Taxis in San Francisco are fighting back through apps, with the city’s blessing

by  Time – excerpt

Standing on the corner of California and Polk in San Francisco, I took out my phone and ordered a ride from Flywheel, an app that’s competing with rival transportation services like Uber and Lyft by leveraging the thousands of taxis already on the road. Like with those services, once I order a Flywheel ride, a map pops up with a car icon, showing me where my ride is in relation to me and allowing me to monitor the driver as he or she gets closer.

On this particular morning, as I watched multiple Lyfts go by (unmissable with their trademark giant pink mustaches attached to the cars’ grilles), and a couple Ubers (the black cars now identifiable by small logos that must be placed on their windows), my driver’s icon drifted away from me. After some minutes passed, I called the driver, who assured me he was on his way. When he continued to travel not towards me, I canceled the order and got a new Flywheel, which picked me up and promptly delivered me to the company’s San Francisco office, with my bill and a 20% tip paid automatically through the credit card I stored on the app.

Once at Flywheel, Chief Product Officer Sachin Kansal explained what had likely happened with my misguided driver. “He may have been ride-stacking,” Kansal explained, meaning that the driver accepted my order on the app and then took a street hail, thinking he could deliver the latter before I ever knew the difference. But the moment I canceled my ride, the driver’s plan was foiled. He would be blocked from the system until Flywheel investigated the case, and these did not appear to be circumstances that would yield quick forgiveness from administrators. Kansal made sure I knew how swiftly justice would be dealt, because this is not the kind of mistake companies can afford to treat lightly in the midst of the Great Ride App Wars…

Using apps like Flywheel is a way for taxis to fight fire with fire instead of tattling, however justified it might seem. Flywheel’s Kansal says that drivers may double the amount of rides they get in a shift through the efficiency that the system provides, matching people who need rides with nearby drivers. “There are weaknesses that others have. There are regulations that they may be breaking,” he says. “But 90% of our energy is spent on making sure this experience always stays top notch. That the experience that you had this morning never happens again.”…  (more)

 

 

No Refunds For Paul McCartney Fans Who Were Stuck In Traffic, Missed Show At Candlestick

KPIX – excerpt

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — The promoter of last week’s Paul McCartney concert at Candlestick Park confirmed to KPIX 5 on Monday that they will not be offering refunds to ticketholders who missed the show due to traffic.

About 2,000 of the nearly 49,000 people who had tickets to the final event at the stadium never made it, because of what has been called a horrendous parking situation that had backed up traffic for hours.

Last week, Another Planet Entertainment said it would consider refunds on a case by case basis. When KPIX 5 ConsumerWatch contacted the company on behalf of several consumers, the promoter made it clear that as a general rule, it is not giving refunds.

The promoter has been criticized for not having a parking plan in place.

Many of the concertgoers who attended also dealt with long delays leaving Candlestick Park, in some cases up to two hours, following the show… (more)

A lot of pissed off fans will never come to San Francisco again unless they have to. Great way to treat visitors.

 

Lee and Pelosi talk middle class jobs in unequal SF

Originally posted on Central Subway FIX:

House minority leader Nancy Pelosi (D-SF) joined Mayor Ed Lee at a press conference yesterday [Tue 12] at Yerba Buena across from the construction site of a Central Subway station. It was billed as an event highlighting how “San Francisco has been in the lead” on creating middle-class jobs, investing in transportation, and ensuring fair wages for workers.

But as these words in the press advisory leapt out at us, we at the Bay Guardian responded with raised eyebrows. Really? It has?

The point of this media appearance, we learned upon arrival, was to promote House Democrats’ newly unveiled Middle Class Jumpstart agenda – a legislative package floated to bolster the middle class, in advance of the upcoming midterm election. Pelosi and Lee also sought to highlight the Central Subway as a transportation infrastructure project that’s spurring middle-class job creation (The $1.6 billion…

View original 161 more words

S.F. parking fee plan for disabled goes nowhere

By Phillip Matier And Andrew Ross : sfgate – excerpt

Convinced there’s widespread abuse of disabled parking placards, San Francisco’s Municipal Transportation Agency passed a series of recommendations to crack down on the problem – only to have them deep-sixed by the city’s own lawmakers in Sacramento…

One idea was to start charging the placard holders for parking, something that a number of cities already do. The transportation agency said there should then be subsidies for low-income placard parkers.

