Considerations for Future BART...BART Around The Bay.
Recall that BART was originally planned and legislated to be around the Bay.
The following Comment was submitted to the Future BART page on Friday, 06-14-13:
BART's Future Plans to consider the long-range ultimate, back to the future, BART Around The Bay as originally envisioned must be resurrected due to the humongous benefit this Complete BART solution provides for bay area transit users and BART's cost-effective efficiency.
Accomplish this wise BART expansion at relatively low cost by replacing Caltrain in the Peninsula Corridor, 15 miles of which from Millbrae to SF has not even upgraded Caltrain to the standard and basic BART grade-separation, electrification, and frequency configuration that BART has.
Investing in Caltrain in the Peninsula, and its Dumbarton Rail resurrection in the Don Edwards Wildlife Refuge as yet another intra-regional rail line is a huge WASTE of taxpayer transit subsidy dollars, dollars that can be better used to optimize BART around the whole Bay.
Note: HSR can fund its own needs in or near the Caltrain corridor just as BART can up the Peninsula.
That is, either directly in the Peninsula Corridor or adjacent to it, like the Millbrae, new San Bruno segment. Building three heavy rail systems in the Peninsula is a waste of precious transit dollars on the most expensive type of transit system to both build and operate. Really, only one heavy rail system is needed north of San Jose --that is, BART. HSR can stop at SJ--where Plan Bay Area documents that future growth will occur.
Please see my other blog posts here in: BART AROUND THE BAY for more detail of the advantages of studying closing the last 28 mile BART gap from Millbrae to the planned SJ/Santa Clara terminus, especially rather than more diluting rail investment in the suboptimal Caltrain.
BART efficiency and redundancy in a Complete BART one-seat two-way travel around the bay that could send trains in the opposite direction to bypass one track or tube problem area failure elsewhere, or a future Bay Bridge failure (earthquake), provides a united single backbone arterial high capacity rail system, BART, satisfies the essential transit riders' need for one-seat reliability, cost efficiency, and emergency capabilities--rather than throwing another $5 Billion+ into the wasteful, deadly, disjointed, Caltrain on the Peninsula. This $5 Billion spending of precious transit dollars for Caltrain would wastefully duplicate and delay BART service and investments already, but would be better spent on this original and ever more pressing need for Complete BART around the SF Bay.
Note, too, that Santa Clara County and San Mateo have both voted to sales tax themselves specifically for BART purposes. Santa Clara County residents are paying .375% in two ballot measures that passed, the latest in 2008 by about 67% approval in Palo Alto and Mountain View despite neither community being on a Future BART plan, BART Around The Bay -- yet!