared to a carbon-emissiions-generating mile of new freeway to sprawlsville…Besides, as I mentioned in my #44, we tax-paying cyclists, pedestrians, college students, and college staff are already paying for it through our state and federal taxes, both of the user-fee variety and through indirect means like our federal income taxes.

    Besides, every car that the shuttle takes out of the Posey or Webster Tube leaves more room for you to drive through them without congestion or inconvenience. That ought to be worth something to you, right?

    Comment by Jon Spangler — August 17, 2011 @ 2:24 pm

  52. Jack I agree with your # 48

    I am hooked to no Party now……..I was a Democrat for 35 + years and now see where they have driven this bus totally off Cliff in Californai and Locally. I was ignorant in trusting that they have been trying to do the right thing but find out it’s not the case at all.

    Comment by John — August 17, 2011 @ 3:34 pm

  53. 52
    Oh I agree the shuttle should be funded permanently by a tiny annual subsidy paid by those who use it. Tell you what, since you’re a poor struggling tax-paying cyclist, cycle over to Angela’s Bistro and Bar when Deb’s tending bar and tell her to pour you a drink on me…only one though, I’m a poor tax-receiving (that’s for dave) non-cyclist.

    Comment by Jack Richard — August 17, 2011 @ 3:47 pm

  54. Thanks Joe, I appreciate details on west end ferry. Used to regularly ride the Larkspur one, and boats have been my preferred method for commuting to the city ever since. But Fremont is pretty landlocked, alas.

    Comment by kelly harp — August 17, 2011 @ 4:29 pm

  55. re 51: Jack, I happily pay Bart to carry me and my bike all over the bay area. I often pay the Harbor Bay Ferry for a lift to SF. My children are all grown up and moved out but I’m too young for SS or Medicare, so I pay way more in taxes than I get back. You ask if I would pay to ride the shuttle if the funding dried up? If the alternative was to be late where I’m going or dirty from the tube crossing, I’d gladly pay. The difference between you and me is that it doesn’t bother me at all to pay taxes to subsidize the infrastructure needed for your driving and my cycling. This is good use of our tax dollars. That’s just how my civic minded Republican father taught me.

    Comment by Alex Plumb — August 17, 2011 @ 4:49 pm

  56. Way to go! I plumb agree with you…and I agree (see my #48 above) that taxes are the proper method for paying for infrastructure. My wife and I use BART, the ferry and the freeways a lot. Cycling is fine with me, so we agree…my dad didn’t say much about infrastructure (there wasn’t much where we grew up, just gravel roads and cow trails) but he liked ‘give ‘m hell Truman’.

    Comment by Jack Richard — August 17, 2011 @ 5:33 pm

  57. re 57: Jack, sorry, my bad, I didn’t read #48 first. But reading it now I don’t see transportation infrasctructure on your enumerated powers list. If I’m not mistaken, right up to the beginning of the 20th century, nearly all American roads of any quality were privately owned and required tolls. I’m glad to know we’re on the same page. Judiciously done, having our tax dollars pay for a better living environment is a very good thing. If all the trucks, cars, trains and planes we have today were still spewing pre Clean Air Act emissions I’d probably be dead or on a respirator by now.

    Comment by Alex Plumb — August 17, 2011 @ 6:10 pm

  58. Freight for commerce must be transported, which gave rise to trails then roads then railroads and ship and canals now aircraft.

    Privately owned toll roads were mostly financed by the federal government by one method or another. Cronyism is not a recent invention. The commerce clause in the constitution gave real meaning to pork barrel spending.

    Key words in your comment on clean air are ‘ judiciously done’.

    Comment by Jack Richard — August 17, 2011 @ 6:27 pm

  59. 51
    John, I know what you mean. I became a confirmed non-democrat a long time ago. It’s really funny listening to them now, calling themselves ‘progressives’…what a joke. If there’s anything that’s not progress it’s pushing for the anachronistic policies of the 1930’s social restructuring that didn’t work then and won’t work now. They have truly instilled in the minds of the polity, government is the answer. The sad part is the other party has called them and raised the ante and the result is what we’re experiencing now.

    Comment by Jack Richard — August 17, 2011 @ 7:30 pm

  60. 60….Jack it is hilarious the stands they take now……..It’s a Zombie like mentality……..They can defend a policy and programs that are totally undefensible and absolute failures. Won’t even step up and take any responsibilty… I’m embarrased for them in how stupid they can look and feel sad for them that they have totally lost their moral character in trying to defend their actions.

