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Old Posted Jun 11, 2009, 3:53 PM
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Gordo Gordo is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Seattle, WA/San Francisco, CA/Jackson Hole, WY
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Are there any upgrades to the core system that can be made without tremendous expense? I only ever see extensions mentioned, never upgrades to the core.

All of the problems mentioned that would cause problems to Metrorail have been done out here on BART, so they can look across the country to see what happens when you expand endlessly into the hinterlands and woefully underbuild core capacity. Unfortunately, any upgrade to the core of the BART system that would increase capacity in any significant way (fourth track through the Oakland Wye and/or second Transbay Tube) are absurdly expensive - tens of billions.

So we're stuck with a system that peaks worse than any other heavy rail system in the US (probably the world), and we won't be able to capture all of those peak riders soon. The operational problems of systems like this are annoying - but the financial problems that result from systems like this are catastrophic. Variable pricing would help, but not nearly enough to fix things.
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