June/July 2012 eNews  
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Plan Bay Area Moves Forward With Environmental Impact Report   

  

Plan Bay Area Logo Over the next 25 years, the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area is expected to experience more modest growth than in past decades. Still, planners are projecting a healthy economic growth of 1.1 million jobs and 2 million people by 2040 as the Bay Area continues to attract cutting-edge, high technology companies, talent and investment from around the world. How to accommodate this growth in a sustainable manner while keeping a lid on greenhouse gases is the focus of Plan Bay Area, a joint planning effort of MTC and the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG). The public was invited to comment on scope and content of the plan's environmental impact report (EIR) at a series of four well-attended meetings in Oakland, San Jose, San Francisco and San Rafael in June. The scoping exercise culminates with a special joint MTC/ABAG meeting where the agencies' boards will select the alternatives to be evaluated during the EIR process. The meeting takes place on Thursday, July 19, starting at 7 p.m. at the Scottish Rite Center, 1547 Lakeside Drive, Oakland.

See the agenda here. And see information on the EIR here

 

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 TOC2

New Bay Bridge East Span Gets "Suspenseful"     

 

Bay Bridge Suspender Cables
Photo by Barrie Rokeach, 2012
Crews are making rapid progress on the new Bay Bridge East Span's Self Anchored Suspension Span, or SAS -- the tower portion of the bridge. In early June, workers completed installation and compaction of the span's nearly mile-long, 2.6-foot-diameter main cable. Next they encircled the main cable with a series of bands from which they hung vertical steel suspender ropes that will connect the main cable to the deck below. The 200 suspender ropes will create a distinctive canopy that will be a highlight for drivers on the new East Span. Once the suspender cables are fully installed, load transfer won't be far behind -- when the suspension system lifts the SAS off the falsework below. See an old-style news reel on this latest phase of the East Span construction here. And get a great live view of the action at the Bay Bridge interpretive display on Treasure Island. Or watch virtually via our webcams on the Bay Area Toll Authority site.

 

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Dumbarton
Dumbarton Express Bus Line Revs Up Service 

Photo by Karl Nielsen 
With funding help from MTC, AC Transit nearly doubled service on the Dumbarton Express starting July 2. Linking Palo Alto with Union City across the Dumbarton Bridge, the bus line now offers 92 trips a day, up from 49 daily trips prior to the expansion. MTC in June provided $2.2 million in Regional Measure 2 bridge toll money for the service in 2012-13. The bus bridge is intended to meet growing rider demand for transit service across the southern end of the Bay while the region studies a potential rail line across the Dumbarton Bridge.

The Dumbarton Express service is managed by the Dumbarton Bridge Regional Operations Consortium, which includes AC Transit, BART, SamTrans, Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority and Union City Transit. AC Transit oversees the service on behalf of the consortium. For schedules and trip planning assistance, visit MTC's 511.org traveler information site.
 

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 Clipper

Clipper Update: South Bay Makes the Switch From Paper to Plastic

   Clipper Card

The regionwide effort to transition from paper transit passes to the all-in-one plastic Clipper card made an important leap forward this summer when the Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) in Santa Clara County eliminated paper monthly passes. As of July 2012, VTA's monthly Adult Flash Pass (Express and Standard), youth pass and disabled/senior pass will be available only through Clipper. VTA began accepting Clipper as payment in February 2011, and VTA customers used Clipper to pay for nearly 420,000 trips in May 2012.

Customers can get a Clipper card and reload cash value and/or passes at a network of several dozen retailers in Santa Clara County, including more than 30 Walgreens stores, or via the clippercard.com site or Clipper Customer Service at 877.878.8883. During this introductory period, Clipper cards can be obtained free of charge with a minimum initial load of $5.

VTA's move to eliminate paper discount passes follows similar fare policy changes by the other major Bay Area transit agencies participating in Clipper. In addition to VTA, Clipper is currently in use on AC Transit, BART, Caltrain, Golden Gate Transit and Ferry, SamTrans, San Francisco Muni, the Dumbarton Express, and San Francisco Bay Ferry (currently only on the South San Francisco/East Bay route), with more Bay Area transit systems coming on board in the future.

Introduced by MTC just two years ago, Clipper accounts for nearly half of all daily transit rides in the Bay Area. There were 1,166,000 active Clipper cards in circulation as of May 31, 2012. The single card makes it easy to transfer between transit systems and modes, and factors in fare changes as they happen, making for a seamless travel experience for the rider.

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 Legislature
Legislature Delivers High-Speed Rail and New MTC Seats 

Gov. Brown Signing Legislation
Governor Brown signs legislation authorizing
high-speed rail. Photo by Justin Short.
California Governor Jerry Brown has signed a bill authorizing construction of the first leg of the state's high-speed rail line, along with complementary upgrades to Bay Area rail systems. Read more here.

Brown also signed Assembly Bill 57 in July, adding two new seats to MTC's Commission -- one representing Oakland, and the other representing San Jose. This brings the total number of MTC commissioners to 21, and the number of voting members to 18. The Commission also functions as the Bay Area Toll Authority. The bill takes effect on January 1, 2013. Read more here.

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Caldecott
Photo Exhibit Provides Window Into Caldecott Tunnel Excavation 

Caldecott Tunnel Excavation
Workers pause during excavation
of the Caldecott Tunnel. Photo by Karl Nielsen. 
Now showing at MTC's offices: "Tunnel Vision," a photo exhibit highlighting key moments in the excavation of the Caldecott Tunnel Fourth Bore project, and shining a spotlight on the human element of this monumental project with life-size portraits of some of the miners and others doing this gritty work. You can view the photos on the third floor of the Joseph P. Bort MetroCenter at 101 8th Street in Oakland. Hours are weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The show continues through Friday, August 10, 2012.


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Awards
Coming Up: 30th MTC Excellence in Motion Awards Program  
MTC Awards Trophy 
Every two years, MTC casts a wide net in a search for people, projects and programs that improve mobility and accessibility in the Bay Area. The agency completed its nomination search and jury process in June, and will announce the winners at a festive public awards ceremony on October 24, 2012, starting at 9 a.m. in Nile Hall at Preservation Park, 668 13th Street, Oakland.

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Closure
Seismic Operation Closes Dumbarton Bridge Over Labor Day Weekend  

Dumbarton Bridge Closure

The entire Dumbarton Bridge will be closed during Labor Day weekend in September 2012 to complete another major element of the seismic retrofit project on this span, which connects Menlo Park in San Mateo County with Fremont in Alameda County, across the southern end of the Bay. Over the three-day closure, Caltrans will replace the expansion joint on the eastern side of the bridge across all six lanes of traffic. A full closure that occurred over Memorial Day Weekend 2012 allowed workers to install a seismic joint on the western side of the bridge.

The strengthening project is part of the San Francisco Bay Area Toll Bridge Seismic Retrofit Program, which is overseen by MTC's Bay Area Toll Authority in conjunction with Caltrans and the California Transportation Commission.

 

During the closure, motorists are encouraged to take public transit or use other bridges. Get the latest construction and closure updates at DumbartonBridgeInfo.org, and the latest information on transit and transportation options at 511.org.

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Video
New on Video   

We've posted several new videos to our website and YouTube page in recent weeks, including the following:

  • Smart Parking Workshop on June 12, 2012: Highlights and Full-Length Coverage
  • MTC Coordinates Emergency Response to BART Disruption on June 14, 2012
  • Ferry Service Between Alameda/Oakland and South San Francisco Launches
  • East Span Update: Last Main Cable Strand Hauled

 View these and more on our website or YouTube page. 


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