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About TiBike

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    Alta California

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  1. BART was partly a replacement for the Key system and used some of its right of way, but as originally designed (i.e. with Marin and San Mateo counties), and even as eventually built, it went beyond what the Key system did. The lower deck of the Bay Bridge was designed to support the Key system, which was essentially light rail. It wasn't for freight or other heavy rail uses. In retrospect, using a different gauge was probably a mistake, but it made sense at the time. BART was envisioned to be a space age replacement for commuter trains – computer controlled (drivers would only have an emergency stop button) and with 90 second headways, which is why the original cars didn't have straps or grab bars – there would be so many trains that everyone would have a seat. At the time, making BART tracks compatible with legacy rail made as much sense as designing the cars to be able to run on highways. BART was the Hyperloop of its day. We can only hope things turn out better for Elon.
  2. The high speed route is completely separate. There's been no decision to use that route for the San Joaquins when it – if – it's completed to a useful degree.
  3. TiBike

    Zephyr to Reno

    Smart move. There's some really good riding on the trail upriver (the American River, which comes into the Sacramento River from the east, a couple miles north of Old Town). But you have to get through the homeless encampments. Once you're beyond the City of Sacramento limits, it gets better. If you take the light rail up to Folsom, you can do a little riding in the foothills, and then enjoy the slight downhill on the way back to Sacramento.
  4. I agree completely -- I'm planning more bike/train trips too, and it would be very disappointing. But the real problem isn't the baggage cars, it's Amtrak's bureaucratic attitude towards bikes corporately, and lack of motivation and mental flexibility on board the trains. You don't need a whole baggage car to handle six bikes per train (Amtrak's current limit). There's plenty of room on single level trains and all the room in the world on bi-levels, even without putting in bike racks or making other modifications, as they do on corridor trains when states force them to do so.
  5. You have access to information that I don't, so okay. I went back through the board agenda since the last business plan was approved, and there was a decision to adjust the (flat) rate structure over time, and to continue with reserved seating during holidays, with the possibility of fare buckets in that circumstance. But no decision to go back to reserved seating was made by the board, and if an executive decision was made by staff (it's within their discretion if circumstances demand) it wasn't publicised, which would be unusual. But not impossible. OTOH, if I were to read between the lines, I might squint and see Amtrak unilaterally deciding it was "necessary", as it did out east -- Connecticut, wasn't it? This could be interesting. Time to get the popcorn ready :-).
  6. From the latest SJJPA business plan update...
  7. The website reverts back to reservations, but that doesn't mean the trains will :-). It appears that flat rate pricing is in effect through at least April (I didn't check any further ahead). It's probably another IT work in progress. The JPA already made the policy decision, so it won't change back to reserved seating until they make another one.
  8. A story from November, with an updated statement from Amtrak added last week, is here: https://thisisreno.com/2018/11/aaron-salazar-i-did-not-jump-from-the-train-watch-video/ There's a little more in this story: https://www.kunr.org/post/amtrak-passenger-injury-truckee-remains-mysterious Salazar's family says that Amtrak PD hasn't talking with him since he began talking, and the Amtrak statement can easily be inferred as confirming it.
  9. TiBike

    Cafe on the Star gets 5 stars

    I often see it on the Starlight – not every trip, but often enough for me to assume it's accepted practice. Also on my last Surfliner trip. More common among business class (particularly) and coach attendants, but I've seen it in the cafe too. I don't think it's limited to the west coast – other AU posters have mentioned it too.
  10. TiBike

    Cafe on the Star gets 5 stars

    It's the experience that matters. If the cafe is clean and you're made welcome by friendly, motivated people, the food is going to taste good and you'll enjoy yourself. If staff is sullen and treats you as an interruption to whatever they're listening to on their headphones, you'll be miserable too.
  11. TiBike

    3 to 14 no longer a guaranteed connection?

    The Redding train station is on one side of the tracks and the transit center is on the other, facing away. There's a fence between the tracks and the transit center, so you have to walk out to the street and around to get from one to another. I guess that's enough of a difference.
  12. TiBike

    3 to 14 no longer a guaranteed connection?

    I'll take this as potentially good news: maybe they're thinking about changing the Starlight's schedule to an earlier departure.
  13. TiBike

    Emeryville to SFO

    I've never had a problem inside the station. YMMV.
  14. TiBike

    Emeryville to SFO

    Yes, you have to transfer to the SF/Airport (yellow) line. Coming from Richmond, you can get on the first train heading south (Daly City or Millbrae or SF/red or Warm Springs/orange) and transfer at MacArthur station. It's a timed cross platform transfer for the Warm Springs/orange line -- did that this past weekend. Don't recall if the SF/Airport/yellow line transfer is cross platform at MacArthur, but you can do it at any station from MacArthur onward. I usually transfer between the two at Glen Park -- it's a single platform station and relatively lightly used, so you just wait for the next airport train to come along. Not a hassle.
  15. TiBike

    Emeryville to SFO

    If the objective is just getting to SFO, connecting to BART at Richmond is the least-hassle method. Rail all the way, no bus rides in commute traffic, no wandering around looking for a connection. Not the most scenic, but it's simple and seamless. FWIW, I'm writing this while travelling on BART - no complaints.