Monday, May 4, 2009

SFCTA Prefers Wrong Option for Geary

What a week for any agency called SF_TA!

The Examiner reports that the SFCTA (San Francisco County Transportation Authority, not to be confused with the MTA) has surprised nobody and chosen center-lane BRT as the preferred option for the Geary corridor. I'm inclined to agree with what The Overhead Wire says about this conclusion: that it's based on unrealistically high estimates of the cost of rail, and unrealistically high estimates of the ridership of BRT.

It evokes a point frustrated transit advocates repeat like a mantra - Why is building a road with extra room considered to be planning for the future, whereas building a transit route with extra capacity is considered a waste of money?

Transit is just as susceptible to the if-you-build-it-they-will-come of induced demand as roads are. If you build a robust, rapid rail line underneath Geary, you will get more riders than you think (as Phoenix did) and your investment will pay off as population and retail activity along the corridor increases.

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