BART Wants To Crack Down On People Parking In Coliseum Station Lot For Oracle, Events

OAKLAND (CBS SF) — BART wants to crack down on people using the parking lot at its Oakland Coliseum station as free parking for events at the Coliseum and Oracle arena and may soon charge as much as $30 during events there.

The BART Board of Directors will take up a policy at its meeting Thursday to charge between $7 and $30 on an event-by-event basis, BART officials said… (more)

Way to go BART. Make it more expensive for people to take BART and they will just drive. They should at least wait until after they run their request for more money to expand the system. The voters just might turn you down next time you want more sales tax for your next expansion program. Or have you paid any attention to the new anti-tax movement by the disenfranchised former middle class?

SFMTA to consider changes to ‘Google bus’ program

By : sfexaminer – excerpt

Protesters block two buses, transporting workers to Facebook and Yahoo in Silicon Valley, at the corner of Valencia and 24th streets on Tuesday.

The future of the “Google bus” program may no longer include the use of Muni stops — instead pointing the commuter shuttles toward hubs in the downtown area and elsewhere, according to legislation introduced Tuesday at the Board of Supervisors.

After two weeks of negotiations, seven supervisors supported a resolution calling on the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency Board of Directors to approve the commuter shuttle program for one year, with key provisions resulting from a tentative deal reached during talks this week between stakeholders.

The provisions would set the stage for modifying the program, possibly within six months.

Among the provisions is the analysis of disallowing commuter shuttles to use Muni bus stops citywide. Instead, the shuttles would use hubs, such as parking lots in the South of Market Area, and commuters could take public transit to those hubs. Another provision would require a review of the program within six months.

The transit agency is expected to take up the issue on Feb. 16, according to SFMTA spokesman Paul Rose. “We look forward to working with both boards, the community and other stakeholders to finalize an effective and responsible commuter shuttle plan,” Rose said.

If the brokered deal is ultimately agreed upon, the environmental appeal filed by SEIU 1021, a labor union with 6,000 members, would be dismissed by the Board of Supervisors on Feb. 23. The appeal has forced the negotiation.

A formal commitment from those involved in the negotiations — including technology companies Apple, Google, Facebook and Genentech, as well as the Bay Area Council — remains outstanding on some aspects and talks are expected to continue.

Those supporting the resolution included board President London Breed, along with supervisors David Campos, Jane Kim, Norman Yee, Aaron Peskin, John Avalos and Eric Mar… (more)



Transbay Transit Center’s finance boss lives in Colorado

By Matier & Ross : sfchronicle – excerpt

For the past 2½ years, the chief financial officer for the Transbay Transit Center — one of the biggest and most financially troubled public building projects in the region — has been working from her home in Colorado and flying to and from San Francisco for meetings on the public dime… (more)

No wonder they broke. You would think they could hire some local talent for the job.

Transportation Sustainability Program February 2016 Updates

Public letter from the SF Planning Department

Dear San Franciscans,

Exciting news!

On September 27, 2013, Governor Brown signed Senate Bill 743 making changes to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). Provisions of the bill affect the environmental review process in San Francisco, specifically how the Planning Department analyzes aesthetics, parking and automobile delay impacts.

State officials are proposing a new method of measurement regarding transportation analysis that recognizes the benefits of projects that reduce vehicular traffic. This guidance, last released in January 2016, calls for a measurement known as “vehicle miles traveled.” Vehicle miles traveled, also known as VMT, measures the amount and distance that a project might cause people to drive, including the number of passengers within a vehicle. The measurement aligns better with adopted state and City policies, it’s easier to calculate, and it will give us a better picture of the environmental effects of projects.

Given the inevitable change at the state level, the time is right for the City to make the change to this new measurement for environmental review. On March 3, 2016, a resolution will be in front of the Planning Commission that, if adopted as presented by staff, will remove automobile delay as a significant impact on the environment and replace it with a vehicle miles traveled threshold for all CEQA environmental determinations, including active projects, going forward.

Check out our updated Align page for more information.

More Updates : The Transportation Sustainability Fee has been approved!

The Transportation Sustainability Fee is projected to provide $1.2 billion in transportation improvements over 30 years, funding projects that help relieve traffic congestion, reduce crowding on buses and trains, and create safer streets. Specific improvements could include more Muni buses and trains; improving reliability on Muni’s busiest routes; more comfortable and faster regional transit; a better-connected bike network and safer sidewalks and intersections.

