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- OAKLAND, JANUARY, 1959

East Bay Transit Ills Growing Worse


Barber Promises District WiH Get Into Operation as Soon
As Possible; New Losses in Key System Patronage Cited
"The practical and most immediate
remedy for curing the near-critical trans- District Moves Headquarters to
portation problems of the East Bay area More Central East Bay Location
is for the Alameda-Contra Costa Transit
Headquarters of the Transit Dis'rict were
District to get into business just as soon moved this month from the Claremont Hotel
as possible." to the seventh Hoor of the Plaza Building in
Robert K. Barber made that statement downtown Oakland.
upon his re-election this month as presi- Directors approved the move upon the
recommendation of General Manager John
dent of the district board of directors. R. Worthington as a more centralized East
"District engineers have predicted," Bay location with improved facilities for con-
ducting district business.
Barber noted, "that the District's basic
The Plaza Building is located at 506 - 15th
transit plan-its many improved services Street. New telephone number of the Dis-
and new, superior equipment-can re- trict is TEmplebar 6-1808. District offices
verse the downward trend in transit rid- had been located at the Claremont Hotel
ing that steadily has plagued East Bay since September, 1957.
streets and highways since the end of
W orId War II."
"Though the six-day Key System strike
Riders Off 10 Per Cent last June accounted for a part of this loss,
Barber disclosed that Key System the figures nevertheless indicate a con-
Transit Lines suffered another loss in rid- tinuing number of people are dissatisfied
ers during 1958, with more than 10 per with the service offered by existing pub-
cent of its trans bay passengers abandon- lic transit," Barber said.
ing public transit for the private auto. The transit official told a meeting of the
Total transbay patronage dropped board of directors that an "entirely new
from 9,899,634 in 1957 to 8,857,361 last approach to encourage transit riding is
year, Barber reported. essential if East Bay streets and arterials
The figures, according to records of the are not to become almost hopelessly
State Public Utilities Commission, also clogged in the next few years ahead."
show that riders on East Bay local lines Barber said another bond issue to pur-
dropped about 8 per cent-from a total of chase equipment and place the District
41,014,716 in 1957 to 37,812,404 in 1958, in operation "will be submitted to the
he said. voters, probably sometime this fall."
Agreement Near on Excluding Portions of
Key Must Pay Cost of Removing Tracks Contra Costa County From Next Bond Issue
, ,The cost of remo:ving abandoned train.' jud:gmenJ!<:stillunpaid could"be deducted
tracks from Oakland streets must be paid from the funds paid the company, just Final approval on proposed legislation John R. Worthington, district general
by Key System and not the Transit Dis- that would exclude parts of Contra Costa manager, noted that people now in the
trict should the district buyout the pri- :~e a~~()~~~I~u~~ta:~A~fed.laim against County from voting on a future bond is- District voted themselves in, and the
vate company. sue is expected at a special meeting of Legislature may be reluctant to vote for
The city's position is that Key has a the transit Board of Directors Febru- blanket exclusion.
This is the contention of district offi- franchise obligation to remove all tracks
cials as stated recently in a letter to the and repave streets now that buses have ary 4. John A. Nejedly, district attorney of
California State Public Utilities Commis- been substituted for the trains. If the The directors indicated at their Janu- Contra Costa County who appeared at
sion. ary meeting that they favored establish- the meeting, and Worthington said pro-
District puts Key out of business, the ment of a special service zone within the gress is being made toward reconciling
The District asked the PUC to dismiss District should have to pay for the street
a petition filed with the PUC by the City work. District, rather than legislation that differing views on the form the legislative
of Oakland. The city had asked the PUC would summarily remove portions of the amendments should take. Both indicated
Meanwhile, Key officials and the Oak- county from the District entirely. that mutual agreement was not far off.
to include the cost of track removal in land City Council have agreed to a three-
an evaluation of Key's properties which year program for removing the tracks. Residents living only within the special At least one more meeting between
the PUC is making for the District. service zone would vote on a future bond representatives of Contra Costa County,
Robert E. Nisbet, attorney for the Dis- The PUC, which must approve the issue, and only these residents would be the cities of Walnut Creek and Concord,
trict, maintained there is no basis for the stepped-up amortization schedule, has served by the District. Other areas in the and the Transit District was decided
petition. He said that if Oakland wants indicated a regular public hearing must District could easily annex to the special upon before the transit board considers
to protect its claim against Key, it should be held before approval is granted. The service zone at a later time. the matter February 4.
go to court and secure a judgment against commission previously had set a lO-year
the company. Then, should the District period for the $700,000 job.
take .over Key System, any part of the Under the three-year program, Key
System would be allowed to charge
What the Editors Are Saying About Transit
$233,334 a year against operating reve- Transit Tax Subsidy Considered Wise Policy in S. F.
nues instead of $70,000 a year as now
Transit Times provided. Reprinted from the San Francisco Examiner:

