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Transit Times

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Volume 2 Number 6 / OAKLAND, OCTOBER 1959

Transit Plan Gains Wiele Acceptance;

East Bay To Vote On Program Oct. 20
Widespre~d acceptance by East Bay Moffitt reported to the Transit District
citizenry has met the Transit Improve- Board of Directors that community lead-
ment Program for the East Bay since its ers representing a cross-section of poli-
completion two months ago. tical, social and economic interests are
The program to revitalize East Bay rallying to support the bond measure.
transit and replace Key System in the "Our activities to obtain the support of
area is receiving the support of civic, la- the nearly 400,000 voters in the district
bor, management, business, home im- have been met with enthusiastic endorse-
provement, fraternal, educational and ment and assistance," Moffitt said.
taxpayer organizations. The citizen leader said that East Bay
This was the report this month of A. H . residents, so desperately in need of bet-
Moffitt, Jr., general chairman of the Citi- ter transit, are in their "golden hour."
zens Committee for Better East Bay Tran- "Right now people of the two East Bay
sit. counties have the chance to vastly im-
The committee is sponsoring the $16,- prove their public transportation and
500,000 transit bond issue, to be voted on make their communities a better place in
by East Bay citizens Oct. 20 as Measure A. (Continued on Page 3)

East Bay Unites To Support Mass Transit
• • J . \' :

Renovation; Citizens Work For Large Vote

A Fare-box Bond Issue (Continued from Page 1)
which to live," he said. "East Bay voters will have a chance to
help remedy their crucial transit prob-
A BASI C distinction should be drawn
between a bond proposal as ad-
proximately $11,269,000 per year.
Engineering and financial studies
"This program for improved transpor-
tation is tremendously important for the lems when they're faced with a $16,-
500,000 bond issue on Oct. 20 .... the East
vanced by a school district or munici- have determined that this revenue will residents of these cities."
Moffitt noted that the program will "as- Bay needs improved transit ... district
pality, and the bond issue that has been be sufficient to pay all operating costs,
sure the public transportation we need consultants have a plan that will help.
placed before the voters by the Ala- retire the bond issue and replace
meda-Contra Costa Transit District. equipment without an increase in fares to protect business and residential prop- "Almost everyone is feeling the need
The difference-of vital importance or the imposition of additional taxes. erty values from the severe, damaging ef- for better transit facilities. The San Lean-
to all property owners-is one of tax This means that property owners of fects of traffic strangulation." dro City Council asked for and got assur-
support. the East Bay, who already carry a size- It also will provide "long-awaited re- ance that the need for more cross-town
When voters must consider school or able tax burden, may be assured the lief for many residents who depend upon routes here would be studied, then en-
municipal bond measures, they may transit district. bonds will be repaid public transportation or would use the dorsed the Oct. 20 bond issue. So have
be certain that funds to redeem such from the fare box and not from the service if improved," he added. many other civic organizations."
bonds will be collected from the cus- pocketbook of the taxpayer. Typical extensive newspaper support Moffitt, in concluding his report to the
tomary source-the taxpayer. As we have said, the difference be- of the transit program was the recent edi- transit board, said the greatest single fac-
The ... transit district, on the other tween school and transit district bonds torial comment of the San Leandro M orn- tor faced by his committee is the all-im-
hand, will have at its disposal revenue is basic; it is a difference that voters ing News. The paper stated, in part, as portant and difficult job of "getting the
not available to school districts and should bear in mind when they go to follows: people out to vote."
municipalities. Sources of this reve- the polls Oct. 20 to weigh the district's
nue are the fares which riders will program to expand and improve pub-
pay when they travel on the sys-
tem, conservatively estimated at ap-
lic transit operations in the East Bay
Businessmen Told of Transit Values
The ability of customers to freely enter force affecting business profits than cus-
the central business district is the greatest tomer accessibility."
single force affecting business profits and The transit official noted that two-
Cities Endorse Transit Improvements the longevity of a prosperous and healthy
business core.
thirds of the entire downtown Los An-
geles business district has been taken over
Early approval of initial transitim- resentatives of the transit district staff. by streets, freeways and off-street park-
provements for their respective commu- At the request of the council, the dis- John R. Worthington, transit district
ing lots, and that business has become
nities has been voted by Alameda, Berke- trict will give consideration to improving general manager, told a meeting of the
ley and San Leandro city councils. crosstown service among several residen- Oakland Lions Club this month that if
"This problem does not appear to be
Directors of the San Lorenzo Village tial areas and the business districts. potential customers are obstructed by
as acute in the East Bay as in Los An-
Homes Association also were among the Areas affected would include San Lo- traffic congestion, slow public transit and
geles-today," he said.
governmental agencies announcing early renzo Village, Washington Manor, Mul- inconvenient parking, they will go else-
"But with each passing year, this prob-
approval. ford Gardens, Bay-O-Vista, the central where.
lem of increasing immobility will com-
Most of the suggestions advanced by business district and the Bay Fair Shop- Businessmen expend great effort and pound itself into destructive proportions
the various city administrations early this ping Center. expense to attract customers to their unless we can develop and agree upon an
year were already incorporated in the William J. Bettencourt, transit district goods and services, he said. adequate solution in the very near fu-
Transit Improvement Program. director representing the San Leandro "But unless the prospective customer ture."
Several additional suggestions, how- area, assured the Council that a thorough can travel downtown conveniently, safely "It is our hope that the entire business
ever, were proposed by members of the study of the proposed improvements will and comfortably, this effort and expense community will join hands with us in
San Leandro City Council last month be undertaken by the district during the has been wasted. helping to make a system of adequate
during a special work session with rep- immediate months ahead.
"There is no greater, single dynamic public transit a reality," he said.
East Bay Gets First Glimpse of New 'Transit Liners'