Proposed amendments to the fee program are currently under review at the Board of Supervisors. Be sure to visit our Invest page for updates.

Transportation Demand Management: SHIFT
On February 11, 2016: Planning Department staff will provide a brief overview on the Transportation Sustainability Program’s Shift component, the proposed Transportation Demand Management (TDM) Ordinance. TDM describes strategies or measures that incentivize sustainable ways of getting around. These types of travel choices are good for the environment, help manage congestion and improve the efficiency of the transportation network.  It’s about shifting people from driving alone in their cars to taking transit, biking or other efficient travel methods. Visit our Shift page for more information.

Upcoming Meetings:

Thursday, February 11, noon:
Noon – City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, Room 400
Planning Commission Informational Hearing regarding the Transportation Sustainability Program, with a focus on feedback regarding SHIFT

Thursday, March 3, noon:
Noon – City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, Room 400
Planning Commission Resolution regarding ALIGN (removal of automobile delay from environmental analysis)

If you have specific questions, please contact:
中文詢問請電: (415) 575-9010
Para información en Español llamar al: (415) 575-9010
Para sa impormasyon sa Tagalog tumawag sa: (415) 575-9121

Angry Uber Drivers Threaten to Make a Mess of the Super Bowl

wired – excerpt

This Sunday, Super Bowl 50 will thrust San Francisco—and Silicon Valley—into the national spotlight. Though the city is officially hosting Super Bowl festivities, the game itself will be played a long drive to the south at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, the suburban home of tech giants such as Intel. One of the easiest ways to get from the city to the stadium is to summon an Uber. But that might not be so easy tomorrow, if drivers follow through on their pledge to protest their wages by turning off their apps ahead of the big game.

A movement to boycott the Super Bowl is bubbling up among Uber drivers in online forums and on social media threads. Protesters at a recent demonstration outside Uber’s San Francisco headquarters also called for a driver protest.

One flyer circulating online urges drivers to take Sunday off to make the point, and to spread the word on Twitter using the hashtag #UberSuperBowlStrike. Another calls for drivers to convene at Candlestick Park—where the NFL’s 49ers used to play in San Francisco proper—likely in order to replicate a  driver caravan protest that snarled traffic on Monday in San Francisco.

All of which puts Uber in a particularly delicate position. The company snagged an official partnership with the Super Bowl Host Committee, stealing away an exclusive lot for pick-ups and drop-offs 15 minutes away from the stadium, plus a special “lounge” for riders after the game—a move seemingly designed to draw good publicity for the oft-criticized company. But that positive attention will fade quickly if drivers leave Super Bowl fans stranded… (more)

Couldn’t happen to a more deserving company.

‘Google Bus’ pilot program nets last-­minute extension

By Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez : sfexaminer – excerpt

The trial “Google Bus” program will stay in place for a few more weeks, receiving an extension from The City’s transit agency.

The Commuter Shuttle Program, as it’s known, was supposed to go into effect Feb. 1. Now it rests in regulatory limbo because the Board of Supervisors was scheduled last week to vote on an appeal under the California Environmental Quality Act.

The appeal, filed by SEIU 1021 and others, argues the shuttle program should have a full environmental review.

But the board postponed the ongoing debate until Feb. 9. Until that appeal is voted on by the board, shuttle enforcement will continue as usual, the San Francisco Examiner learned in a memo from the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency.

Ed Reiskin, director of transportation for the SFMTA, issued an “enforcement directive” to the agency on Friday to continue “current enforcement” of commuter shuttles, more commonly known as “Google Buses.”

The enforcement can only continue until March 18, Reiskin wrote, which SFMTA planners said was the extent of an extension of the program issued by the Planning Department.

The SFMTA Board of Directors on Tuesday was briefed on the future of the commuter shuttle program.

Many commuter shuttles operate inside The City, but the shuttles subject to the most criticism ferry tech workers from San Francisco to Silicon Valley daily.

Hank Wilson, program manager of the Commuter Shuttle Program, explained to the SFMTA board that depending on the Board of Supervisors’ decision — whether to uphold the environmental appeal — the SFMTA may be facing many unknowns.

If the supervisors deny the environmental appeal, Wilson said, the SFMTA board would need to vote on a revised version of the Commuter Shuttle Program on Feb. 16. If the board upholds the environmental appeal, things get trickier.

