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  #21  
Old Posted Feb 22, 2021, 12:50 PM
k1052 k1052 is offline
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Originally Posted by mthd View Post
i've taken BART from SFO hundreds of times. i've never stepped foot on the airtrain or the millbrae BART station on one of these trips, and i'd guess that the average wait, pre-pandemic, was 7 or 8 minutes, which is hardly unreasonable for a one seat ride from an airport to downtown, is it?

you can also look at the real time departures (although the way it's reported is funky, but you can in fact tell exactly when the train is leaving) which tells you when you land whether hurrying through the terminal/s will save you 15 minutes or not.

more frequency would be great, of course. but the suggestion that people should ride the airtrain to millbrae (the wrong direction for the vast vast majority of passengers) and then transfer to BART there? no.
It can be quite a walk especially if you arrive at the farther out terminals. A lot of people take the AirTrain rather than hoof it. The wye totally borks service frequency and this is a mostly permanent situation and it wasn't unusual to spend 10 min waiting if you weren't lucky. At a low traffic time I would skip BART and grab a ride into the city instead. Certainly I'd be inclined to use Millbrae if trains are running more often from there, not to mention access to soon to be electrified Caltrain which I would definitely take if headed SOMA adjacent.
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  #22  
Old Posted Feb 22, 2021, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by craigs View Post
Yeah, shuttering SFO station and having everyone transfer from AirTrain at Millbrae makes zero sense to me. It's the wrong direction for like 95% of riders, and would make everyone a captive of the people mover--you'd never have the option of simply walking to your gate from BART. That is unacceptable.
*stares in JFK*
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  #23  
Old Posted Feb 22, 2021, 3:00 PM
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Extending Airtrain to Millbrae would also provide a much better link to Caltrain, which will be super important once they electrify. BART was built to do this, of course, but who wants to pay a whopping $5 just to go 1.5 miles? And the frequency on that shuttle ain't great because the other trains tie up the tracks.

Honestly it was such a poor decision to put the San Bruno BART at the mall instead of building the Caltrain transfer station there.
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  #24  
Old Posted Feb 22, 2021, 3:20 PM
k1052 k1052 is offline
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Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
Extending Airtrain to Millbrae would also provide a much better link to Caltrain, which will be super important once they electrify. BART was built to do this, of course, but who wants to pay a whopping $5 just to go 1.5 miles? And the frequency on that shuttle ain't great because the other trains tie up the tracks.
Yes, if Caltrain goes to clock face schedules post electrification as eventually anticipated Millbrae's potential utility will rise enormously.

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Honestly it was such a poor decision to put the San Bruno BART at the mall instead of building the Caltrain transfer station there.
Would have been a superior option. At least the vacant lots and parking fields around Millbrae are finally getting developed.
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  #25  
Old Posted Feb 22, 2021, 4:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Crawford View Post
Trains to the planes are largely a waste of money. Mobility within airports is important, but cities are always wasting time trying to get businesspeople (who don't ride trains and generally can't even if they wanted to, because they aren't paying, and there is no system on earth that is door-to-door to every hotel like Uber) to ride trains instead of, you know, actually investing in transit that benefits the riding public.

If an airport is on an established commuting corridor, it should definitely have rail service. And obviously there needs to be some kind of public transit from airports to major destinations. But rail lines established for exclusive city center to airport runs are largely wastes.
Taxis are more flexible, but that is not a realistic prospect with the growth in aviation and the need to transport increasing volumes of people from an airport to the city centre and other destinations. I would also add that rail to airports is more than just giving businesspeople a convenient ride, it is about providing options to leisure travellers and people who work at airports.

London Heathrow historically had the London Underground Piccadilly Line as a connection, but the construction of a branch line off the Great Western Main Line provided a quicker route into town. Pre-Covid, some 13.45mn (non-Underground) journeys were made on this three-station branch, of which 46% are Heathrow Express passengers. If the Heathrow branch was on the LIRR network, it would be the fourth busiest. When Crossrail opens later this year, all three of London’s CBD’s will have a one-seat ride to all of Heathrow’s terminals which will likely lead to a boom in passengers opting for rail.

London Stansted was built with a branch line off the West Anglia Main Line, enabling journeys to London, Cambridge and further afield. 10mn rail journeys are made from the station at Stansted.

If a branch line was not on the cards, the airport was moved, which is what happened with London Gatwick to enable direct terminal access to the Brighton Main Line. 21mn people use Gatwick Airport station each year, which has direct links to 120 stations and a further 700+ with one change.

Manchester, London Southend, Southampton, etc… also have heavy rail stations connected to the terminal buildings. Countless others have parkway stations. Rather than be viewed as a waste of money, they have proven to be incredibly successful. This is just the UK, countless countries and cities have similar setups.

