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Transit Times

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Volume 2 Number 8 OAKLAND, DECEMBER 1959


District to Offer Jobs to Key System

Personnel Except Executive Officials
The more than 1,500 bus drivers, me- In announcing its decision, the board
chanics, clerks and other workers em- specifically reserved the right to make
ployed by Key System will be offered such personnel adjustments "as seem
jobs by the transit district when the pub- necessary to properly serve the public"
lic agency goes into operation. after the district gets into operation.
Transit directors this month adopted a Later Adjustments
personnel policy that assures most of Key "In other words," Bettencourt said,
System's workers their present jobs when "the policy will not necessarily blanket in
the district takes over operation from the all supervisory employees, but where pos-
private carrier next summer. sible and desirable present Key System
William J. Bettencourt, chairman of supervisors will be retained."
the board's administration committee In a special report to the board, Gen-
which made the recommendation follow- eral Manager John R. Worthington urged
ing several weeks of study, said that the adoption of the policy statement, declar-
policy making executives of Key System ing it would only be "good sense and eco-
are not included. nomics to secure as much of our required
"It is not our intention to hire those staff and personnel from the ranks of
Key System officials who have deter- present Key System personnel as pos-
mined company policy," Bettencourt sible.
said. These positions include the com- "Practically all of the employees re-
pany president, vice president and con- quired are in a skilled category," he said,
troller. adding that the cost of training new per-
sonnel if the district attempted to build
Supervisory Personnel up and train an independent work force
By law, the district will be required to would involve additional expenses of be-
offer employment to most of the drivers, tween $1,000,000 and $2,000,000.
mechanics and other workers if the dis- "The employment of Key System op-
trict takes over the Key operation. Em- erating personnel will insure an experi-
ployment of supervisory employees, how- enced organization that also will permit
ever, is left to the discretion of the tran- take-over with as little disruption of serv-
sit directors. ice and management as possible," he said.
~, -,

