SF tech bus program could be stalled for months by appeals

by : sfexaminer – excerpt

San Francisco’s pilot program for commuter shuttles could be stalled for months or even derailed by The City’s largest labor union and community advocates who are fighting the proposal by using a state environmental law.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency approved the pilot program for commuter shuttles, which are commonly referred to as tech buses, after years of rising tensions. Any delay would leave many unanswered questions for the workers and students who use the shuttles, along with police and parking control officers. The pilot was born in response to complaints about the impacts of the shuttles and lack of traffic-violation enforcement.

The opponents of the SFMTA proposal are appealing for the shuttle program to undergo a rigorous environmental study…

The appeal will put the Board of Supervisors in the hot seat April 1, (April Fool’s Day) when the 11 elected officials are expected to vote on whether to uphold the appeal, which would require the program to undergo an environmental review. The vote hearing is expected to draw a large turnout.

The appeal for a larger study on the shuttles argues that the buses have led to displacement and other elements of gentrification in The City. The tensions between residents and the burgeoning tech industry — which some blame for the rise in rents, cost of living and evictions — garnered nationwide attention when activists blocked commuter buses in December… (more)

Court ruling in land dispute could threaten bike trails

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court’s ruling in an obscure Wyoming land dispute Monday could result in the loss of thousands of miles of bicycle trails or cost the government millions of dollars in compensation.

Richard Wolf : USAToday – excerpt

The justices ruled 8-1 that government easements used for railroad beds over public and private land in the West expired once the railroads went out of business, and the land must revert to its owners.

Chief Justice John Roberts, writing for the majority, said the case was decided based on an 1875 act of Congress and a 1942 Supreme Court decision involving the Great Northern Railway Co.

That ruling confirmed that the government merely had received easements without any long-term land rights, he said. The establishment in 1983 of the federal “rails to trails” program didn’t change the court’s interpretation for easements that expired earlier.

“We’re going to stick with that today,” Roberts said from the bench… (more)

Supreme Court ruling delivers a major blow to bike paths
The 8-1 decision threatens thousands of miles of public trails.
The case wasn’t about bike paths per se — it was about whether or not the federal government retains its control over land that had been granted to railroad companies once it’s been abandoned.  But the decision undermines a federal “rails to trails” program, threatening the more than 1,400 bike and nature trails it’s created since its inception in 1983.
Here’s more on the case from NPR:


Facing Resistance to Longer Walks, SFMTA Revises Some Muni Route Changes

by : sf.streetsblog – excerpt

The SFMTA is fine-tuning its proposals to change Muni routes as part of its Transit Effectiveness Project, an effort to make Muni more efficient. By consolidating stops and concentrating service on key routes, the TEP aims to make Muni faster and more reliable. The agency presented revisions at a public meeting last night intended to address pushback from some residents, many of whom are elderly, against proposals that would have them walk up to a few blocks more to their Muni stop…

With input collected at 11 neighborhood meetings held throughout the city over the past few weeks, a few of the proposed line adjustments have undergone major revisions to avoid disrupting current service patterns, said Sean Kennedy, planning manager for the Muni TEP. “There are a couple of hot issues in each district,” he said.

For example, a proposal to move the 27-Bryant segment in the Mission to Folsom Street [PDF], replacing the 12-Folsom (proposed to be eliminated) and re-named the 27-Folsom, has been changed to keep Muni on Bryant(more)

Maybe SFMTA should spend more time on Muni and less altering the streets. If the planners took the Muni routes they are altering, they would know better than to suggest some of the things they are coming up with.

It looks as if SFMTA agreed to keep the 3 Jackson and the 27 Bryant, thanks in large part to Supervisors Farrell and Campos.  The northern end of the 8X-Bayshore was also re-configured. A list of the routes that people are opposed to changing: http://discoveryink.wordpress.com/tep-meetings/tep-routes/

If you have comments or concerns, you may want to attend one of the TEP Meetings or SFMTA Board meetings.

SFMTA Board Considers New Muni Fare Discounts

Muni wants new hybrid buses on the road this summer

by sfexaminer – excerpt

Muni is aiming to have its newest hybrid buses on the road this summer as it moves to replace the remainder of its aging fleet, including coaches that have surpassed their useful lives.
Leading bus manufacturers New Flyer and Nova, along with a number of sub-suppliers for bus parts such as door systems, met with San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency officials Monday to discuss bid proposals, due back July 31.
“We obviously want to maximize competition, but I think having these two firms who build the most buses in North America to compete, even if it’s head to head, will be a good thing for us,” SFMTA Transit Director John Haley said. “It doesn’t preclude other people from bidding.”… (more)