July 12, 2007

 

GOLDEN GATE TRANSIT PARTICIPATES IN

METROPOLITAN TRANSPORTATION COMMISSION’S

REGIONAL TRANSPORTATION PLAN 2035 VISIONING PROCESS

 

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) has initiated efforts to develop its Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) update for 2035. Golden Gate Transit (GGT) was asked to participate in the development of transit expansion scenarios for regional planning analysis and this report does not constitute a commitment to fund any additional transit services.

MTC staff has outlined a process for developing a variety of transit expansion vision scenarios and then evaluating the performance of these scenarios relative to RTP Goals and Measures such as reduction of congestion, air emissions and vehicle miles traveled. This evaluation would be conducted using the MTC Regional Travel Model to generate forecasts of travel and mode choice for 2035. MTC advised that these initial transit scenarios should not be financially constrained. MTC will consider new funding opportunities for selected transit expansion projects after evaluation of the scenarios.

Also, MTC hired Cambridge Systematics to prepare a Regional Express Bus Network scenario for the RTP evaluation. GGT will be working with MTC’s consultant to incorporate GGT transbay commute bus services into this scenario. At this time, GGT is suggesting that MTC’s consultant consider a scenario that restores and enhances GGT transbay bus routes to levels operated in the early 1980s, when GGT experienced its highest ridership. In conjunction with planned completion of HOV lanes on Highway 101 between Santa Rosa and Sausalito, and with addition of new and improved park-and-ride lots at bus stops along the freeway, these GGT transbay commute bus services should perform very well in attracting riders when modeled by MTC.

In addition to express bus services, MTC has engaged the region’s transit planners in the development of an expanded local and regional network of buses operating on major arterials and highways. GGT is working with Marin, Sonoma and San Francisco planning staffs and MTC staff to define this “all-day” bus service. GGT regional transbay basic bus routes 10, 70 and 80, which fall into this category, currently offer hourly service. GGT is suggesting that 30-minute service be restored in the MTC planning scenario. In conjunction with an expanded local transit network and shared local/regional bus facilities being developed by Marin County Transit District (MCTD) and San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, these all-day GGT transbay bus services should perform very well in attracting riders when modeled by MTC.

Also, MTC is developing a rail/ferry expansion scenario using existing plans. MTC regional rail plans include the proposed Sonoma Marin Area Rapid Transit (SMART) passenger rail service in the Highway 101 corridor. MTC is relying on Water Transit Authority (WTA) plans for regional ferry services. Long-range expansion of existing ferry services was studied by WTA and is referenced in its Operations and Implementation Plan, December 2002. Golden Gate Ferry (GGF) has consulted with WTA and is suggesting to MTC that its RTP ferry scenario include enhancement of Larkspur- and Sausalito-to-San Francisco ferry services operated by GGF, and Tiburon-to-San Francisco ferry service operated by Blue and Gold. The GGF scenario would have more frequent ferry services with access and other facilities improvements (parking) at the Larkspur Ferry Terminal.

GGT was invited to work with Transportation Authority of Marin (TAM) in their concurrent development of a transit vision for Marin County. GGT has been coordinating its work with both MTC and TAM staffs in this regard. TAM has also engaged MCTD and SMART planners in its collaborative visioning effort for Marin County.