Painted transit only lanes set for Church Street

By Will Reisman : SFExaminer – excerpt

A pair of painted transit-only lanes — the first of their kind in The City — are set to debut next month on a notoriously congested section of Church Street, an approach likely to be adopted on other busy arteries…

Other roads slated for painted transit-only lanes:

  1. Fulton Street, 5-Fulton
  2. Park Presidio and 19th Street, 28-19th Avenue
  3. 16th Street, 22-Fillmore
  4. Columbus Avenue and Stockton Street, 30-Stockton
  5. Judah and Irving streets, N-Judah
  6. Mission Street, 14-Mission
  7. San Bruno and Geneva avenues, 8X-Bayshore Express

Source: SFMTA

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Someone should remind the SFMTA that Prop A* includes taxis and vanpools  in the list of vehicles allowed to share transit only lanes. We assume they will follow this policy.

Someone should inform the SFMTA that the above entities are meant to supplement Muni , and should be encouraged  to cover slow routes that Muni is dropping so as to continue to serve the transit needs of the public.

Transit First Policy Amended by Prop “A” approved 11/6/2007
SEC. 8A.115.  TRANSIT-FIRST POLICY.
2.     Public transit, including taxis and vanpools, is an economically and environmentally sound alternative to transportation by individual automobiles…
4.     Transit priority improvements, such as designated transit lanes and streets and improved signalization, shall be made to expedite the movement of public transit vehicles (including taxis and vanpools) and to improve pedestrian safety.

SF Muni begins America’s Cup service

By Michael Cabanatuan : SFGate – excerpt

With its sweeping views and wide-open feel, Marina Green is a great place to watch the America’s Cup World Series. But with no rail service and few direct buses, it’s not the easiest location to reach on public transit.
The transportation plan for this week’s races, a series of October races coinciding with Fleet Week, and the main event, the 2013 America’s Cup, is designed to dissuade people from driving to the always congested northern waterfront, and relies mainly on enhanced Muni service and encouraging fans to walk or ride bikes.
“We’re trying to help people have a good time in San Francisco instead of being stuck in traffic or chasing down a parking space,” said Peter Albert, the agency’s America’s Cup skipper…
Eye on ridership
America’s Cup sponsors have set a goal of raising $5 million to cover the cost of augmented transit service this year and next. But the agency is not necessarily planning to provide $5 million in service. Officials plan to keep a close eye on ridership, Albert said…
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It is pretty obvious that the SFMTA public transit system is not designed to put the public first. The first priority is tourists and big business. All residents want out of the deal is to be left alone to fend for ourselves. Bring back sufficient taxi and jitney service for the rest of us.

SFMTA approves tweaked plan for taxi medallion program

By Will Reisman : SFExaminer – excerpt

Despite a din of protests from cabdrivers, a new plan for how The City administers taxi operating permits was approved Tuesday.
For decades, drivers have been able to bide their time on a lengthy waiting list to obtain a taxi medallion, a permit that can be leased out to other cabbies. As part of a pilot project that’s been running for the past two years, drivers with $250,000 have been able to jump to the top of the list to purchase a medallion…
“I’m incredibly disappointed,” said Tara Housman, one of seven members of an industry advisory council who resigned in protest of the plan. “This is a kick in the teeth to every driver on the waiting list.”
Originally, the SFMTA wanted to collect a 50 percent fee for all medallions purchased and a 30 percent fee for all transfers, but those numbers were amended down to 33 percent and 20 percent, respectively. The SFMTA said the program will give aging drivers a meaningful exit strategy — the minimum age for selling a medallion was reduced from 65 to 60 — and provide public funds for transportation initiatives, including improvements to the taxi industry…
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Related:
MTA Board of Directors approves new taxi medallion process
SFMTA Approves Controversial Taxi Medallion Plan

SFMTA reopening bids for Central Subway’s Chinatown Station project

By: Will Reisman : SFExaminer – excerpt

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency will reopen its bidding process for the construction of the Central Subway’s Chinatown station after a quartet of contractors failed to meet the agency’s requirements during the first round of solicitations.
Tutor-Saliba, a Los Angeles-based firm, offered to complete the construction project for $239 million, the lowest of four bids accepted by the SFMTA. The four bids ranged from 
$239 million to $397 million.
But after reviewing specific elements of the station design, agency engineers identified cost savings that could reduce their estimated construction cost of $235 million, spokesman Paul Rose said.
“It will be beneficial for the agency to reject all bids and re-advertise the project,” he said…
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“Under provisions of the specifications for this contract, the SFMTA reserves the right to reject any and all bids,” Rose said.

Historic SOMA Streetcar Line Restoring Service On Trial Run This Weekend…

LiveSoMa.com – excerpt

Finally something that (hopefully) nobody can complain about coming out of South Beach…
The Historic E Line Streetcar is restoring service this weekend – for a trial run – to help facilitate the transport of America’s Cup World Series spectators along the Embarcadero…
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So, the SFMTA can’t afford to provide residents in Mission Bay with useful public transit on regular basis, but they can provide the America’s Cup audience with a special week-end car directly linked to CalTrans.