Published monthly by the


Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District 5,000 f:ast Bay Citizens I-Iear
E VERY DAY is bargain day on the Mu-
nicipal Railway. The rider pays 15
provided roughly two-thirds from prop-
erty taxes, one-third from the city sales
700 Plaza Building cents. The actual cost of his ride to Muni tax. Since business and indushoy pay 75
506 Fifteenth Street
Oakland 12, California
Description of Transit Program is 16.15 cents. The difference is made up per cent of the total property tax, they
Telephone TEmplebar 6-1808 Public presentations of the Transit by tax subsidy, of which the rider pays obviously are providing most of the sub-
Alan l. Bingham, Editor District's plan to improve and expand very little. sidy.
East Bay public transit have been made Only three major cities-San Francisco, They accept the subsidy burden as a
Officers
Robert K. Barber President to nearly 5,000 residents of Alameda and New York and Boston-still cling to the matter of wise policy. Adequate Muni
Wm. J. Bettencourt . . Vice President Contra Costa counties. 15 cent fare for surface transit; all three service, and encouragement of the Muni
John R. Worthington General Manager
More than 100 organizations have re- subsidize. The basic fare is 20 cents in riding habit, are vital to the city. Higher
Robert E. Nisbet . Attorney-Secretary
George M. Taylor . Administrative Officer quested presentations since completion Detroit, Cleveland, Washington, D .C., M uni fares would drive more riders to
of initial engineering studies five months Philadelphia and Oakland, with zone automobiles. The increased traffic con-
Directors charges sometimes increasing that figure. gestion would be bad for everybody. The
Robert K. Barber Director at large ago.
Director at large It's 25 cents in Chicago, St. Louis and subsidized, low fare is the lesser of two
Robert M. Capeland . Presentations are available to civic,
William H. Coburn, Jr. Ward I Pittsburgh. In Los Angeles it's 17 cents evils.
J. Howard Arnold Ward II business, community and other clubs and
with added zone charges. The national That's why, on this annual occasion of
John l. McDonnell Ward III organizations, and include a series of de-
Wm. J. Bettencourt . Ward IV average, counting small cities, too, is 18 M uni Week, it's worth while to remind
scriptive charts and a commentary by a
Paul E. Deadrich . Ward V cents. you that every day is bargain day on the
District representative. A 25-minute color
~10 Muni's subsidy this year is $5,800,000, Muni.
film on transit also is available.
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Policy ~Makers

The
Board of Directors
of the
Alameda-
Contra Costa
Transit District

1959 Robert K. Barber Wm. J. Bettencourt J. Howard Arnold
President Vice President Member

Willimn H. Coburn, Jr. Robert M. Copeland Paul E. Deadrich John McDonnell


Member Member Member Member

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'Success Story Profile'