    Comment by John — August 17, 2011 @ 8:40 pm

  61. #21 and other skeptics here… From my seat on the shuttle this morning I saw three people using the walkway in the Tube — 2 bikes and one pedestrian. This is pretty standard. Is it possible that you’ve lived here 50 years but used the Tube only once or twice? Lucky you. In fact I myself have made — no kidding — probably 1500 bike trips through the Tube as part of my commute over the last ten years and tend to drive these days because I’m tired of it. It’s just too much. Thanks to all who made the shuttle a reality — I’d prefer a fixed solution or a water shuttle, but I’m going to be taking advantage of the shuttle at least 3-4 times a week and thanking others who do, too.

    Comment by Michael S — August 17, 2011 @ 8:57 pm

  62. 43….. Jack your 43 nails it. I was hoping to make that point but apparently didn’t….. It’s amazing how many forks they try and put in the road to justify BS.

    Comment by John — August 17, 2011 @ 9:06 pm

  63. Let me mention something up front: I love public transit. I like taking the bus. I don’t have to fight with traffic, I don’t have to worry about parking or damage to my car. So I’m not someone who’s stuck on driving by any means. As I said above, too, I can see that all forms of transportation are subsidized, and I can see as well that cars in particular are heavily subsidized.

    At the same time, tho, I don’t know how most people would get around — in the real, present day world — without relying on cars. This is something that virtually everybody depends on so why shouldn’t it be subsidized?

    In any event, if it were me trying to get to work via the tube, I’d take the bus. The estuary is there, it’s a shipping lane, there’s only one way to get across it, and that’s just reality. I don’t see any problem with having a subsidized shuttle, but I don’t agree with the broadbased assumption that no matter how difficult it is, something must be done to accommodate cyclists –on every possible route–. Sometimes it just isn’t practical.

    Comment by dlm — August 17, 2011 @ 9:27 pm

  64. Jack and John (#43),

    the point is that the shuttle is no more or less free than the other infrastructure that you defend.

    Cyndy’s choice to pay for a vehicle that doesn’t require gasoline rather than a vehicle that requires a higher maintenance and higher ongoing operations costs in the form of fossil fuel (bowl of cereal and an apple vs. gasoline) doesn’t negate the fact that both vehicles are utilizing subsidized public infrastructure.

    It sounds like you guys are just angry that Cyndy, and others, aren’t paying as much for their transportation as you are. Luckily, you have a choice now.

    Comment by John Knox White — August 17, 2011 @ 9:37 pm

  65. 60: “The sad part is the other party has called them and raised the ante and the result is what we’re experiencing now.”

    No, Jack, the sad part is that foolish people continue to believe in the destructive economic force known as the Republican Party.

    ***

    GOP Leaders Remind Voters the Economy Does Better Under Democrats

    http://crooksandliars.com/jon-perr/gop-economy-does-better-under-dems

    For the investor class so fond of perpetuating the myth of Republicans’ superior economic stewardship, the collapse of the stock marketing during the Bush recession must be particularly galling. The Standard & Poor’s 500 spiraled down at annual rate of 5.6% during Bush’s time in the Oval Office, a disaster even worse than Richard Nixon’s abysmal 4.0% yearly decline. (Only Herbert Hoover’s cataclysmic 31% plunge makes Bush look good in comparison.)

    As it turns out, as the New York Times also showed in October 2008, ___the Democratic Party “has been better for American pocketbooks and capitalism as a whole.”___ To make its case, the New York Times asked readers to imagine having put their money where its mouth is. Contrary to Republican mythology, Americans fare better – much, much better – under Democratic administrations:

    As of Friday, a $10,000 investment in the S.& P. stock market index would have grown to $11,733 if invested under Republican presidents only, although that would be $51,211 if we exclude Herbert Hoover’s presidency during the Great Depression.

    ___Invested under Democratic presidents only, $10,000 would have grown to $300,671____ at a compound rate of 8.9 percent over nearly 40 years.

    (For the eye-popping chart of the S&P’s performance under each of the presidents from Hoover through Bush 43, visit here.)

    http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2008/10/14/opinion/20081014_OPCHART.html

    Comment by dlm — August 17, 2011 @ 9:42 pm

  66. We have a 320 Million Dollar AC Transit Budget and we duplicate the same service and spend 200K to do it and another 211K to run it ………. AC transit losing millions and could use the revenue……. To add special shuttle for a few and not have them participate and support AC transit with daily fees is the point…….Adding another Special Bus doesn’t save on pollution .