New Design Transit Coach Shown

Here for First Time on West
Coast; Public Enthusiastic
Public response to the newly-designed city transit coach
on display in the East Bay cities has been highly enthusiastic.
Nearly 3,000 persons inspected the new air-conditioned
Transit Liner during the first three days in the area, and its
reception was "remarkable," according to John R. Worthing- "In all of my 40 years in the transit business, this is the first
ton, general manager. time I have stepped into a new transit coach that I felt was
Worthington reported to the board of directors that those of first-class quality."
viewing the streamlined coach were "enthusiastic and clearly The new coach, which makes a complete break with the
indicated they are anxious to see this type of transit vehicle past, is the first completely new bus design in nearly 20 years.
in service in the East Bay." In addition to all-new styling, the new models have greatly
A group of East Bay city and county officials who traveled increased visibility with large "picture windows," fluorescent
aboard the bus during a special demonstration expressed lights, lower entrance step, wide seats, and improved air-ride
their belief that the new coach would be a boon to public suspension, providing a major advancement in travel com-
transit riding, Worthington added. fort.
4 5
What the Editors Are Saying About Transit
Improvement of East Bay Mass Transit I-Ield Essential
Reprinted from the Hayward Daily Review:

BARELY A MONTH remains until the

AlamedacContra Costa Transit Dis-
will come from better service, plus the
district's exemption from somewhat more
trict's proposed $16,500,000 bond issue than $1,000,000 annually in taxes and
comes to a vote. franchises now paid by Key System.
Every study thus far made indicates The likelihood-based on a firm engi-
that this area, along with the balance of neering estimate-that no tax will be
the district, will benefit if the bonds ~re necessary to payoff the bonds should
passed. Transit service will be greatly Im- draw voters to the booths in heavy sup-
proved. port of the proposal..
Traffic congestion and parking consti-
New bus lines will be extended into
tute one of our major and worsening so-
San Lorenzo Village, Palma Ceia, Schafer
cial irritations. A mass transit system that
Park and as far south as Decoto. The plan
offers convenience, economy and com-
cont~mplates service to Valle Vista, Alta
Vista, Fairway Park, EI Rancho Verde. fort will thin out the number of private
automobiles Dn our freeways, streets and
Express routes with more frequent serv-
in our parking lots. NEW CONSTRUCTION-Recently completed state and county engineering plans recom-
ice between Hayward, San Leandro and
Until those improvements materialize, mend construction of 390 miles of new East Bay freeways at a cost of $878,000,000
Oakland are part of the plan.
the progressive loss of patronage by Key during next 20 years. The new super-highways, added to 125 miles of existing free-
Much of the District's equipment will System plus the additional influx of popu- way built since end of World War II, would give East Bay approximately 515 miles of
be new and streamlined, with peak hour lation and cars will increase our bumper high-speed roadway by 1980.
needs augmented by existing buses to be to bumper frustration, maroon shoppers
purchased from Key System. in their homes, and slow the economic
All of this is desirable. And it is pos-
sible at no increase in fares and without
tempo of the region. The transit district's
bond issue should be approved. We are
Freeway Plan Crippled Without Transit
East Bay taxpayers face the danger of on the new freeways will be carried by
a tax levy to payoff the bonds or subsi- growing too fast in population, number
spending close to a billion dollars on new express buses.
dize the District, according to consult- of homes, stores and industries to take a
freeways that will be hopelessly inade- "And it is easy to see why the engineers
