BayRail general meeting


AB 1171 (Dutra):

This legislation, signed into law by the Governor on October 14, 2001, amended the Streets and Highways Code (Chapter 907) to limit the amount of funds that could be spent on the Bay Bridge retrofit from the second dollar of the bridge tolls, so that the revenue could be used to help pay for other transportation projects in the bridge corridors.

Board of Directors – the buck stops here. The Board is the entity in charge of reviewing and approving an agency’s budget and awards the agency’s contracts. It makes major policy decisions for the agency, like "shall we spent millions of dollars on X project?". The Board typically does not get involved in day-to-day operational matters. So, complaining to them about a rude transit employee for example won’t get you anywhere (we suggest that you complain to the customer service department). But if, for example, you have problems getting a coherent response from the customer service department, that might be a matter to escalate to the General Manager of the agency, and then to the Board if you don’t get a satisfactory response.

Catenary. In railroad terminology, commonly used to refer to the wire suspended above a train that supplies electricity to an electrically-powered train. See wikipedia entry "Overhead lines" for more information.

Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) - a committee that is set up to advise the Board of Directors and to give input to the staff of a government agency. Its members are appointed to the committee by elected officials. Any person meeting minimum qualifications can apply to serve on this committee if there is a vacancy.

Constituent -  Elected officials care about their constituents, and no one else. You're a constituent if  you live, work, or otherwise regularly conduct business (like owning rental property) in the geographic area that the elected official is responsible for. You don't have to be registered to vote to be a constituent, though sometimes the word is used in a narrower sense of "voter" who can elect or recall a politician.  Because politicians have enough work to do answering to their own constituents, if you're not one of theirs, it's mostly a waste of time to contact them. Rarely, it can help a politician who is not your elected official, to know that one of their colleagues is being pressured by her or his constituents to take a certain action.

Dwell time
- the length of time that a train is stopped at a station while loading and unloading passengers.  Very precise and efficient systems have short dwell times, where doors are open for 10 seconds. Less efficient systems might have dwell times of 30 seconds or more, which add up over several stops to considerably lengthen overall trip time.

Gauge - width between rails. Standard gauge is 4' 8". Narrow gauge is 3'

- In transportation jargon, "mode" refers to the method by which you are traveling. Are you walking, riding a bike, taking a bus, trolley, train, or driving a car (and all by yourself, or car-pooling with someone)? That's your "mode".

- Short for "Opposite the Editorial". Traditionally, the official opinion of the newspaper itself was published on one page, and opinion pieces by others on the opposite page, hence "op-ed". An op-ed is an opinion piece, generally about 500 - 800 words, that expounds upon a topic in more detail than a short letter to the editor can.  People most likely to get an op-ed published are elected officials who are skilled writers, organizations speaking on behalf of many people, academics, and syndicated writers. It is challenging to write a compelling piece that will be published and that people will read.  Some examples of op-eds are <here>

Regional Measure 1 (RM1)

Regional Measure 2 (RM2)



In railroad parlance, an enclosed entrance area by the side doors inside a train.