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Transit Ti1nes

~ u ACT
Volume 2 Number 12 OAKLAND, APRIL 1960

Price Delays Takeover of Key System

Prolonged PUC Condemnation Proceedings May
Defer District Operations Until Later This Year
A prolonged legal skirmish threatening a "tactic by Key System to delay the case
to break out between the Alameda-Con- and an attempt to intimidate the District
tra Costa District (ACT) and Key Sys- by forcing us to pay a higher price than
tem Transit Lines will prevent the Dis- Key's properties are worth."
trict from commencing operations July 1 "We are prepared to negotiate a fair
as planned. price based on the valuation as set by
ACT General Manager John R. Worth- the commission," Worthington said. "But
ington reported this month it is a "defi- it seems apparent from Key's actions that
nite probability that as a result of recent it may be necessary to go through com-
Key actions, the starting date for district plete condemnation action to insure our
operations will be delayed until Septem- securing its assets at a proper price."
ber or October at the very earliest." Negotiations Continued
Key System attorney George Thomas The transit official disclosed that dis-
indicated at a recent hearing of the trict representatives have been meeting
State Public Utilities Commission that with Key officials in an attempt to nego-
the company wants "substantially more" tiate a settlement, hoping to speed up
than the values PUC engineers have the PUC proceedings.
placed on buses and property sought by "While we are doing evelything pos-
the District. sible to promptly put the District into
Thomas indicated he would not know operation," Worthington said, "a failure
the total the company will seek until after to arrive at a negotiated settlement that
more study. The company, in any event, is just would be too high a price to pay.
will seek severance damages and com- "Our paramount responsibility is to
pensation for the value of a "going con- protect the public's funds by insuring that
cern," he said. the price paid to Key is reasonable and in
Key Asking Price line with true values," he said.
Worthington told a recent meeting of "We shall continue our negotiations
the transit board of directors that Key with Key System toward securing these
could well be considering a total price values," Worthington added.
of between $9,000,000 and $10,000,000. The District is seeking 276 of Key's
At Key's request, the PUC postponed buses, three terminal and storage yards,
further hearings for nearly two months, together with miscellaneous shop equip-
scheduling the next series of hearings to ment and repair facilities.
begin on May 10 in San Francisco. A $16,500,000 bond issue for facilities
Worthington termed the postponement was passed by the voters last October.
'Re'urn to Transit' Explained; New Bus
Equipment Cited Among Top Four Reasons What the Editors Are Saying About Transit
A nationally syndicated financial news thoroughly fed up with traffic jams and
columnist, Sylvia Porter, has ventured with agonizing delays in getting to work
an explanation for the swing back to pub- or to shops by car-and they're returning Cincinatti (Ohio) Enquirer:
lic transit that is taking place in many to mass public transportation."
cities throughout the counhy.
"To the astonishment of the New York
What confirms this explanation, Miss
Porter wrote, is that the big upturn
New Buses Seen as Start of New Era
Transit Authority," she recently reported,started in November. The Christmas
"passenger traffic on New York city's sub-
way and bus lines began to skyrocket this
buying season can make a normally irri-
tating traffic jam intolerable.
years, apears to be undergoing
that those who board a new bus once
may rediscover the advantages of being
a rebirth in some cities. After 14 years of carried to their destinations by public
past November and the upsurge has kept What suggests that the shift back to
constantly dwindling numbers of passen- transport. Everyone who believes in inte-
up right to today." public transportation is more than tem-
gers, the Cincinnati Transit Company grated transportation must hope so.
porary is that the increase has not less-
There are several logical reasons "why,"
to has experienced a slight gain. It has been said repeatedly that a city's
she wrote, and each shouts a lesson and ened since, she added.
To help tum the tide in its favor, the sustenance is the flow of people into and
a challenge not only to New York, but "A second 'why' lies in the city's build-
transit company is putting into service out of it, and its vigor surely depends
also to city officials across the land. ing of parking lots on the outskirts to
50 new buses that represent a novel de- upon the ease with which this flow takes
encourage commuters to drive their cars
"A first 'why' lies in the blunt fact that
parture from the past. Cincinnatians place. Where private car traffic repre-
increasing numbers of workers and shop- to the city's periphery, park and go the
now have seen the first of them- drama- sents too great a part of the flow, the
pers in New York city's area are getting rest of the way by bus or subway.
tically styled in blue, with much glass stream, as is easily observed, thickens
"Where parking lots have been devel-
area and, most important, air-condition- and slows.
oped adjacent to highways on which
ing. Cincinnati's interest lies with the tran-