ants who have drawn up the plan. chance on being immobilized in our
quate even before they are built. must make this assumption," Coburn
They base their estimate on fares that streets.
This was the warning of William H. added.
Coburn, Jr., transit district director who He explained that if only four out of
Merchant-sponsored Buses Prove a Success recently addressed members of the Berke- every 100 vehicles on a freeway are pub-
ley Lions Club on the subject, "Transit lic transit coaches, a freeway can effec-
SPRINGFIELD (Mo. )-A merchant-spon- or as long as they wish-whether or not Improvement and Community Progress."
any purchases are made at the participat- tively carry twice as many people.
sored shuttle bus system is being ex- "Automobiles fighting for room on the
ing stores. "Instead of four freeway lanes, a small
tended in Springfield to a full year after freeway network of the future will be percentage of public transit vehicles gives
a successful six-month trial period. More than 150 merchants, property doomed to a creeping paralysis if public
owners, and professional people under- us the equivalent of eight lanes," he said.
The two 31-passenger buses,furnished transit does not carry a share of the travel "Without transit," Coburn said, "we
write the $1,300 monthly cost of the serv- load," he said.
on a lease basis by the City Utilities trans- ice. could expect that our future freeway pro-
portation department, cover a 1.3 mile, The transit official said that engineer- gram would have to be substantially ex-
Passengers now total 2,000 to 2,400 a ing recommendations for new freeways
13-stop loop in the city's downtown shop- week, showing a gradual, steady growth panded-costing perhaps a billion and a
ping area. recently made for Alameda County, for half dollars instead of the $878,000,000
except for upward spurts during the example, are based in their entirety on
Shoppers may ride the buses as often, Christmas and Easter shopping seasons. now proposed-a capital outlay we could
the key assumption that many travelers scarcely afford."
6 ~10
At an adjourned regular meeting Sep-
tember 10, 1959, the Board of Directors:
• Adopted an ordinance calling a spe- Transit Times
cial election October 20 to vote on a
$16,500,000 bond issue to purchase oper-
ating facilities, on motion of Director
* * *
At an adjourned regular meeting Sep-
tember 15, 1959, the Board of Directors: Alan l. Bingham, Editor
• Established compensation for elec-
tion precinct workers of $12 for officers Robert K. Barber President
and $13 for inspectors, on motion of Di- Wm . J. Bettencourt Vice President
rector Bettencourt. John R. Worthington General Manager
Robert E. Nisbet Attorney-Secretary
• Awarded sale of tax anticipation George M. Taylor Administrative Officer
notes totalling $200,000 to Oakland Bank Directors
of Commerce as low bidder at a net in- Robert K. Barber Director at large
terest rate of 2.896 per cent, on motion of Robert M. Copeland . Director at large
William H. Coburn, Jr. Ward I
Director Copeland. J . Howard Arnold Ward II
John l. McDonnell Ward III
* * *
At its regular meeting October 7, 1959, Wm. J. Bettencourt Ward IV
Paul E. Deadrich . Ward V
the Board of Directors:
• Received a report from A. H. Moffitt,
Jr., general chairman of the Citizens on activities of the committee. (Details,
Committee for Better East Bay Transit, Page 1.)

Transit Riding Up Second Successive Month

For the second successive month, the July, 1958. The final tabulation for June
number of passengers carried by transit showed a rise of 1.62 per cent from last
companies during July exceeded traffic year.
total for the corresponding period in 1958. The increases recorded for June and
Preliminary figures for July, according July are in contrast to an unbroken string
to the American Transit Association, of minus signs going back to January,
show an increase of 0.77 per cent over 1947.

Transit Times
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