America’s Cup finance deal to supes

By John Coté, Michael Cabanatuan : SFGate – excerpt

San Francisco would be liable for escalating payments starting at $29,200 a day if it doesn’t have specific venues ready for America’s Cup regatta use by March 1 under a revised agreement with race organizers now up for approval.
The potential payments are part of a new financial security agreement that leaves the city with a maximum exposure of $9.8 million if it can’t meet its obligations for hosting the main events next summer and fall, officials said.
That shouldn’t be a problem, said Michael Martin, the city’s America’s Cup project director.
“I think we’re in good shape,” Martin said as the city prepares to host a second round of preliminary races next week. “I think this is a good deal for the city.”…

The plan to offer free Muni fares to low-income kids in San Francisco may not be dead yet. Or, depending on your perspective, it died but could spring back to life…

When last we visited the topic in July, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, the Bay Area’s transportation planning and financing agency, had just dealt the $9.4 million plan an apparent death blow with an 8-7 vote against spending $4 million on free rides.
But at Wednesday’s commission meeting, Marin County Supervisor Steve Kinsey, a commissioner who voted against the plan in July, held out hope for a resurrection…  (more)

Some officials seem to think SF is headed for a big financial revival. They are spending tax dollars and revving up the public debt. No cause is too rich or poor for them to support. What about the middle class who pays for all these deals?

S.F. startup offers scooter rentals

David R. Baker : SFGate – excerpt

…a small group of like-minded entrepreneurs have created one possible solution: a company that lets people rent electric scooters on the fly.
Scoot Networks launches Wednesday in San Francisco, with 60 scooters available at four stations in the city’s SoMa neighborhood. Backed by $775,000 from angel investors, the startup plans to add scooters and stations until it blankets the city.
Call it the Zipcar of electric scooters… (more)

Weekend events to bring 1 million visitors to San Francisco

By: Will Reisman : SFExaminer – excerpt

Any weekend boasting a Giants playoff matchup at AT&T Park and a 49ers home game could be considered epic by San Francisco standards. But for the first weekend of October, those contests might actually be considered the underdogs.
An unprecedented confluence of major events is expected to bring more than 1 million spectators to San Francisco from Oct. 5 to Oct. 7, forcing The City’s already overstretched transit system to devise a game plan to manage the crowds…
“This weekend will be a great one for our city, and we have the transportation system as prepared as it can be,” said Ed Reiskin, SFMTA director of transportation. “We urge everyone to avoid delays by taking Muni, a bike, a taxi or a walk when getting around that week and weekend.”… (more)

Oversized Vehicles Banned From City Streets

By Rigoberto Hernandez : – excerpt

Oversized vehicles that line the streets of the northeast Mission will have to start parking elsewhere after the Board of Supervisors approved a law on Tuesday that prohibits them from parking overnight.
Over objections from homeless advocates that the law criminalizes the poor, the supervisors passed the ordinance 7-4. Supervisors John Avalos, Jane Kim, David Campos and Christina Olague cast the dissenting votes.
Starting March 1, any vehicle that is 22 feet in length and 7 feet tall will be banned from parking overnight on certain city streets from 2 to 6 a.m., or risk being fined or towed…
“It’s a cat and mouse game right now,” said Bevan Dufty, the city’s director of Housing Opportunity, Partnership and Engagement (HOPE). “It’s very hard for an individual to let go of the only housing they have.”…
The program would start next year, to give the city’s HOPE program an opportunity to reach out to vehicle owners and attempt to get them into permanent housing… (more)

So, Bevan Dufty has a few months to work some magic. Any ideas, send em his way. We think the city should set up some trailer-car parks with amenities like they have in Santa Barbara, Seattle and Portland.

Ignoring the Central Subway elephant

District 5 Diary – excerpt

The SF Examiner’s coverage of Muni continues to ignore the elephant in the room: The costly Central Subway project, which is sucking up $124 million of the city’s limited transportation money:
The agency’s fleet of buses is the oldest in North America, making them prone to frequent breakdowns. There is a mass shortage of available operators to drive the buses, giving Muni little wiggle room to schedule its 13,000 daily runs.
The Grand Jury report last year on the Central Subway warned about this problem:
Regarding ongoing, preventive maintenance, the SFMTA official we spoke with stated that when SFMTA allocated money to Muni, not enough importance was placed on budgeting for maintenance. This official stated there are periods when not enough money is budgeted for maintaining vehicle parts. To quote that official, “that part of the budget has been starved.”… (more)

Passionate about transit? Join the Geary Bus Rapid Transit Advisory Committee

By Sarah B. : – excerpt

The Citizens Advisory Committee provides input in refining the BRT alternatives, considering project benefits and impacts for all users of the corridor, developing mitigation strategies, and identifying a preferred alternative.
Currently the project is working on an environmental study, with the study team and other public agencies working collaboratively with the GCAC, as well as inviting public participation through community meetings.
If you’re interested in applying for the open position on the Citizens Advisory Committee, visit for more information and download the application form. Applicants from neighborhoods along the Geary corridor are particularly encouraged to apply. The application deadline is October 24 at 5pm…  (more)