They Don’t Want an App for That – excerpt

The venerable San Francisco Civil Grand Jury is out today with their report detailing possible solutions to the San Francisco Municipal Railway’sswitchback” problems.
“Switchback” is what Muni calls it when they stop a streetcar or bus before the end of the run, kick out the passengers to wait for the next vehicle, and then head back in the opposite direction…

You can read the Grand Jury’s report and recommendations here. You can also read the Muni’s rapid response below.
But what is worth a detailed read is the report’s finding that the Muni turned down a free iPad app using GPS to help track vehicles and avoid switchbacks. The Muni said it didn’t have the budget for the iPads needed to make the app work…


Who does Muni work for? They can’t afford a few iPads to help their customers, but they can afford a few billion dollars worth of public debt to put in the Central Subway for the wealthy landowners and bankers who will profit most handsomely from the up-zone of the transit corridor about the subway.

Thanks to Phil Ting’s resetsanfrancsico for this story that the media seems to have missed.

Only Congress can now stop Central Subway grant

By Will Reisman : SFExaminer – excerpt

An unprecedented act by Congress is the only thing standing between Muni and a crucial federal grant for its Central Subway project now that the Obama administration has signed off on the $942 million application.
The grant, which accounts for nearly 60 percent of the $1.6 billion project, was forwarded to Congress on Friday by the White House Office of Management and Budget. Congress has 60 days to reject the application, but Muni chief Ed Reiskin said such an action has never occurred…
But while Congress has a history of approving these grant applications, both the Senate and House are more polarized than ever, which could jeopardize funding for the Central Subway, said Jerry Cauthen of Save Muni, a group opposed to the project.
“This used to be a rubber-stamp act,” said Cauthen. “But I think it’s clear that this is the most contentious and cantankerous group of politicians we’ve seen in a long while in Washington.”
The project is facing a lawsuit over its construction plans in the North Beach neighborhood. A second suit is likely to come regarding a separate construction project in Union Square. Muni officials have said both undertakings are legal…