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Stop Sprawl
Alliance for Transit

MTC Calculates That Transit, With Infill, Beats Highways and Sprawl

In 1993-4 the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) developed a new Regional Transportation Plan (RTP). The Regional Alliance For Transit (RAFT), a coalition of transit and environmental activists, prepared a transit -land use alternative RTP for MTC to analyze with its own, conservative, modeling system. The results of that analysis are very instructive. 

RAFT's alternative would have eliminated nearly all of the 500 miles of new freeway lanes around the region. Instead, it would have used the same total capital funding for transit, including electrifying the CalTrain from San Jose to San Francisco, extending it past its present San Francisco terminus a mile and a half to the downtown Transbay Terminal, and operating it on BART schedules. Having improved CalTrain service to San Francisco Airport, RAFT would have eliminated the BART extension past Colma.

RAFT would have built light rail: Muni Metro on Third Street in San Francisco and in the Capitol and Tasman corridors in Santa Clara county. RAFT would have expanded heavy rail on existing tracks to link Santa Clara light rail and CalTrain to BART and on to Livermore, Sacramento and San Joaquin county. RAFT would have operated electric trolley-bus service in the urban corridor between Hayward, Oakland and Richmond on East 14th St. and San Pablo Ave., operated express buses on I-80 and I-680, and commuter rail in Marin and Sonoma counties. It would have converted some freeway lanes to carpool lanes.

RAFT prescribed parking cash-out, whereby non-driving employees would receive the cash value of their unused "free" parking space--an idea included in Clinton's 1995 budget proposal. California counties have the authority to implement this proposal under Assemblyman Katz's 1992 law, AB 2109. County congestion management agencies can require employers to offer parking cash-out to all employees getting free or subsidized parking. CMAs can reduce employers'costs by reducing the parking spaces they are otherwise required to provide.

Further, RAFT used the same ABAG regional population and job projections as MTC, but clustered the growth around transit stations--in city centers with urban services, avoiding the huge cost of building infrastructure on raw land. ABAG's land use policy framework and the Air District's model air quality element for cities specify just such development. RAFT saved some 200 square miles of forests, grasslands and farmlands that MTC's plan would have developed for residences, commerce, industry and local streets, mostly in eastern Alameda, Contra Costa and Solano counties, southern Santa Clara county and northern Sonoma and Napa counties. The roads, water, sewer, gas, electric, schools, fire stations and other infrastructure to develop that land would cost some $25 billion. RAFT would have saved most of that cost by directing development into already served areas.

MTC's analysis predicted that by 2010 RAFT's alternative would have held vehicular travel 6% below MTC's alternative, saving the average family 1,148 miles of travel annually, worth $379. RAFT would have saved 350,000 gallons of fuel daily.

RAFT's alternative would have reduced pollutant emissions 1.8 tons/day of organics, 2.8 tons/day of NOx, 19 tons/day of CO, and 3.3 tons/day of particulates.

RAFT would have cut 326,000 vehicle-hours of travel--congestion--daily, or 13%.

Further, RAFT would have boosted transit passengers regionwide by 24% over MTC's alternative, boosted Muni Metro 29%, CalTrain 167%, Santa Clara light rail 76%, East Bay heavy rail 152%, BART 15% and AC Transit 39%.

Advantages of the RAFT RTP over MTC's Adopted RTP:

Travel

  • Vehicle Miles of Travel 6% less
  • Annual automobile cost $379 saving per household
  • Vehicle hours of travel (congestion) 13% less
  • Fuel consumption 9% savings

Emissions:

  • Carbon monoxide 6,900 tons in annual reductions
  • Reactive organic gases 660 tons in annual reductions
  • Nitrogen oxide 1020 tons in annual reductions
  • Particulates (PM10) 1200 tons in annual reductions

Development:

  • Regional population and job growth No difference
  • Rural and natural land urbanized 200 sq. miles saved
  • Infrastructure costs for new development Up to $25 billion saved

RAFT 2010 Transit Additions

SF: MUNI Metro Bayshore LRT Line

SF-SC: CalTrain electrification and extension to Transbay Terminal, with BART schedules and local & express service

