Report says SF taxis suffering greatly

By sfexaminer – excerpt

Just how big a hit the taxi industry has taken since app-based ride services like Uber, Lyft and Sidecar rose to popularity has been quantified, and The City’s transit agency, as cab regulator, has several courses it can take to help level the playing field.

The taxi industry’s health “overall is being impacted clearly” by competing transportation network companies, said Kate Toran, who took over as interim Taxis and Accessible Services director for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency in June and was named to the position permanently a couple weeks ago.

In her first presentation in the role to the SFMTA board of directors at 1 p.m. today in City Hall Room 400, Toran plans to discuss the downward trend in average trips per taxicab from 1,424 per month in March 2012 to 504 this past July…

“It’s time for [the] MTA as a regulator to really review the regulations and make sure our regulations have been thoroughly reviewed and that they still make sense,” Toran said. “Our bottom line is public safety, but to the extent that the regulations can be more flexible and more responsive and we have a process to update.”…  more)

RELATED:
SF Cabbies Closer to Becoming an Affiliated Union
Uber, Lyft Fallout: Taxi Rides Plunge in San Francisco
MTA Board Meeting on line  

Dancing Traffic Light Helps Pedestrians Moonwalk Safely

mashable – excerpt

Cities can be dangerous places if you don’t have the right directions.

Smart, the company behind the original smart car, has devised a clever way to help pedestrians wait for the walk signal and keep the streets safer — a dancing traffic light. By projecting real movements from people nearby, the dancing traffic light entertains people at the intersection until it’s a safe time to cross the street. The company built the signal at an intersection in Lisbon, Portugal, earlier this summer. (There are no evident plans to implement the lights elsewhere yet.)

The ad is part of Smart’s #WhatAreYouFor campaign, which emphasizes the company’s dedication to safety.

Your morning commute just turned into a daily dance-off… (more)

Wiener, Transit Activists Raid Nonprofit Funding

by Randy Shaw : beyondchron – excerpt

If Supervisor Scott Wiener and transit activists get their way, San Francisco’s most vulnerable residents will face millions of dollars in budget cuts next year. Wiener’s Prop B raids $22 million in annual funding for nonprofits and sends the money to that bottomless funding pit known as the SFMTA—with no money earmarked for MUNI service.

How is such a mandated money grab possible in progressive San Francisco? How could Wiener, who came to office backed by real estate speculators and only supports tenant measures he has no power to enact, get progressive transit activists, five other supervisors and the San Francisco Democratic Party to raid $22 million annually from already underfunded nonprofit services?

It is a cynical story. It involves Wiener betraying nonprofits, putting the $500 million transit bond at risk, and backstabbing Mayor Lee all for the goal of giving no-strings money to an SFMTA that has failed to translate a decade of steep budget increases into improved MUNI service.

Wiener’s War on Nonprofits

I understand why Wiener backs Prop B. Wiener is the Board member most opposed to nonprofits. He fought to eliminate the nonprofit exemption on Transit Impact Development Fees.  Wiener pushed for the proposed Vehicle License Fee to go 100% to transit, though it had originally been intended to be partially available for human services. He has never led efforts to increase annual cost of doing business funding for the nonprofit sector.

Wiener knows that Prop B takes money from nonprofit budgets. That’s why he recently voted against the David Campos resolution to put the Board on record backing a supplemental appropriation for nonprofit worker salary hikes if the city’s budget is doing well mid-year. Wiener knows there won’t be a dime left for nonprofits if Prop B passes; otherwise he would have backed Campos’ resolution (which got seven votes)..

What’s troubling is that after progressive Board members allowed nonprofit workers to get stiffed in the recent budget process, they then joined Wiener’s plan to take an additional $22 million from nonprofits each year… (more)

We were asked who is fighting Prop B and this is what we found. We were aware of the struggle between non-profits for funding, but Mr. Shaw gives us more details than we anticipated. If you care you should read the entire article and comment at the source.