Lee’s strange transit policy

by Tim Redmond : 48hills – excerpt

How are we supposed to run the buses without any drivers?

Here’s a strange one that’s mostly under the radar: Mayor Ed Lee has introduced a ballot measure that would direct all future increases in revenue for Muni into capital projects, not ongoing operations.

I don’t get it: You can’t run buses without bus drivers. Investing in new rolling stock, rails, and train cars is lovely, but not if nobody’s around to run them.

But that, as I read it, is what this measure says. Check it out for yourself:

It shall be the official policy of the City and County of San Francisco that proceeds from any revenue measure passed by the voters between 2016 and the year 2030 that the City decides to spend on transportation should be directed towards San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency infrastructure and vehicles, road repaving and pothole repair through San Francisco Public Works, “Vision Zero” safety projects and other bicycle and pedestrian safety infrastructure projects, and investment in regional transportation infrastructure improvements and vehicles that serve San Franciscans such as BART and Caltrain and/or a second Transbay train tunnel, and that such proceeds shall not be directed to general administrative and personnel costs other than what is necessary to implement the aforementioned capital projects.

Interesting to see what the unions representing Muni works have to say about that.

The measure comes before the Rules Committee Thursday/11 at 11am(more)

 

An Uber Labor Movement Born in a LaGuardia Parking Lot

By : newyorker – excerpt

Last Tuesday afternoon, at LaGuardia Airport’s Lot 7, fifty Uber drivers logged out of the app and staged a strike. Lot 7 is where drivers typically wait to pick up arriving passengers, and it was full of rows of black and gray sedans and S.U.V.s. The protesters stood at the entrance to the lot, holding hand-drawn signs that read, “Support us we have family too” and “Bring back rates to where they were!” Any car leaving to take a job had to pass through the gauntlet. If the crowd determined that the driver was working for Uber, it slapped signs against the driver’s windows, blew plastic whistles, and shouted, “Shame!” and “You work for Uber; you are a slave!”

On January 29th, Uber had reduced fares in more than eighty cities in the U.S. and Canada. Drivers in some of those cities, including San Francisco, San Diego, Tampa, and New York City, have reacted with strikes and protests. One of the many barriers to sustainable organizing for those working for sharing-economy apps like Uber and Lyft is that the flexible, cloud-based nature of the service creates a relatively tenuous connection to other workers. Uber drivers have protested policy changes in the past, but this round appears to be more widespread and intense than before… (more)

Add this to the fact that Uber was one of the Super Bowl sponsors that was supposed to be the driver of choice for the audience, and they could not pick people up after the Super Bowl because they couldn’t get there. All the traffic was moving against them.