How about us?
Phase one could be simply ensuring that standard DMU like systems are able to run on all rail routes. That way we could lay the ground work for synergy between all services. If needed, Caltrain could borrow cars from the SMART train system or eBART to supplement their systems in times of need.
Some places, such as the streets of San Francisco, are not candidates for inclusion. But others, such as the light rail system in Santa Clara County, would be easy to convert. Again, increasing flexibility, supportability and maintainability.
Look at the maintenance costs for BART’s non-standard solution. BART has admitted that the 10-mile eBART extension to Antioch is 60% less expensive than conventional BART. Too bad we can’t phase out BART and replace it with a more standard, open gangway solution.
Is Anyone Talking About This?
Is there anyone willing to talk openly about this heresy?
- What would happen to the BART to San Jose project if we could reduce the cost by 60% by substituting eBART trains for the last ten mile stretch through the tunnels under San Jose?
- What if ACE used vehicles compatible with the VTA light rail system, such that they could use the stretch along 237 to Mountain View? Daily runs from Pleasanton to Mountain View might be useful.
- Using that same link, Caltrain units could connect to the BART station in Milpitas, closing the rail loop around the bay.
- Extend the Santa Clara light rail all the way up the center of Highway 85, from Santa Teresa to either the Caltrain line or the Mountain View line, and south to join the main rail line to Morgan Hill and Gilroy.
I suspect there are other places where this would work. However, the first stage is simply talking about it and looking at alternatives. Is there anyone looking at anything like this?