The locals, however, needed approval from the state Legislature… (more)

Thanks to efforts made by Assembley memebers Ammiano, Yee, and Hernanadez, and San Francisco’s FDR Democratic Club, and Disability Rights California, this is a dead issue for now.

SFMTA doesn’t know when to quit attacking people. Now they have raised the ire of placard holders. The best way to kill the plan to charge placard-holders is to Vote No on A and B and Yes on L.

Traffic nightmare at McCartney Candlestick show

sfgate – excerpt

Here’s an understatement: Traffic to and from the Paul McCartney farewell show at Candlestick Park on Thursday night was awful.

Some ticket holders have even reported missing the show altogether due to the gridlock. One of our reporters on the scene, Peter Hartlaub, said it took him more than three and a half hours to get from Oakland to the show. And it’s clear from Twitter (see below) that traffic afterward wasn’t any better, with some concertgoers saying that cars didn’t move for an hour and a half…

Zarine Batliwalla, a 61-year-old real estate agent based in Hillsborough, was one of those who missed the show. She and a friend drove from the Peninsula, leaving around 6 p.m., but it took them three hours to get near Candlestick. Once there, she said, it took them more than two hours just to get outside of the parking lot.

The lines to get into the parking lot, she said, were five cars deep. At around 11 p.m., they saw cars leaving the show — and they decided to do the same themselves… (more)

San Francisco tourism just took a dive. These fans will never come for another concert. Some demand refunds.

RELATED:

Traffic keeps some fans out of Paul McCartney concert
Thursday night’s final concert at Candlestick Park drew thousands of fans, but left other Paul McCartney fans out in the cold.
Petaluma’s Jennifer Cass spent $800 for four tickets to the Candlestick Park-closing show. She also spent seven hours in traffic with her siblings, viewing a sea of brake lights and disabled vehicles blocking lanes of Highway 101. They never got to see the show.
The concert is billed as the “Out There Tour,” but Cass had a different name for it. “It’s the ‘Stuck Out There’ concert,” she told KTVU Friday.
“All of us had been to many, many events at Candlestick Park and we’ve never experienced such gridlock. There was no police presence once we entered the park, there were no parking attendants telling us where to go,” she said.
Pat Silveri of Novato requested a $374 refund from Ticketmaster and says the city should’ve done better planning for the event. After a three hour wait in traffic, she says a parking attendant told her she should go home.
“The parking attendant that came to my car said that they were turning away thousands of people,” said Silveri

“I’ve Been Stuck in This Crud”: Fan Says of ‘Stick Traffic”
And the headaches weren’t much better for those who took public transportation. NBC Bay Area’s Gonzalo Rojas was in San Francisco, shooting video of long lines and crowded platforms at Muni, with everyone champing at the bit to get to hear McCartney swoon one last time…” (more)

McCartney Concert Traffic Gridlock Frustrates Fans
One of the biggest memories for many fans may be of the concert traffic gridlock before, during and after the show. Anne Makovec reports.

Why drive to McCartney at Candlestick was a long and winding slog

by Michael Cabanatuan and Hamed Aleaziz : sfgate – excerpt

After Paul McCartney‘s big farewell to Candlestick concert turned into the Big Jam, causing countless motorists to miss the show in a huge traffic mess, city and concert officials said the infuriated fans may only have themselves to blame (for buying the tickets?)…

“So, who’s to blame? I’m not sure anyone’s to blame,” Perloff said. “There are a lot of answers. In a sense it was a perfect storm.”

And as that storm raged Friday morning, there were a lot of people to ask…

Need for backup plan

San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency officials referred calls to Mayor Ed Lee‘s office, which sent them to Police Chief Greg Suhr.

Suhr blamed the backups on a large number of concertgoers unfamiliar with Candlestick’s infamously feeble transportation system, a concert starting time near the end of a Thursday night commute and people leaving too little time to get to the show… (more)

Is this part of the new SFMTA strategy to blame everyone but yourself. That is the SFMTA way.  Take no responsibility for failing fulfill your obligations.
Did they expect people to know they needed to leave 5 hours early to get to the concert on time?
We heard that taking public transit took almost two hours so there was no real good solution.

