Julie Caine

Reporter/Producer

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1:01pm

Thu March 15, 2012
Fast Start

Getting the trains to the station

California’s high-speed rail project has taken a beating over the past couple of months. The price tag for building the super fast train is now expected to be almost $100 billion, more than twice what voters approved in 2008. The High-Speed Rail Authority, which is designing and planning the project, has to convince voters – and an increasingly skeptical Legislature – that funding high-speed rail is feasible.

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4:20pm

Wed February 29, 2012
Transportation

Pointing the way to better transit

Lisa Ratner

It’s Hattam Moktor’s second day in San Francisco. He arrived from Egypt yesterday and spent today seeing the sights in the city. Now he’s standing in front of an empty station agent’s booth at the Embarcadero BART station trying to get back to his brother’s East Bay apartment.

“I want to ask someone how to get there, so I came here, but there is no one to ask. So I found you! So I will ask you how to get there. Walnut Creek?” Moktor laughs.

Moktor pulls a crumpled BART map out of his back pocket, and we look at it together. What he needs is a Pittsburg-Bay Point train.

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12:25pm

Tue February 21, 2012
Transportation

BART's new fleet: Made in the USA, but maybe not in California

BART postcard from the 1970s. Image courtesy of BART.

This year is BART’s 40th birthday. While some people swear that 40 is the new 30, when it comes to subway systems, 40 is just plain over-the-hill. About two-thirds of BART cars have been running the rails since the system opened, in 1972.

Paul Oversier is in charge of operations at BART. He says that because BART trains run long distances and at higher speeds than other subway systems, it gives the system a dubious distinction. “We have the oldest cars, and we run them the hardest,” he says.

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3:44pm

Wed February 8, 2012
Transportation

Transportation secretary says high-speed rail will boost the economy

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood at a 2011 High Speed Rail Conference (photo: USDOT)
USDOT

On a stop in Fresno today, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood pushed for high-speed rail in the state.

“High-speed rail in California is about helping to get the California economy moving again, to get unemployment down, to put friends and neighbors to work,” said LaHood. “And implementing high-speed rail in California will do that.”

The section of the rail line between Fresno and Bakersfield, where construction is set to begin later this year, is the only segment of the estimated $100 billion project with secured funding.

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1:50pm

Wed February 8, 2012
Transportation

Take BART to rural California

Keith and Ileah Roquemore, with daughters Raci and Riata and horse D.H., at the Mendocino County Fair Rodeo. Photo courtesy of Lisa Hamilton.
Photo courtesy of Lisa Hamilton.

If you’ve ridden on BART lately, you might have seen a photograph of a blue and white beach umbrella standing at the edge of a green farmer’s field. The caption reads, “Those are potatoes.” Or one with a girl in a cowboy hat standing upright in her horse’s saddle, swinging a lasso over her head. The caption: “She’s Also Pretty Good At Volleyball.” Or one with a boy wearing a green 4H tie, proudly holding a goat to his side. “Jesús and Lightning,”

The photos are visions of rural California, pasted on the walls one of the state’s most iconic urban structures.

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