One board director, Cheryl Brinkman, asked, “Do we lose the authority to regulate at all? What happens in that situation?”

“That’s my main concern,” Wilson answered, noting the SFMTA may not be able to regulate the buses at all.

“If the program is not approved, we’ll be back to pre­-pilot days,” he said. “We won’t collect any fees, we won’t collect any data, and shuttles will be free to stop wherever they want.” Patrick Monette­-Shaw, a frequent public meeting attendee, presented the board with photos of Muni buses blocked by gleaming white “Google Buses.” The buses forced Muni riders to board in the street… (more)

Federal Review of MTC

Federal Review of MTC’s Role in the Bay Area Transportation Planning Process

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) are reviewing  MTC’s performance as the transportation planning agency for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area. They are largely responsible for allocating your tax dollars to the various local transportation authorities. Are your transportation priorities being met?

If you have any opinions on how the MTC prioritizes projects, you may share them in a letter or via email by March 3, 2016 to:

Stew Sonnenberg,
FHWA California Division
650 Capitol Mall, Suite 4-100
Sacramento, CA 95814

Ted Matley,
Federal Transit Administration, TRO-9
90 Seventh Street, Suite 15-300
San Francisco, CA 94103-6701

If anyone wants to start a sample letter we can post one.

San Francisco Awards its first Bus Rapid Transit Construction Contract

SFMTA – (excerpt) dated Tuesday, July 7, 2015

…“This milestone is the latest example of how the City of San Francisco is coming together to get big projects done and improve our transportation network for everyone,” said Chairman of the SFMTA Board of Directors, Tom Nolan. “Opening in 2019, this project is an essential bus rapid transit option that will provide a quicker ride through a major corridor.”

The SFMTA has authorized a new integrated project delivery method that can be used across the agency as a way to deliver projects more efficiently. Under this new project delivery method, the awarded construction manager/general contractor, Walsh Construction Company for Van Ness BRT, will assist and advise the project team in completing the project’s design and planning its construction, including recommendations for schedule improvements and cost savings opportunities. Once the design is finalized, a guaranteed maximum price for the project will be negotiated. Walsh Construction Company has extensive experience building public infrastructure and transit projects nationally.

“One of our top priorities is to deliver key projects that make our transportation more reliable,” said Ed Reiskin, SFMTA Director of Transportation. “The new integrated project delivery method allows for much-needed collaboration between our agency and the construction manager before the project begins. Pre-construction coordination is a win-win for the people doing the work, for the people impacted by it, and for the people who depend on these projects to keep San Francisco moving.”… (more)

How will this cut costs? How can you negotiate a deal on an unfinished design? This sounds like what happened to the Super Bowl negotiations. How did that turn out? Comments appreciated. They just spent 1.4 million dollars in 2010. Now they are going to re-construct what they just did?

RELATED: Does this mean Van Ness Avenue will be under construction for three years?
Diagram showing general timeline for project through service implementation

This seems to contradict the press release: The Van Ness Corridor Transit Improvement Project team is currently in the process of finalizing the design, determining the construction sequence and schedule, and finalizing the traffic management plan. When the design is completed, the Construction Manager/General Contractor (CM/GC) and SFMTA will mutually agree on a Guaranteed Maximum Price, or the project may then be bid out… (more)


1500-2000 Uber Drivers Expected To Participate In Super Bowl Protest Monday

Because we have the Super Bowl happening here, we have them by the balls,” “Uber Drivers United” leader Mario says in a video posted to YouTube Sunday. That why, he says, between 1500-2000 drivers are expected to drive slowly through San Francisco Monday afternoon, protesting what he says is Uber’s practice of “screwing over” drivers.

According to Mario (who did not give his last name in the video), Uber is planning on dropping driver wages to “50 cents per mile before [the] Super Bowl,” and this protest is an effort to register displeasure over that as well as to indicate interest in “Cityride,” which he says will be “a new company that is not going to screw over the drivers anymore.”

(It’s unclear if Mario is referring to the CityRide car service app, which was recently established by a trio of local limo services, or another, similarly-named service.)

Mario says that today, drivers will meet at 2 p.m. at “the big parking lot” at the former site of Candlestick Park. From there they’ll proceed slowly, caution lights on, to protest at Vermont and 16th Street, which is apparently Uber’s San Francisco driver’s office.