    I’m all for Public Transportation and use it whenever I can……….

    Comment by John — August 17, 2011 @ 10:05 pm

  67. 66
    dim, read carefully, the other party in my 60 is the Republican party. I consider the Republicans far worse in the long run because they can get big government programs through congress much easier than Democrats. If one examines the programs that were passed during Nixon’s presidency – primarily in his second term -, one will find a veritable dreamland of government intrusion into everyday American life.

    Bush, both of them, carried on the Nixon tradition of the Democrat social programs. A pox on both parties.

    As far as investments under Democrats, what about the present one?

    Comment by Jack Richard — August 17, 2011 @ 10:11 pm

  68. Jack what everyone is afraid to face is we don’t have the jobs with the huge Salaries in the private sector that create a nice tax base to support all these luxuries the Government has created and many have made their livelihood grabbing a piece of that pie. I don’t know how to break it to them but they are living in denial and fighting for their lives. They will meet the real world eventually. Until we get strong leadership and look at realistically we will tread in this quicksand.

    Comment by John — August 17, 2011 @ 10:45 pm

  69. Jack: I’m not sure what you mean by investments under the present administration. It was Bush who managed to tank our economy in 8 years — or i guess I should say Cheney and Bush Sr’s pals — and all we get from the GOP is more of the same.

    Why would we be better off with a third world economy? For the average person, that would be nothing but a disaster, so I see no rational reason to support it. If Nixon is too far to the left for you, then I guess there’s not too much to be said.

    Comment by dlm — August 17, 2011 @ 10:50 pm

  70. DLM

    From 7/1/2002 – 10/1 /2007 the SP went from 771 -1586 More than doubled under Bush and Cheney

    The Dow Went from 7200 to 14,000 during that same period

    Of course a few World events happened and you can blame who ever you want.

    Comment by John — August 17, 2011 @ 11:06 pm

  71. 67
    This is not duplicate service. Unlike AC Transit buses, the shuttle can carry plenty of bikes, so I don’t have to worry about space and getting bumped.

    Comment by cyndy — August 17, 2011 @ 11:21 pm

  72. I’m sure for the 400K plus we will have spent for Cyndy not to worry about being bumped for her bike not having room on the rack on AC Transit is money well spent. Geeze Cyndy I can’t believe the nerve of our AC Transit putting you under so much stress in your life. I apoligize in their behalf along with the Taxpayers .

    Comment by John — August 18, 2011 @ 12:49 am

  73. As our way of Apoligizing We will give you 1 Year free on a Shuttle specifically for you…We will try and have Free Coffee and maybe a warm bran Muffin for you so you will be regular…….

    Comment by John — August 18, 2011 @ 12:55 am

  74. 71

    Ah, fun with selectrive end points!

    SPX TRA from 1/20/01 thru 1/20/09: -26.87% gross, -3.83% annual equiv

    SPX TRA from 1/20/09 thru today: +48.87% gross, +16.88% annual equiv

    A president’s influence over equity values is debatable, but I didn’t bring it up….

    Comment by dave — August 18, 2011 @ 6:12 am

  75. Exactly Dave…….. Interesting day for Calpers and Calsters .But they don’t have to worry their pensions are guaranteed unlike the people that pay them that are watching their pensions disenegrate.

    Dow Jones 10,916.22 -493.99 (-4.33%)
    S&P 500 1,140.09 -53.80 (-4.51%)
    Nasdaq 2,389.85 -121.63 (-4.84%)

    Comment by John — August 18, 2011 @ 7:47 am

  76. 70

    http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/Investing/SuperModels/WhyWallStreetIsScaredOfObama.aspx

    All I know is my Vanguard account went up steadily until Obama became the demo candidate.

    Comment by Jack Richard — August 18, 2011 @ 8:57 am

  77. Signing out, these comments are silly and rude.

    Enjoy the shuttle and enjoy your disdain for it as you will.

    Comment by Patty St.Louis — August 18, 2011 @ 10:46 am

  78. 20. “…it will have an impact on GHG’s.” Per JKW, maybe there’s more danger than you thought…

    “It may not rank as the most compelling reason to curb greenhouse gases, but…”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2011/aug/18/aliens-destroy-humanity-protect-civilisations

    Comment by Jack Richard — August 19, 2011 @ 12:30 pm


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