SM: SFO People Mover, with CalTrain/BART transfer station, and express bus to Colma BART

SC: Capitol Ave/Exp and Tasman LRTs, with Great America transfer station

SC-Sol: Expanded Capitol Corridor service, with Shinn St and Benecia transfer stations

SC-CC: Expanded San Joaquin service Tamien-Livermore commuter rail, with Shinn St (Fremont) transfer station to BART

Al Trolley buses on San Pablo (from Richmond), E 14 St, Telegraph Av, College Av, MacArthur Av & Foothill Bl, with traffic light preemption, express & local service

SF-Sol I-80 Vallejo-SF express bus service

CC-Sol I-680 Vallejo-Pleasanton express bus service

CC-Ala I-680 Martinez-Pleasanton express bus service

Marin-Sonoma NWP Larkspur-Sonoma commuter rail

Region 19 miles of freeway lanes, compared to MTC's 500.      

 

Daily Transit Riders (1000)

  1990 2010   RAFT/
    MTC RAFT MTC
         
Muni 756 788 807 1.02
       Metro, F, Cable 173 227 293 1.29
CalTrain 24 32 84 2.67
SamTrans 74 73 101 1.39
Santa Clara Transit 111 142 224 1.58
       Light Rail 12 35 61 1.76
AMTRAK: SC-Ala  + 0 11 27 2.52
AC Transit 222 232 321 1.39
BART 250 384 443 1.15
Golden Gate Transit 47 54 72 1.34
               
Regional Total 1,576 1,858 2,311 1.24
         








































Households, Employment and Open Space Saved in 2010

Households (1000) Employment (1000)
MTC Superdistrict 1990

2010

1990 2010 OS Saved by RAFT (sq mi)
    ABAG RAFT   ABAG RAFT
Downtown SF 58 73 73 391 438 488 0
Richmond Dist 96 99 99 80 86 86 0
Mission Dist 104 112 133 92 134 134 -0.3
Sunset Dist 47 47 47 22 26 26 0
Daly City/ San Bruno 92 99 119 132 157 162 -0.06
San Mateo/Burling 76 91 111 95 117 125 2.6
Redwood C/MenloPk 73 86 106 93 120 135 4.0
Palo Alto/Los Alto 66 73 90 125 133 145 0.8
Sunnyvale/Mtn. V. 80 102 117 335 395 407 0.1
Cupertino/Sarato 112 122 122 125 147 147 0.6
Central SJ 87 107 128 139 173 238 -0.4
Milpitas/E SJ 87 105 105 32 121 121 1.5
South SJ 64 77 68 35 58 45 3.1
Gilroy/Morgan Hil 24 48 26 23 79 25 11.9
Livermore/Pleasan 48 90 70 71 155 116 12.8
Fremont/Union Cit 88 108 108 92 147 145 1.9
Hayward/San Lean 113 113 142 138 163 178 1.6
Oakland/Alameda 165 178 193 231 261 305 0.2
Berkeley/Albany 66 72 75 89 105 116 0
Richmond/El Cerri 80 98 103 66 90 97 4.2
Concord/Martinez 76 99 103 93 125 127 4.1
Walnut Creek 56 63 64 71 80 84 3.0
Danville/San Ramo 32 46 39 40 65 57 6.9
Antioch/Pittsburg 56 106 76 31 78 51 11.5
Vallejo/Benicia 48 63 63   53 80   5.4
Fairfield/Vacavil 66 120 78 67 132 74 24.7
Napa 28 38 33 30 52 33 5.7
St Helena 13 17 14 19 25 19 1.6
Petaluma/Rohnert Park 53 74 57 41 77 60 13.0
Santa Rosa/Sebastopol 72 98 98 94 142 150 17.2
Healdsburg/Clovrdale 24 41 30 18 34 20 8.7
Novato 21 28 28 19 36 25 3.1
San Rafael 40 48 48 51 62 72 0.9
Mill Valley/Saus 34 38 38 32 37 37 1.3
Regional total 2,246 2,802 2,802 3,113 4,128 4,128 151.3  
streets and roads 50 Total 200

 


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