Winslow Engineering E.ecutive Appointed

;\ ,,:"Wha.t,th,e~ Editors Are Saying About, Transit Head of District: Accounting and Finances
District: Expect:ed to' Live Up to I:lect:ion Pledges
John F. Larson, chief financial officer
Reprinted from the Oakland Tribune: for the world-wide Winslow Engineering
APPROVAL of a bond issue to estab- The District officials presented a de- and Manufacturing Co., has been ap-
r\. lish a publicly owned and oper- tailed plan, calling for the purchase pointed controller of the Alameda-Con-
ated transit system in the East Bay is tra Costa Transit District.
of new equipment and widespread
a forward step toward the eventual improvement and expansion of serv- Larson, 58, was named to the $15,000
solution of our strangling traffic con- ice. They promised that the price to be a year post by transit General Manager
gestion problem. paid for properties to be bought from John R. Worthington.
By approving the program of the Key System Transit Lines would be The new transit official formerly was
Alameda-Contra Costa Transit Dis- established by the California Public treasurer and controller of the Winslow
trict, the people have placed a definite Utilities Commission, an entirely dis- firm and its subsidiary corporations head-
responsibility on its directors and staff. interested agency. quartered in Oakland. The concern, with
The responsibility weighs heavily factories in Kentucky and France, is one
because, for the first time in this area, In addition, the District advanced, of the leading manufacturers of indu~trial
a bond issue has been approved by a and the public accepted, engineers' filters and pioneered the field of filters for
simple majority vote under authoriza- opinions that the service improve- aircraft under the leadership of founder
tion of the State Legislature. Always ments can be made without increasing Charles A. Winslow.
before, the required two-thirds major- fares or taxes. Worthington, in announcing the ap-
ity has been an effective safeguard The public has the right to expect pointment, said Larson will have respon-
against unwise or unjustified expendi- this to be regarded as a pledge, and to sibility for all district financial and ac-
ture of public money. The District au- anticipate that the entire program, as counting matters, including the handling
thorities are now obligated to provide outlined, will be carried out expedi- of the $16,500,000 transit bond issue re-
such safeguards. tiously and efficiently. cently approved by the voters. John F. Larson
Prior to joining Winslow in 1953, Lar-
son served as treasurer and controller of
a major Los Angeles power transmission World War II, he headed up the account-
ing department of the California Ship-
Big Tax Refunds Due Richmond Industries and bearing distributing firm. Dnring
building Corp. which turned out well
over $500,000,000 in ship contracts dur-
Tax refunds due Richmond and San had been improperly canvassed and ex- Bond Opinion Poll Close ing the war years.
Pablo taxpayers which were incorrectly clusion of the two cities was ordered.
A public opinion poll conducted in Larson has been associated since 1940
collected for the transit district amount The county auditor had collected taxes
Alameda County a month prior to the with Laborde and Hoover, a certified
to $37,000. from the two cities for the fiscal years
recent transit bond election came close to public accounting firm of Berkeley. His
Largest single refund of $11,607 is due 1957-58 and 1958-59 during the period of
100 per cent accuracy. previous two assignments were at their
Standard Oil Company of California. court litigation. It is this money which is
The telephone survey, made by Rae- direction.
Twenty industries in the two cities now being refunded.
burn and Associates in connection with Larson's civic activities include Aah-
claim the bulk of the total amount, col- Efforts are being made to have with-
a poll on other local issues, and con- mes Temple of the Shrine of which he
lectively qualifying for $18,952. Individ- drawn claims which are less than 25 cents
ducted independently of the district, in- serves as auditing committee chairman.
ual claims for the homeowner average since costs of processing each claim will
dicated that 57.5 per cent of those ques- He resides in Oakland at 4739 Lincoln
about 70 cents. exceed this amount.
tioned were in favor of the bond measure. Ave. with his wife, Jennie, also an ac-
Richmond and San Pablo had been in- The district expects to refund about
Final tabulation of the ballots showed countant. Mrs. Larson's civic activities in-
cluded in the district in the formation $20,000 to industries. Money for the re-
voters supported the issue by a margin clude treasurer of the women's auxiliary
election of 1956. But a court decision two payment was set aside in this year's dis-
of 56.3 per cent-a difference with the of the Salvation Army's Booth Memorial
years later found that absentee ballots trict budget.
pre-election estimate of only 1.2 per cent. Hospital.
Speeitd iE!efuJItt