New Approach to Transit Keeps Bus Firm in


Blacle; Improved Services Cur!' Rider Loss
NASHVILLE.-At the peak of the rush from the weather. The city itself has put
hour each morning, bus after bus, loaded up five spacious shelters.
with office workers, store clerks and On its own, the bus system-Nashville
shoppers, barrels into the congested heart Transit Company-is going to unusual
of this Tennessee city, unloads its pas- lengths to establish a reputation for
sengers quickly and highballs out again. neighborly friendliness.
This operation, routine for Nashville, It provides free strollers for mothers
would seem strange in most American with babies to use on downtown shop-
cities, where buses in rush hours usually ping trips. In the summer, the line gives
are forced to creep along through traf- free rides to kids on their way to swim-
fic-clogged streets. In Nashville, buses ming lessons. And on three Sundays a
have their own lanes, which are barred year-Easter, Palm Sunday and Mother's
to other traffic during morning and eve- Day-church-goers get a free lift.
ning peak traffic hours. MORE ROOM-Every new motor coach filled with passengers means 35 autos can be
In many other respects, Nashville's Fares Held Down eliminated from East Bay streets. A five per cent increase in riders estimated by
transit operations are unusual. In an era If all this sounds a bit unusual read Transit District during first year of operation would clear roadways of about 1,000
when the very continuance of urban bus on. Nashville Transit is consistently'in the autos a day. This represents a clear stretch of freeway 15 miles long.
and streetcar systems is threatened and black financially and it has managed to
get along without fare increase since 1956 transit companies, at least in the public's town, with no stops. Riders, similarly,
financial difficulties are forcing company mind. are returned to their doorsteps in the
after company to cut service, Nashville's in the face of steady increases in equip-
Since then, Nashville Transit has tried evening. Club coach service was slow to
system is flourishing and is trying out ment and labor costs. (Its present fares
to tailor service in every way to fit its catch on but is now a solid money-maker,
innovations to make bus riding more con- are 15 cents in the city and 20 cents to
riders' needs. say officials of the company.
venient and comfortable. the suburbs.) .
What's more, the line has purchased Just a couple of months ago, it intro- One of the most important operational
Rain or shine, Nashville's riders who changes has been the exclusive lanes for
get on or off in the town's centrally-lo- $2,000,000 worth of new red and yellow duced special Sunday schedules carefully
arranged to deposit church-goers at buses on the city's streets.
cated Memorial Square are protected buses to provide its customers with
smoother rides. church doors . within lO minutes before In support of this municipal conces-
A majority of the 1,300 transit systems start of the morning service, and to pick sion, transit men argue that a bus hauling
City Ends Fight With Bus Company in the United States either are losing them up within 10 mim,ltes after the close. several dozen passengers deserves street
money or doing little better than break- space proportionate to the number of
Over Fares; Votes to Buy Out Line Many New Services people carried. They claim a 50-passen-
SAN ANTONIO. - Citizens here have ing even. In some cities the situation has
Another new wrinkle-"Stop and Shop" ger bus can carry as many people as
voted 19,289 to 4,868 to issue bonds to buy become so desperate that the faltering
service-began last year. At no extra cost, normally ride in about 35 private autos.
the local bus system. companies are being taken over by the
passengers boarding a bus downtown Needless to say, the company's efforts
Councilmen of the Texas community pro- municipalities-about 30 such takeovers
posed the bond issue as the only way to end may obtain special tickets that permit would have been futile if the city hadn't
have occurred since World War II.
a constant fight with the San Antonio Transit layovers for shopping at outlying neigh- cooperated.
Since 1952, when the company threat-
Company over fares. borhood stores, after which they may The special bus lanes, for instance, has
Basic fares were raised last year two cents
ened to go out of business and a reorgani-
board another bus for the rest of the trip. to be authorized by the city. Mayor Ben
to 17 cents, and another three-cent hike had zation of the firm took place, the bus
"Club Coach" service, an innovation 'Vest, however, trumpeted the idea that
been requested. company has conducted a campaign to
several other cities are trying, was intro- the transit company's difficulties were of
The proposal was for $1,750,000 in general convert Nashville Transit Company's
obligation bonds. If the offer is rejected, the duced here in 1954. These extra-fare municipal concern, and that the city and
corporate image into a more benign form
city plans to issue revenue certificates to raise buses-they cost 25 cents a ride-pick up bus company should work together to
money and buy 242 buses, new and used.
and to eliminate the "public be damned"
aura that seems to surround so many
regular suburban customers at their doors solve their common problem.-Reprinted,
in the morning and whisk them down- in part, from Wall Street Journal.
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IAdions of the Board I Investors Report NeL
May Liquidal:e T ransil:
National City Lines, the parent cor-
At its regular meeting on January 20,
1959, the Board of Directors: poration of Key System, is being trans-
formed into a truck rental company, ac-
• Received the oath of office from Ala-
cording to the report of a New York in-
meda County Superior Judge Thomas W.
vestment Brm.
Caldecott.
The Brm, Ira Haupt and Company, has
• Re-elected President Barber and predicted that National City Lines' tran-
Vice President Bettencourt for 1959. sit holdings will be liquidated.
• Received a report from the general The parent transit company is being
manager on the inability of the Transit transformed into a truck rental company
District to help settle a dispute over the as a natural result of inadequate earnings
location of the Key System "B" transbay from transit holdings, according to stud-
bus line in the Lakeshore-Trestle Glen ies of the investment Bnn.
area at the present time. Key System operates East Bay and
• Approved placing district employees transbay buses owned by the Bay Area
under the Federal Social Security Pro- Public Service Corporation. Both com-
gram, on motion of Vice President Bet- panies, in turn, are owned by Railway
tencourt. Equipment and Realty Company, in
• RatiBed lease for new district head- which NCL holds the controlling stock
quarters in Plaza Building, on motion of interest.
Director McDonnell. The investment studies showed that
• Received a report from the general Railway Equipment and Realty Com-
manager that Contra Costa County has pany is one of only two of NCL's similar
remitted to the district taxes collected to holdings which are on a paying basis.
date amounting to $40,636.79. The investment Bnn also said a Na-
tional City Lines' merger with an un-
• Scheduled a special meeting Febru- named truck rental Bnn owning 6,000 ve-
ary 4 to consider proposed legislation ex-
hicles is under negotiation.
cluding Central Contra Costa County
from voting on a future transit bond issue.
• Established a Special Committee on More Information?
Rules for Procedure, on motion of Vice A note or phone call to the Transit
President Bettencourt. President Barber District will place your name on the
appointed Vice President Bettencourt mailing list for Transit Times if you are
and Directors Deadrich and Copeland to not already regularly receiving a copy of
serve on the committee. the monthly newsletter.

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