 

Jersey City moves toward closing parking authority

AP : sfgate – excerpt

Jersey City is moving closer to realizing Mayor Steven Fulop’s goal of abolishing the city’s autonomous parking authority.

Fulop announced Friday that New Jersey’s Civil Service Commission has granted his request to have parking authority employees given civil service status.

The approval allows the city to move forward with its plan to abolish the authority and have its functions absorbed by other departments.

Fulop plans to present an ordinance to the City Council on Sept. 10.

The parking authority’s enforcement functions would come under the Department of Public Safety, while administrative functions would be handled by city staff who already perform these duties.

Fulop says the dissolution of the parking authority will save taxpayers millions of dollars.

(more)

There’s an idea on how to save Muni money. Abolish the SFMTA by repealing Prop E. What voters create they can dismantle.

Civility and Its Discontents: City Politics Finally Drops the Cordial Bullshit

: sfweekly – excerpt

“…As San Franciscans prepare for Burning Man, the majority of our supervisors prepare to be burned. Because City Hall’s facade of civility has gone up in smoke: Mayor Lee has pledged retribution against the six legislators who greenlit a Scott Wiener transit funding measure he despises.

Meanwhile, sources inform your humble narrator that the mayor’s office told affordable housing developers that success for a Jane Kim housing measure not to his liking would result in the evaporation of their city funding. Like hostages, these organizations were cajoled into pleading with Kim to back down.

And that happened.

Attempts to fund Muni in this city hark to a troop of clowns hauling stacks of custard pies down rickety stairways. It’s always a mess. And the goods never get delivered.

In 2007, erstwhile board President Aaron Peskin’s Proposition A purported to inject $32 million a year into Muni’s bereft coffers. But that didn’t happen: Instead, prevented by the electorate from simply taking the money now earmarked for Muni, city departments began pillaging the transit agency by charging Muni for tasks those departments were already legally obligated to provide. A voter-approved measure to bestow Muni with scores of millions of dollars actually eviscerated its finances to the tune of scores of millions of dollars. Muni continues to be treated as the city’s slush fund.

Your commute continues to suck… (more)

So, who do you trust to fix the Muni mess? Do you think throwing more money at the tiger will tame its appetite?

If you are ready for a change, fight back and tell  SF City Hall know that you have had ENUF !

Vote Yes on Proposition L.

Of Fame and Infamy

By   SF Weekly – excerpt

Paved with Gold

Sadly, Uber czar Travis Kalanick didn’t offer his typical primer on how not to get gouged by Uber during the Outside Lands Festival this past weekend. We could have really used one. According to various reports, Uber’s surge pricing rose to five times its normal fees during peak demand. One customer said he’d been fleeced into paying $290 to get from 30th and Balboa to Gough and Post. Outside Lands did, in fact, suggest other forms of transportation, including shuttles, bike routes (with free valet bike parking), Muni buses, and good old municipal taxis. Apparently, San Francisco commuters had to learn the hard way… (more)

Uber Promises New Drivers $5,000 a Month
By Rachel Swan
New drivers who sign with UberX could earn up to $5,000 their first month, guaranteed.  That’s according to the latest string of Uber billboards, which have been placed somewhat incongruously on Muni buses throughout the city… (more)

Citizens beware of the removal of legitimate taxi service from the streets of San Francisco. You will not like the market rates demanded by the new private enterprise shared economy alternatives. This weekend of price gouging based on demand service will lead to something more sinister. Support your local cabs.

 

District 10 candidate Tony Kelly issues anti-violence plan

Originally posted on zRants:

By Jonah Owen Lamb :sfexaminer – excerpt

District 10 Supervisor Malia Cohen is not alone when it comes to trying to ease the violence in San Francisco’s southeastern neighborhoods.

The man who came in second place against Cohen in 2010 — and is running against her again this year — discussed his own ideas about safety Wednesday.

“We have a City Hall supervisor, we don’t have a district supervisor, we don’t have a neighborhood supervisor,” Tony Kelly said at a lightly attended news conference outside the Bayview Police Station. “We need change and we need leadership in District 10.”

Kelly, a Potrero Hill activist and resident, is one of five candidates running for District 10 in November, and he recently criticized the merits of Cohen’s proposed antiviolence task force.

District 10 — which includes Bayview-Hunters Point, Visitacion Valley and Potrero Hill — has had 12 of The City’s 24…

View original 278 more words