Despite ‘Car-Free’ Hype, Millennials Drive a Lot

By Laura Bliss : citylab – excerpt

Despite the buzz around ride-hailing and bike lanes, car ownership among younger Americans looks a lot like that of older Americans.

Millennials, so famous for killing things, were poised to deliver the death blow to America’s auto addiction. We were supposed to put off our driver’s licenses, choose Lyfts over car loans, and settle in cities rather than suburbs, using mass transit and bike lanes instead of the traditional private car. We were supposed to make greener choices than our gas-guzzling older kin.

But research based on years of data rather than trend stories and anecdotes paints a different picture of how Generation Avocado Toast chooses to get around, compared to its predecessors.

A working paper posted by the National Bureau of Economic Research this week offers an empirical examination of Millennial car ownership and driving practices against the backdrop of earlier generations. Controlling for factors like marriage and living in city, it finds that Americans born between 1980 and 1984 are just as likely to own cars compared to, say, their parents’ cohort. What’s more, when driving habits are measured in terms of vehicle-miles traveled, some Millennials really are the worst…

But when factors like educational attainment, marital status, number of children, and whether they’ve settled in a city are factored in, it turns out Snake People actually rack up slightly more VMT than Baby Boomers did.…(more)

Just how awful is the California Department of Motor Vehicles?

By Susan Shelley : whittierdailynews – excerpt

Just when you thought the news about the California Department of Motor Vehicles couldn’t get worse, it got worse.

In February, the state Legislative Analyst’s Office released its review of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s transportation budget. The report reveals that the state’s Motor Vehicle Account has an “operational shortfall” of $400 million in the current year and is projected to be insolvent two years from now.

The Motor Vehicle Account receives most of its revenue from fees for vehicle registration and driver’s licenses, and the money goes mainly to support the activities of the California Highway Patrol and the DMV.

The LAO reports that the governor’s budget includes proposals intended to help the Motor Vehicle Account’s bleak condition, including shifting some expenditures to the state’s general fund. But it won’t be enough. The administration’s own projection foresees a shortfall of $40 million in 2021-22 and $150 million in 2022-23…

Submit your guess, and your opinion, to your elected representatives in Sacramento.

If you don’t have them on speed-dial yet, go online to findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov and get their names and contact information… (more)

Credit cards, payment plans, shorter lines: California lawmakers move to fix DMV

By Bryan Anderson : sacbee – excerpt

Is this enough to fix the DMV problem?

California lawmakers are moving to address some of the biggest problems at the state Department of Motor Vehicles. A number of proposals aimed at reducing wait times and improving service have recently been introduced.

These are some of the bills worth watching:

  • CREDIT CARDS, PAYMENT PLANS: AB 867 (Jim Wood, D-Healdsburg)
  • CAR REGISTRATIONS: SB 460 (Jim Beall, D-San Jose)

(more)

Ask Ed Reiskin

What’s next at SFMTA? Tomorrow is your chance to call into KQED Forum and ask Ed Reiskin some of those questions you have been wanting to ask regarding the state of the SFMTA and his roll in making it what it is today. Ed is scheduled to be on KQED Forum Friday, March 8 at 10 AM and you may call in with questions at: 866 733-6786  or email the Forum program: forum@kqed.org

 

 

 

 

Lengthy Ford GoBike approval process could get even longer

By Joe Fritzgerald Rodriguez : sfexaminer – excerpt

IMG_3417IMG_3530

Bike stands on Bryant Street are emtpy in the day. Staff fills them at night.

Members of San Francisco’s transportation board have asked transportation staff to delay the installation of a Ford GoBike station in Glen Park, citing a lack of neighborhood outreach…

Ford GoBike’s expansion has been slowed citywide by the concerns of neighbors and San Francisco’s elected officials, the San Francisco Examiner reported previously. Recently, however, that freeze-out has begun to thaw: The Marina District will see its first two Ford GoBike stations installed in March, for instance.

There are 152 Ford GoBike stations in San Francisco right now with about 1,900 available bikes, but a full planned build-out would place 320 stations and 4,500 available bikes in The City…(more)

Thanks to the people who showed up to speak on this subject at the SFMTA Board meeting today. At a time that Muni is failing in its efforts to gain ridership and keep their buses and trains running on schedule, it pains the public to see so much SFMTA staff time and energy being put into supporting a corporate giant like Lyft, who owns the GoBikes now. Why are city employees spending public dollars and energy to force this corporate giant down the throats of the citizens who oppose it?

Lyft should hire lawyers and the public attorneys should support the efforts of the citizens who pay their salaries. How much did this hearing cost the public today? How many staff hours went into the preparation and presentation and how much was spent developing the reports and statements in behalf of the corporate giant?

RELATED:
Supes, neighbors block Ford GoBike’s citywide expansion
Ford GoBike expansion fuels neighborhood conflict as Lyft plans bikeshare growth

 

 

 

New San Francisco Homeless Center To Open Along Embarcadero

By Betty Yu : cbslocal – excerpt

https://w3.cdn.anvato.net/player/prod/v3/anvload.html?key=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

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — A parking lot on the Embarcadero that sits within walking distance of luxury condos and just south of the Bay Bridge could be home to hundreds of homeless people under San Francisco Mayor London Breed’s new plan.

The proposed waterfront site at Piers 30/32, currently owned by the Port of San Francisco, would feature a 200-bed navigation center, or short-term shelter. It would provide health and housing services, round the clock stays, and allow pets and partners.