State PUC to Determine Key System Value for District

PuS,lic Hearings to Begin This Month on Condemnation
Suit to Purchase Key Equipment and Property J
Public hearings will open up this month on the transit dis- sidered best qualified to come \up with a fair and impartial
trict's multi-million dollar condemnation suit against the price tag. .~
Key System. The transit district wants to buy some of Key's equipment
Sitting as final judge over the proceedings will be the Cali- and real estate to round out facilities needed by the district
fornia Public Utilities Commission-the state agency con- to get into business.
District officials hope to commence operation sometime
next year. The district expects to completely replace Key's
local and transbay service except in Richmond and San
Worthington Outlines Program Pablo which presently are not part of the district.
For more than a year, PUC staff engineers have been tak-
For New Bus Purchases, Sees ing inventory and fixing values on Key facilities desired by
Delay in Early Delivery Date the district. Their findings will be made public during the
hearings beginning December 17.
The number of new ultramodern Transit Liner motor coaches
that will be placed into operation when the transit district takes
Both Key and the district may dispute the staff-computed
over from Key System will depend on how soon the district gets values. But once the commission sets the final figure, it can-
into business. not be changed, except for adjustments to reflect an increase
General Manager John R. Worthington told a meeting of the or decrease in values since the condemnation suit was filed
board of directors this month that if the district commences in May of 1958. Should Key decline to accept the PUC value,
operation by July 1 of next year, the maximum number of the district could request superior court action to enforce
coaches that could be expected for initial use is 25.
Delivery of additional new buses could be expected at a rate
the order.
of 15 to 25 a week starting September 1, he added. Consultants Estimate Maximum Price
In other words, Worthington said, the longer the district post- A total of $6,600,000 has been allowed by district financial
pones the date of commencing operations, the greater will be the consultants as the outside pric.e for Key facilities contained
chance to have more new buses in operation. But for each addi-
tional day of delay, it means the district m4st continue to depend
in the condemnation suit. ~ have stated in the past that the district should buy all of
that much longer upon property tax subsidy for its entire support. Money paid to Key would me from a $16,500,000 bond Key's holdings-not just part of them.
Worthington reported that preliminary discussions with equip- issue recently approved by the voters. The remaining District engineers have by-passed more than half of Key's
ment manufacturers indicate that delivery of 150 new coaches $9,900,000 is earmarked for '" 6 new Transit Liner motor bus fleet as being too obsolete for long-term district use.
could be completed by early 1961 and delivery of 146 additional coaches, a new division terminal in Hayward plus contin- The used buses acquired from Key wo!:!ld be replaced by
new buses could be completed within the following 12 months. gencies. new coaches out of district revenue under a planned renewal
Pending arrival of the new coaches, the district would have
to obtain buses for temporary use from Key System or other Listed in the condemnation proceeding are 276 diesel program beginning with the third year of operations.
available source, possibly through a lease arrangement, Worth- buses bought by Key between 1947 and 1958, three mainte- De Leuw, Cather & Company, in their engineering report
ington said. nance and storage yards in East Oakland, Emeryville and to the district, said that the planned acquisition of both new
Production schedules of one of the major manufacturers al- Richmond, a station and loading area at 40th Street and and used equipment at the outset of district operation would
ready is filled through next July, he said. San Pablo Avenue, 42 trucks and other service vehicles, and be the most logical and economical program for establish-
In any event, when the district takes over there will be no dis-
ruption in services, Worthington said. New lines, extensions and fare boxes, furniture and office equipment, motor coach and ing the orderly change from private to public operation.
other improvements will be handled as quickly as possible, with garage equipment and radio dispatch equipment. Any attempt to provide all new buses for the initial opera-
most of the major changes to be gradually and systematically Key System officials thus far have given no indication of tion would not be businesslike and would be impractical, and
placed into effect within six months after commencing operation. the value they place on the facilities or if any amount should in addition, would delay operation of the district and result
be allowed for severance damages and good will. But they in unnecessary tax subsidy, the report stated.
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CopelandC_i,t:es a-"er~ blic Transit,~as .. t,;;

