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BART announces plans for second transbay tube 7 comments No disguise for that double vision

Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) links the San Francisco Airport to the San Francisco peninsula and the East Bay cities.  It is the only reasonable way to cross the bay during rush hour.  It is, however, reaching capacity.  A second tube under the bay will help address this.  Presently tourists can take BART form the SF Airport to San Francisco’s Embarcadero Station, a two block walk to the Golden Gate Ferry.  The Ferry links to the North Bay SMART train for access to Marin and Sonoma Counties.

By Adam Brinklow

On Wednesday, BART announced that the transit agency is “taking early steps to create a second Transbay Tube.”

Yes, really.

The possibility of a second tube—BART’s official announcement suggests that “tube” may not be the correct term for whatever the agency ends up building, instead stressing the term “second crossing”—has floated around the Bay Area for decades, but this is the first time BART appears to be planning concrete measures for it.

But commuters had better get comfortable with their current one-tube experience; actual construction will start at least a decade from now:

BART intends to use a feasibility study to narrow multiple alternatives for the second crossing to a short list of two to four options. Next steps include potentially awarding a contract for that study in mid-2019.

Looking ahead, BART hopes to begin construction on the second crossing in about ten years. There’s little time to waste: despite BART’s plan to increase capacity through the existing Transbay Tube, planners project demand for transbay transit will outpace capacity by 2040 in medium or high demand growth scenarios.

The agenda for Thursday’s BART Board of Directors meeting includes a briefing for a “new transbay rail crossing update,” with BART General Manager Grace Crunican writing that the presentation will include an initial “project contracting plan.”

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First fuel-cell ferry to set sail in San Francisco Bay Area by next year

By Hannah Norman

Soon the Bay Area’s ferry commuters will get a breath of fresh air and a new ride as the Red and White Fleet looks to move away from the odorous diesel fuel it’s relied on for decades.

Golden Gate Zero Emission Marine and Bay Ship & Yacht Co. have started construction of their hydrogen fuel-cell boat, dubbed Water-Go-Round, the companies said Thursday during a keel laying ceremony, the ship-building milestone of placing the “backbone of a vessel.”

GGZE hopes the first-of-its-kind ferry will show the commercial maritime industry the power of hydrogen fuel cells for water transportation. The Alameda-based company was chosen in June to build and operate the nation’s first passenger ferry vessel powered by hydrogen fuel cells.

A fuel cell is an electro-chemical energy conversion device that changes hydrogen and oxygen into water — producing hydrogen fuel and electricity in the process. The only byproducts are clean H2O and heat.

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Federal judge blocks Keystone Pipeline XL in major blow to Trump administration, citing disregard of climate issues

By Fred Barbash and Allyson Chiu | The Washington Post

A federal judge temporarily blocked construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, ruling late Thursday that the Trump administration had failed to justify its decision granting a permit for the 1,200-mile long project designed to connect Canada’s tar sands crude with refineries on the Texas Gulf Coast.

It was a major defeat for President Donald Trump, who attacked the Obama administration for failing to move ahead in the face of protests based largely on environmental concerns. Trump signed an executive order two days into his presidency setting in motion a course reversal on the Keystone XL pipeline and the Dakota Access pipeline.

The decision, issued by Judge Brian Morris of the U.S. District Court for the District of Montana, does not permanently block a permit but requires the administration to conduct a more complete review of potential adverse impacts related to climate change, cultural resources and endangered species. It basically ordered a do-over.

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The Trump Administration Flunked Its Math Homework

Author

The administration’s clean-cars rollback is riddled with errors. In one case, it forgot to divide by four. In another, it accidentally deleted 700 billion miles of driving.

One of the White House’s most consequential environmental rollbacks may be in self-inflicted legal danger.

In trying to freeze gas-mileage rules for new cars and trucks, Trump officials have hit an unusually damaging snag: They seem to have messed up their math homework.

The Trump administration’s official case for repealing car fuel-economy rules is riddled with calculation mistakes, indefensible assumptions, and broken computer models, according to economists, environmental groups, and a major automaker. The errors may seriously endanger the rule, hampering the White House’s ability to prove the proposal’s benefits exceed its costs and raising questions about whether it can survive an almost inevitable court challenge.

The mistakes range in scope from the comical to the bizarre, from the obviously accidental to the how-did-they-miss-that. In one case, federal employees have forgotten to divide a crucial figure by four. In another, officials have assumed that raising the cost of cars will lead more people to buy them, a violation of the principle of supply and demand. In a third case, the proposal asserts that freezing fuel-economy standards for new cars will lead the owners of old cars to drive their vehicles less.