If the Port Commission green lights Breed’s project, she would have it open by the summer. and expect it to operate for four years… (more)

L.A. may tax Uber and Lyft rides to curb traffic congestion

By Laura J. Nelson : latimes – excerpt

Transportation officials are considering a tax on Uber and Lyft rides in Los Angeles County, saying the Bay Area tech companies don’t pay their fair share to maintain public streets and exacerbate congestion in a traffic-choked region.

The ride-hailing fee is in the early stages of discussion at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, along with more than a dozen other strategies to manage congestion and fund transportation projects before the 2028 Olympic Games.

Metro’s board of directors are scheduled to vote Thursday on whether to approve a study of the ride-hailing tax. The directors also will consider approving a study on congestion pricing, which would analyze the effects of converting more carpool lanes to toll lanes, taxing drivers on the number of miles they travel, or charging a fee for motorists to enter certain neighborhoods… (more)

Transbay Terminal — yet another problem. Train space might be too small

By Phil Matier : sfchronicle – excerpt

The Transbay Transit Center may not have enough room in its underground rail station to handle Caltrain service.

San Francisco’s Transbay Transit Center may have a new problem on its hands — not enough room in its $700 million underground train station to handle the projected Caltrain rail service when, or if, it arrives.

“That’s what we are looking into now: what level of projected future service we will have and how much the station will accommodate,” said Caltrain spokesman Seamus Murphy.

At issue is the two-story-high, three-block-long train “box” that sits under the terminal. It was built as part of a plan to bring both Caltrain’s Peninsula rail service and California high-speed trains directly into the terminal via a 1.3-mile tunnel to the Caltrain station at Fourth and King streets…(more)

Don’t hold your breath, but, what more can go wrong with this that has not happened yet?

Reopening Of Stockton Street Marks Milestone In Central Subway Project

sanfrancisco.cbslocal – excerpt

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — After being closed for seven years, a portion of Stockton Street in downtown San Francisco reopened Thursday, San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency officials announced.

Stockton Street between Geary and Ellis streets had been closed for construction of the underground Central Subway, which is set to connect riders from the South of Market neighborhood to Chinatown…

“Stockton Street is a major commercial artery and bus route that brings life into the heart of District Three,” Supervisor Aaron Peskin said in a statement. “For many residents in Chinatown and North Beach, this throughway also represents equitable and undisrupted access to downtown jobs and services…

The SFMTA has committed itself to building this vital link between two of San Francisco’s most iconic communities… (more)

“The SFMTA has committed itself to building this vital link between two of San Francisco’s most iconic communities.” 

How about reopening Mission Street to rebuild the vital link between two of San Francisco’s other most iconic Latino communities? Isn’t the cultural historical character of the Mission as important as any other in the city or do we detect a hint of discrimination against the Mission? Tear down the wall on Mission Street. Remove the barriers to trade and commerce in the Mission.

Uber and the Ongoing Erasure of Public Life

By Nikil Saval : newyorker – excerpt

Uber has become a subsidized alternative to the public-transportation systems that it claims to support.

Last September, Uber rolled out a rebranding campaign. A new television commercial showed car doors being flung open and the young and the old crowding in, flying out, and ending up in a small open-air mercado or at a lake. Though there were a few drivers, the image presented was of ceaseless, liberating mobility for passengers, anywhere in the world. Uber changed its logo, too, to a demure sans-serif display—white against a black background, its only flourish a modest pair of mirrored stems attached to the “U” and the “b.” This was a significant change. Since 2016, the phone app and the stickers that identified Uber-enabled cars had enjoyed an image designed partly by the co-founder and then-C.E.O. Travis Kalanick: a circle bisected with a cord, placed against the background of a colorful tile. When tilted ninety degrees counterclockwise, some design and technology journalists noted, it looked unmistakably like a human bent over and seen from behind.

The era of what has been referred to as Uber’s “asshole” logo happened to coincide with the company’s longest stretch of bad press, including multiple reports of sexual abuse inside the company and by its drivers. In 2017, the company’s investors ousted Kalanick. His successor, Dara Khosrowshahi, has made considerable efforts to improve the company’s image in advance of a likely I.P.O. this year. Last October, Khosrowshahi, like many corporate leaders, pulled out of a summit held by Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, in Riyadh, following the murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi. (Uber still benefits from vast infusions of Saudi funding.)… (more)

Continue reading

California Autobahn? Long-shot bill proposes freeway lanes with no speed limit

By Alyssa Pereira : sfgate – excerpt

Motorists sick of idling in traffic on Interstate 5 in California would theoretically have another option, if a new bill introduced on Friday to the state legislature turns into a reality. But critics say that’s not likely.

State Senator John Moorlach (R-Orange County) introduced SB 319 as a way to ease congestion on I-5 and State Route 99. Moorlach pitched the idea as a way to ease greenhouse gasses from idling cars.

The plan calls for the Department of Transportation to build two additional traffic lanes on the north and southbound directions of both highways. Those lanes would not have speed limits, although drivers in the other pre-existing lanes would still need to abide by the official 65 miles per hour limit… (more)

Replacing High Speed Rail with a High Speed Highway, another bay crossing, and train electrification sounds like a cheaper, easier, faster solution to reducing traffic and congestion, if that is the goal. Without taking a position on any these options, we applaud the thinking outside the box on how to do more with less taxpayer transit dollars. Recent over-budget large public transit projects have not gone well. It is time to shift priorities and do more with less.