For that reason, there are numerous proposals to increase connectivity even further across many airports. Two proposed lines into Heathrow (see below graphic) would provide direct rail connections to south west London, the West, South West and Wales. A new loop line is proposed to connect East Midlands Airport with the cities of Nottingham, Leicester and Derby. Glasgow has flirted with a direct rail link to its airport. HS2 will also increase airport access with new stations at Birmingham Interchange (for Birmingham International) and Manchester Airport. Birmingham International will be 40mins from London Euston or Manchester Piccadilly, Birmingham and Manchester airports will be a 30 min journey on HS2, which for context that is an equivalent journey of Newark Liberty to Philadelphia International.


Source: Heathrow Rail: https://heathrowrail.com
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  #26  
Old Posted Feb 28, 2021, 2:34 AM
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Just saw this blurb on SFGate regarding an expansion of SFO's AirTrain system underway right now:
Quote:
Among the projects underway are an AirTrain extension to long-term parking, which is expected to be completed in April. The upgrade will take the Blue Line AirTrain beyond the rental car center to the long-term parking lot and the on-airport Grand Hyatt hotel.
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  #27  
Old Posted Feb 28, 2021, 7:13 PM
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SMF (Sacramento) has one that is pretty short and SacRT has always planned for light rail to go to the airport with the Green Line.
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  #28  
Old Posted Feb 28, 2021, 9:14 PM
hughfb3 hughfb3 is offline
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Originally Posted by SIGSEGV View Post
Doesn't look like there's room for a blue line platform near the international terminal, sadly.



As for US airports with trains to trains, the ones I'm familiar with are:

SFO
OAK
JFK
EWR
PHX


DFW/DEN/ATL don't count because their people movers are past security.
DANG!!!! This is a few years too late for LAX. Los Angeles International just started a $14 Billion expansion to add one of these trains just when we have the money to expand all of our transit systems. We have the Crenshaw Line that could have gone directly into the airport loop or the Sepulveda Pass line.... or even the green line could have in the 1990's. All these lines are directly adjacent to LAX owned property
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  #29  
Old Posted Mar 1, 2021, 1:23 PM
k1052 k1052 is offline
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Originally Posted by hughfb3 View Post
DANG!!!! This is a few years too late for LAX. Los Angeles International just started a $14 Billion expansion to add one of these trains just when we have the money to expand all of our transit systems. We have the Crenshaw Line that could have gone directly into the airport loop or the Sepulveda Pass line.... or even the green line could have in the 1990's. All these lines are directly adjacent to LAX owned property
Eh I think a people mover for LAX was probably unavoidable since they need to reach the new CONRAC which is being built east of Aviation and long term plans are to add terminals east of Sepulveda. You need trains every couple minutes to accommodate circulation between all these nodes.
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  #30  
Old Posted Mar 1, 2021, 4:35 PM
casper casper is offline
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Originally Posted by k1052 View Post
*stares in JFK*
There is nothing particularly wrong with the technology at JFK. It is the same technology that 2 of the three Vancouver Skytrain lines are based on. Could we see the JFK Airtrain line transferred over to a transit authority and became the basis of a larger train network.
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  #31  
Old Posted Mar 1, 2021, 5:33 PM
k1052 k1052 is offline
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Originally Posted by casper View Post
There is nothing particularly wrong with the technology at JFK. It is the same technology that 2 of the three Vancouver Skytrain lines are based on. Could we see the JFK Airtrain line transferred over to a transit authority and became the basis of a larger train network.
Yeah, my point was that JFK is a series of disconnected terminals (both airline and transit) hooked together with a capable people mover and it works just fine. You can't walk to the other terminals readily let alone the transit connections.
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  #32  
Old Posted Mar 1, 2021, 9:15 PM
Skintreesnail Skintreesnail is offline
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Wow, I never knew about this rule, but it does explain some of the weird transit systems I've noticed at various airports. Makes me appreciate the Philly SEPTA airport line to PHL, which has separate stops at the different terminals at the airport before continuing through center city and out to the suburbs. I'm guessing this is because it opened in 1985.
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  #33  
Old Posted Mar 3, 2021, 3:13 PM
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Miami unfortunately wound up with one of those "trains to the trains" type when it built it's Intermodal Facility that opened about a decade ago. Instead of having a straight Metrorail connection into the airport you have to take a People Mover from the airport to the Intermodal Center a mile away then board Metrorail from there.
This happened under the "The Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991, which gave additional powers to regional agencies and emphasized non-auto modes" that was signed into Law in 1991 under President Bush.
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  #34  
Old Posted Mar 3, 2021, 3:45 PM
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I'll say it again, there are good planning reasons to have metro or light-rail trains terminate at a transit center outside the airport with a people mover on the last mile. It's not just some bureaucratic kludge.

Transit centers can join many modes of transport at one place (bus, metro, light rail, commuter rail). They can be joined with a CONRAC so the rental car facilities are unified and accessible without a fleet of inefficient shuttle buses. The airport transit center can be "on the way" to other destinations in the city. The outlying transit center may be more convenient for workers who work in airport-related businesses, but not the airport itself. If the airport has multiple terminals, then there's no way a single train station can effectively serve all terminals without long walks anyway, no matter where it's located. Etc etc.
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