Information Committee there is heavy traffic as well as to bus and
At the very least, the novelty of the sit company's. The combination of fast,
subway lines, there has been a marked
Named for Transit Vote increase in the use of public h'ansporta- new vehicles should bring a spurt in pas- comfortable buses on expressways built
senger revenue and the chances are good should prove a boon to both.
A West Contra Costa public informa- tion," she reported.
tion committee was appointed this month "A third 'why' lies in the new bus
for the June 7 election which will decide equipment which has been put into use
whether the area will annex to the Ala- by the city in recent months-and pro-
meda-Contra Costa Transit District. vocatively, the biggest traffic upswing
Court Overrules Transit Bond Protest
Named to head the committee was has been on bus lines. The validity of the Transit District's Hix filed the suit January 15 on be-
Ivan Goyak, former Contra Costa County "A fourth and potentially tremendously $16,500,000 bond issue approved by the half of Stanley E. Behneman, Oakland
supervisor and chairman of a citizens important 'why' in future years lies in the voters last October has been upheld in consulting engineer, and Herbert B. Kin-
committee which recently recommended emerging trek back to the cities by fami- Alameda County Superior Court. caid, San Francisco jeweler living in
that the area join the District. lies disenchanted with commuting and Berkeley.
A Richmond subcommittee will be suburban traffic, school, etc., problems. Judge Thomas J. Ledwich, in effect,
threw out of court a taxpayers' suit chal- The suit had asked the court to find
headed by A. J. Furrer. "It's an infant trend, but it's begin- that the District does not have the right,
Members of the Richmond committee ning. And, when cities really make mid- lenging the bond issue. He ruled the suit
had no merit and sustained a demurrer power or authority to issue or sell the
include Mrs. William Cowan, John Mo- dle-income housing available, the trek bonds.
tell, Victor Paolini, Gene Hammond, back to city living, downtown shopping filed by the District.
Marvin Joseph, Herb Shoup, Lew Kead- and mass transportation could be sensa- A full, time-consuming trial of the case
ing, Mrs. T. O. Wright, Dan Yee, Mrs. tional." Miss Porter concludes: would have been ordered had the judge More Information
Ruth Hoskinson, Rev. R. H. Sawyer, Al- "While millions were abandoning bus not sustained the district argument. A note or phone call to the transit dis-
len Gates, Raymond Reeves, William and subway travel in the Fifties, the Attorney Marvin C. Hix of San Fran- trict will place your name on the mailing
Hoffman, Councilman Robert Miller, anxious question was, how far down is cisco has indicated he will appeal the list for Transit Times if you are not al-
Thomas Tedrick and Frank Shock. bottom? Now that they're coming back, ruling. Hix formerly was secretary-treas- ready regularly receiving a copy of the
A separate committee from San Pablo the top can be far, far away. The message urer of the Committee for Transit Ac- monthly newsletter.
and another from adjacent unincorpo- to all"great American cities is brilliantly tion which opposed the District's first The District also has programs avail-
rated area have yet to be appointed. clear. attempt at a bond issue in 1958. able for group meetings.
2 3
At an adjourned regular meeting
March 19, 1960, the Board of Directors:
• Approved ordinances containing Transit Times
terms of West Contra Costa annexation
Published monthly by the
agreements and calling for a public hear-
ing April 20 at 4:30 p.m. at district head- ALAMEDA·CONTRA COSTA TRANSIT DISTRICT
o Declared intention to formally call
an annexation election in consolidation
with June 7 primary election for unin-
corporated areas adjacent to cities of
Richmond and San Pablo, on motion of BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Director Copeland. ROBERT K. BARBER . . . President
Director at Large
• Received a report from the General
WM. J. BETTENCOURT .. Vice President
Manager on current status of Key System Ward IV
acquisition. (Details, Page 1.) Alameda, San Leandro and East Oakland
ROBERT M. COPELAND Director at Large
* meeting
At the regular * * April 6, 1960, WILLIAM H. COBURN, JR.. . • •
Berkeley, EI Cerrito and Kensington
Ward I

the Board of Directors: J. HOWARD ARNOLD • Ward II

• Referred to Committee on Program JOHN McDONNELL . • • . • Ward III
Planning a proposed inspection tour of Emeryville, Oakland and Piedmont
plants of major bus manufacturers and PAUL E. DEADRICH • • • • . Ward V
Castro Valley, Hayward and San Lorenzo
of transit operations in other communi-
• Adjourned meeting to April 20, at ROBERT E. N ISSET • • Attorney
4:30 p.m. in the district offices to con- JOHN F. LARSON
duct public hearing on proposed annexa- ~10
tion of Western Contra Costa County,
on motion of Director Coburn.

Restaurant B.e gins Free Bus Service for Noon Customers

DAYTON - A downtown cafeteria has over a regular downtown loop. The run
launched a free bus service for its noon takes nine to 10 minutes and makes eight
customers. stops daily from 11 a.m. to 1: 30 p.m.
The cafeteria charters a bus to operate around a 12-block area.

Tran,U Time,
Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District U.S. POSTAGE
700 Plaza Building
Oakland 12, California PAID
Oakland, Calif.
Permit No. 2105

form 3547 Requested