'/4B,.at.efit: to" fh_ :Automobile" Driver, Too

Substantially improved public trans- "This single new express line has, ac-
portation will benefit not only the transit tually eliminated hundreds of automo-
rider but every driver of an automobile biles from Philadelphia streets each day,
throughout the East Bay. and obviously has provided considerable
This was the prediction of Robert M. relief from traffic congestion in the par-
Copeland, transit district director and re- ticular section of the city," he added.
tired civil engineer,who recently told A key part of the East Bay district's
members of the Oak- ," plan is the start of five new express lines
land Pres byteria-n linking communities between EI Cerrito
Men's Club: and Hayward. The new routes, utilizing
"Better transit is just freeways wherever possible, will produce
as important-even vi- expected time savings of up to 50 per
tal-to the motorist, the cent over existing travel time.
businessman and the
homeowner as it is to
the transit rider."
Experience elsewhere Speaker Programs Telling
throughout the coun- R. M. Copeland Progress of District Plans
try has repeatedly shown that the im-
proved transit service planned for the
For Operation Available
Two educational programs have been
East Bay will definitely attract more rid- developed by the transit district to keep
ers, Copeland said. Many of these new East Bay citizens informed on the prog-
STREET~LEARANCE...,...Work crews with heavy equipment remove abandoned inter- riders will be former auto drivers. ress of plans to begin operation of a pub-
urban ra!'s ~n Tw~lfth StreeUormerly used by .Oaklal1d'stransbay IA" line. Key Sys- 'Without transit, our streets and free- licly-owned transit system.
tem, which IS paymg cOsts of track removal, 1$ ahead of its commitment schedule Both speaker programs are available
ways would be hopelessly and unques-
which promises to have all tracks cleared from, ~ast Bay streets by April, 1961. tionably inadequate," he said.
free of charge for luncheon meetings as
well as for groups holding their meetings
"But if we improve the quality and during the morning, afternoon or evening
speed of our public transit system, more hours.
Key Ahead of Track Removal Schedule people will use the service, congestion
will be partly eliminated, and there will
One utilizes a 25-minute color motion
picture, "Let's Go to Town," which shows
improvements that are taking place
The removal of remaining abandoned abandoned "A" train tracks in Oakland be more room for those people who con- throughout the country with regard to
transbay train tracks in Berkeley and on 12th Street between Jefferson and tinue to drive their cars. public transit.
Oakland is proceeding ahead of schedule Union Streets. "For the East Bay resident who con- The second program consists of a series
and should be completed prior to the tinues to drive his car, this fact is of ma- of descriptive charts which graphically
Other tracks remaining are on portions describe the East Bay's problems of mov-
deadline of April, 1961. of Piedmont Avenue, Claremont Avenue, jor importance," he said.
ing people and the steps being taken to
In Berkeley, the entire removal pro- 55th Street, Lakeshore Avenue, West The transit official cited recent experi- solve them.
gram is expected to be completed by Grand Avenue and Adeline Street. ence in Philadelphia where, during the The district also publishes a monthly
January or February of next year. The current removal program, which first week of operating a new freeway information bulletin, "Transit Times,"
Work still to be completed in Berkeley initially was estimated to cost a total of express line, patronage increased almost which is available through the mail free
includes a section of Shattuck Avenue 50 per cent. of charge.
approximately $750,000, is being carried For further information, please con-
between Dwight Way and Ward Street, out by Key System Transit Lines. ' The new service clipped about 16 min- tact the transit district at 700 Plaza Build-
and the portion of Claremont Avenue be- Key System has promised in an agree- utes from the former street route and ing, 506 15th Street, Oakland, telephone
tween Alcatraz and Domingo Avenues. ment with the City of Oakland to have represents a time savings of about 35 per TEmplebar 6-1808.
Crews are currently removing the all tracks removed by April of 1961. cent, Copeland said.
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At its regular meeting December 2,
1959, the Board of Directors:
• Referred a request by the Richmond Transit Times
and San Pablo Transit Study Committee,
asking information on costs of providing
lI."'t,,,,,,,C'" DISTRICT
bus service, to the General Manager for
study and reply to the board, on motion
of Director Copeland.
• Endorsed the use of exhaust control Telephone TEmplebar 6-1808
devices on motor coaches as soon as such Alan L. Bingham, Editor
devices are available and practicable, Officers
and directed the General Manager to pre- Robert K. Barber . President
pare a report on the current status of pre- Wm. J . Bettencourt . Vice President
John R. Worthington . . General Manager
ventive smog devices now under study, Robert E. Nisbet . Attorney-Secretary
on motion of Director Copeland. George M. Taylor . Administr .. tive Officer
• Approved a policy statement favor- Directors
Robert K. Barber Director at Lorge
ing retention of Key System personnel Director at Lorge
Robe rt M. Copeland .
other than the general officers, on motion William H. Coburn, Jr. Ward I
of Director Bettencourt. (Details, Page 1.) J . Howard Arnold Word II
John L. McDonnell Ward III
• Adjourned meeting to January 4, Wm . J . Bettencourt . Ward IV
1960, at 4:30 p.m. in the district offices Paul E. Dead,ich . Word V
to elect officers of the board of directors ~lD
for the new year.

Support to Eliminate Smog Promised

The transit district has pledged all-out ment that such devices be used on dis-
action to eliminate smog-producing ex- trict equipment just as soon as they are
hausts by its fleet of motor coaches just available and can be acquired at a reas-
as soon as practical devices are available. onable cost.
A resolution recently adopted by the General Manager John R. Worthington
Bay Area Air Pollution Control District was also instructed to investigate the
asked the transit district to specify effec- relative contribution to smog that is made
tive and efficient exhaust control devices by a motor coach fleet as compared to
on all new buses to be purchased. autos carrying the equivalent number of
Transit directors said they are in agree- travelers.

Transit Times BULK RATE

Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District U.S. POSTAGE
700 Plaza Building
Oakland 12, California PAID
Oakland, Calif.
Permit No. 2105
5681 MILES AVE ..
Form 3547 Requested