Fastrak Tips

Since I first posted my experience with a Fastrak notice, I had a few responses, but this one describes the solution really well:

“I got forced into a FasTrak lane and decided to keep going. I got a fare evasion notice via mail. They stated that if I apply for a FasTrak account they would drop the charge and take it from my FasTrak bill.”

If you get a Fastrak notice, call the number at the top of the page, (Now it is 877-229-8655), and sign up for an account, or find out what mistakes their computer is making.

Warriors Arena – A South Beach Resident Perspective

Live SoMa – excerpt

…Fortunately for everyone, we’ve received a rather extensive email from one long time South Beach Resident who can provide a little local perspective to the ongoing development of the waterfront piers…

(suggested reading for anyone concerned about waterfront development in the city.)

This brings up the need for an extensive discussion about development on the city’s waterfront. Do the voting public residents of San Francisco want this kind of change to come and at what pace? Do we want a mini Manhattan or do we want to hold on to our quaint little city on the Bay?

Special event parking meter premium rates

By Jamie Whitaker : examiner.com : Rincon Hill Examiner – excerpt

The SFMTA held a meeting in Mission Bay at the Mission Creek Park Pavilion on Saturday, June 16, 2012 at 3:00 p.m.  The Agency is listening to residents concerns and ideas about implementing new parking meters in areas that do not currently have them, possibly expanding hours into the evenings and on Sundays, and possibly charging an event premium on days when there is an event at AT&T Park…

What I proposed at the parking meter meeting on Saturday is that SFMTA allow residents with cars to buy pre-paid parking meter cards with a flat rate per 1-hour unit that the resident must use or lose within a certain time period (let’s say 3 or 6 months). This would make residents carefully consider how much time they may be parked at a meter during the given period of time while giving residents the benefit of avoiding an elevated parking meter rate when events are happening at AT&T Park (or possibly Warriors Arena in the future).  The reason I’d suggest a “use it or lose it” policy is that the SFMTA needs to be able to book their revenues for accounting and we would not want someone hoarding hours on a card and lending/selling the card to others.

It sounded like other neighbors thought a pre-paid card at a flat rate per 1-hour unit was a good idea, and the SFMTA seemed to indicate they would look into the legal and technological feasibility of such a pre-paid flate rate system for residents only.

(more)

I was also in attendance, so I can add a few points:

Mission Bay residents complained that their requests for residential parking permits are still being denied. SFMTA’s excuse is that the rates are detemined by Federal Law. (And the need more money out of the residents) There was some realization that the legal issue of discrimination can be used to work both for and against the residents, as they are paying an extra fee already. SFMTA argues that no one is allowed to park their private vehicles on public streets for free, even though the public paid for them through their taxes.

Reducing enforcement hours during non-event days was a hot topic.

Residents brought photos of empty parking meters along Terry Francois Blvd  to prove SFMTA’s infamous “congestion pricing” system is flawed and once again officials admitted they were right.

Muni’s New Cameras Detect ‘Pre-Crime’

By Chris Roberts : http://www.nbcbayarea.com – excerpt

New security cameras detect when something is fishy or out of place

Just how smart are Muni’s new security cameras? They’ll be able to sound an alarm when something is amiss on the tracks — like a drunken driver driving a car down a subway tunnel.

And this is pure Big Brother — if not Phillip K. Dick, according to Web sites like Infowars, which described the cameras as “pre-crime surveillance” devices. Erm… not exactly…

The cameras, which will be installed at the entances to tunnels called “portals” by the end of the year, will use “machine learning” to determine what situation on the tracks is “normal,” according to the San Francisco Appeal online newspaper. Then, when something is “not normal,” such as a truck driving on tracks where trains belong, an alarm is sounded and Muni workers alerted…

Muni paid $1.6 million for 400 cameras in February, Muni spokesman Paul Rose said. For the software to run the cameras, the transit agency awarded a $2 million, five-year contract to Houston-based BRS Labs in April, he said.

(more)

SFMTA is spending public transit funds to spy on us. They are also installing cameras on the buses to ticket our cars. Do we really want or need electronic robotic eyes to report a car driving into a tunnel? Isn’t this the sort of thing that prompts citizens to call 911 on their cell phones?

 

Reeling in SFMTA spending is the responsibility of the District Supervisors. Should we support them if they support SFMTA’s tax spend and spy policy?