Visualizing BART to Marin (and Napa and Sonoma)

Take that, George Lucas!

Via all-around cool site 10 Times One, we discovered this amazing conceptual map by Jake Coolidge of what a more extensive BART network might look like. We sure do love the idea of all those lines spreading out over San Francisco.

And we know full well this is bound to become reality, oh, never. Still. This. OMG, BART to shuttle me around wine country? Big yes.

Clicky for a bigger version of the map.

Thanks, Jake and Nico!


  • yeah, it should have happened in the ’70s but Marin voted it down.

    • Hogwash! 80% of Marinites wanted the system, but after San Mateo backed out, BART wanted Marin to back out, too. Also, the Bridge District was fucking with the engineering reports so there was confusion as to whether the Golden Gate Bridge could support the line. In sum: it can.

  • thevole

    Socialist pipedream! Get back in your cars, hippies, and taste the smog-flavored spice of liberty!

    Snark function off: As the first commenter points out, this map could have been (at least close to) a reality. Bitterly ironic that a liberal bastion like Marin would have nixed public transit. Or maybe not. Nimby fu***ers.


  • BBnet3000

    Also check out this fantasy map, which has services more separated out (not everything is BART, but with fare integration it doesnt have to be). It also has more urban and fewer suburban expansions.

  • Charles

    If only the creativity and time spent creating this map could have been used trying to figure out how to fund operating costs on our existing systems (not just BART)…

  • BartMan

    As a train rider…this is awesome! As a train operator, half those lines are way to long. Only way any of us would work them is if they installed a bathroom in the cab of the train…and that would be nice!!!

  • Alex

    Seven stations between Petaluma and Santa Rosa? Three stations in San Rafael? Down Third Street and 19th Ave? Really? It’s cute, but is definitely not the system that “should have been built”.

    Trains (BART especially) are the most expensive mode of transit around. They’re good at connecting highly used stations. BART already has a neglected urban core.

    Marin, specifically, will never have the density to support BART service (five of the stations could be axed with minimal effect). Take a look at the campaigns against SMART centered around the idea of tying SMART funds to low-cost housing near the stations (Novato especially). Marin doesn’t want public transit (take a look at Jerome Ghigliotti’s rantings).

    • Alai

      Trains are not “the most expensive mode of transit around”. Bart makes roughly half its income from fares, as does Caltrain. GGT gets about 20%. SF Muni is a little better– but its best performers are the streetcar lines, despite their problems.

      And so on.

      Of course the density doesn’t currently exist to support a system like this, but it’s a chicken and egg thing, too. You can’t have density without transit and you can’t have transit without density.

      • Alex

        Farebox recovery has nothing to do with it aside from lower operating costs allowing for lower fares.

        If you look at the MTC’s 2004 report, BART service cost $203+ per revenue hour. If you look at the latest Service Standards Report (FY2011) from the SFMTA: LRVs cost $366.65/hr, diesel buses cost $170/hr, and electric buses $154/hr. Cost per LRV passenger was roughly $3.50 vs ~$2.25 for electric bus passengers. The only thing that was more expensive in the MTA’s portfolio were the cable car passengers (at over $7 per trip).

        So, yes, rail is the most expensive mode of transit around. Okay, there’s one caveat: cable cars and ferries are even more expensive. Good thing neither of those are practical for the proposed BART map.

        That said, it’s not really a chicken and egg thing. Take a look at the San Mateo BART expansion. That extension ate up SamTrans funds, gutted bus service as a result, and that extension STILL underperforms quite dramatically. So, yeah, when you propose putting expensive train service in some of the least dense parts of the Bay Area it seems a bit silly.

        FWIW, Marin already has transit hub type dealies in Marin City, Downtown San Rafeal (3rd & Hetherton), and Downtown Novato. Paring down the Marin stops to that, and axing the San Rafael to Richmond leg would keep costs down quite a bit, still provide most of the service, and allow cities in Marin to concentrate on providing much needed local bus service. Trains are expensive, put them where they’ll make sense. Not where they won’t.

        • Alai

          So I decided to look at 2010 instead ( just to have the most recent data.

          I’ll have to concede re LRVs, but I think BART does fairly well: at $4.65 per passenger it’s more expensive but obviously takes people significantly further & faster– I can’t see buses being cheaper.

          As for the chicken and egg thing, what I mean is that once you have the Bart service in place, Bart itself could profitably build relatively high-density housing and commercial around its stations, and creating more demand for its services in the process.

          That said, if the local politics are such that the only option is to build a parking lot, then I agree that it’ll never make sense to do it in the first place (which seems to be the case for most Bart extensions around here). They’re trying something like it at MacArthur station, but the first step is a $100m parking garage, so cost effectiveness doesn’t seem to be a big part of the equation. Maybe if gas prices spike and government budgets continue to shrink, people will become more receptive to cost-effective alternatives. But I’m not holding my breath.

  • Jen

    I agree with Alex, Marin doesn’t want public transit and where would it go other than down the middle of 101 which I can’t see happening.

    I also LMAO when I saw Temelec and Sonoma, clearly Jake doesn’t know Sonoma at all (no offense Jake). That older population in Temelec would keel over before allowing BART anywhere near them, and Sonoma is allergic to expansion. Besides that there are so many land trust between here and 101 I don’t think BART could ever afford for these trains to run on.

    Its a beautiful dream, but unfortunately just a dream.

  • Not bad, although BART is probably the wrong mode for most of the the North Bay. I sketched out the cost for a SMART to Transbay Terminal line via Geary express tracks, and it would cost between $5.5-10 billion. The Marin portion is pretty cheap, actually; it’s the tunneling after Sausalito that’ll kill you.

    Marin DOES want transit, but the loudest voices are the ones that don’t. Well over half of us have supported SMART since the beginning, but the 2/3 law kept it from being implemented. Sonoma wants it even more.

    Still: a Canal station? “South San Rafael”, meaning San Quentin? Lucas Valley Road? Ehhhh….

  • goldenlimca

    As a train rider…this is awesome! half those lines are way to long. Only way any of us would work them is if they installed a bathroom in the cab of the train…and that would be nice!!!

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