After a pass there, drivers will proceed to San Francisco City Hall to stage another slow-driving demonstration. Then it’s off to protest at Uber’s headquarters at 1455 Market Street, which is between 10th and 11th Streets — yes, a significant distance from the road blocks near Super Bowl City, but given how rotten the downtown closures have made traffic overall, anyone traveling on surface streets should expect to find themselves at a standstill.

In the video, Mario suggests that drivers are shooting for even more of an impact than their “honk-in” on January 25(more)

A balancing act on Chestnut Street

By MARK E. FARREL : marinatimes – excerpt

With our city’s population marching higher month after month, some of those growing pains are felt on our city streets in the form of traffic congestion, crowded Muni buses, and overflowing sidewalks with pedestrians. I firmly believe a responsive and accountable city government should and can impliment needed improvements to address problems. But the responses to the growing pains must take into account the reasonable concerns of the residents and neighborhoods affected.

For more than a year now, the San Francisco Municipal Transit Agency (SFMTA) has been working on designing improvements to the 30 Stockton line, which is one of the busiest routes and serves approximately 28,000 customers daily. As part of the SFMTA’s “Muni Forward” initiative, the SFMTA is proposing changes to the route that seek to speed Muni times, add pedestrian safety improvements, increase transit capacity and frequency, and to enhance the overall customer experience on the route.

Their original proposal, the 30 Stockton Transit Priority Project, was introduced to the community and my office in April 2015. Unfortunately, at the outset it was designed without the input of my office, the community, or the merchants along Chestnut Street. Though well intentioned, the initial proposal involved changes that would have remarkably changed the character of Chestnut Street. It included prohibiting parking on the south side of Chestnut in the mornings, traffic signals at eight intersections between Divisadero and Gough Streets, bus bulbs at a number of intersections, and the removal of more than 40 parking spaces throughout the corridor.

Our office worked with the Marina Community Association, community members, and merchants to understand their concerns, and we worked with the SFMTA to try to find a balance between their concerns and the objectives of the proposal to improve service on the 30 and to enhance pedestrian safety in the corridor. After several meetings with my office, the SFMTA agreed to eliminate their idea for a transit-only lane along Chestnut Street in the mornings, and to eliminate their proposals to install traffic signals west of Fillmore through Divisadero. They also reduced the number of bus bulbs and turn pockets, which meant the project would no longer involve the elimination of any parking spaces…

I asked the SFMTA to take another look at their proposal to install traffic signals at these intersections and to further engage with the residents in the area. The proposal was scheduled to be heard at the SFMTA board of directors meeting on Jan. 19, but I asked Ed Reiskin, the director of the SFMTA, to postpone the matter to allow those discussions to take place. They have not yet scheduled another hearing date and will work with the community before setting another date.

Personally, I am very supportive of the goals to reduce transit travel time and to improve transit reliability on the corridor. I am also mindful and supportive of the need to improve pedestrian safety and over the past few years have successfully advocated for pedestrian improvements to many corridors around District 2, including Bay, Chestnut, and Lombard Streets. However, as someone who grew up in the Marina, eating at our local restaurants, working at our neighborhood stores, and riding the 30 Stockton, I believe a balance must be struck between these improvements and maintaining the charm and character of our neighborhood that we all love.

Unfortunately, the Board of Supervisors does not have any control over these decisions — due to a ballot measure years ago, all decisions around Muni and the SFMTA are made by the MTA board of directors, not the mayor or Board of Supervisors. I will continue to work with neighbors and residents on these proposals and advocate on your behalf, but if you have a strong opinion I would also urge you to contact the SFMTA directly with your thoughts on the Chestnut Street proposed improvements. The planner to contact is Sean Kennedy at

As San Francisco continues to grow, we must continue to make appropriate changes to support that growth, whether it means repaving our city streets, updating our sewer system, making public transit service upgrades, or building new housing. However, those changes must incorporate not only the benefits to residents across our city, but also reflect the voices and input of our local neighborhoods that are impacted by these changes. The soul of San Francisco has always rested in our unique neighborhoods, and we cannot lose sight of their character as our city population continues to grow… (more)

Our thanks to Mark Farrell for supporting neighborhood input. All supervisors should insist on their constituents being a part of any changes that effect them. Supervisors can make a difference if they want to. They can do what Mark did, cancel or postpone an agenda time; they can request a hearing in a sub-committee or before the full Board; and they can amend or reject a contract as either city or county authorities.

If you want to see more actions like this, thank Supervisor Farrell for his support and copy the other supervisors on your message.