Muni apologizes for systemwide failures

By : curbed – excerpt

Hundreds of service hours have lapsed citywide this summer

Muni service—which has never enjoyed a resounding reputation even at the best of times—has gotten so spotty and unreliable lately that SFMTA published an apology to riders Thursday. The agency vows to shore up weaknesses in the strained and struggling transit network. This comes one the heels of a report by Mission Local detailing how the city’s transit service failed miserably this year.

“Muni service in the past few months has been performing below our 98.5 percent service goal,” the public message reads. “We apologize and want to let you know what we’re doing about it.”

The service goal mentioned here is actually part of the City Charter, which specifies that “98.5 percent of scheduled [Muni] service hours must be delivered, and at least 98.5 percent of scheduled vehicles must begin service at the scheduled time.”… (more)

Please let the Mayor and the Board of Supervisors know if you are fed up and demand a change at the SFMTA. ENUF ALREADY! Apology for being the worst, most boastful, incompetent, breast-pumping, annoying, overpaid, disgusting, overbearing, least reliable city agency in San Francisco, NOT ACCEPTED! There is no solution other than a complete overhaul and new management that will heel the bad blood between the public and the SFMTA. There is no place to hide the mistakes and mismanagement of the most expensive city agency that can do no right.

Report dings SFMTA over chronic absenteeism

By Jerold Chinn : sfbay – excerpt

Persistent problems with employees not showing up for work at the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency is laid out in a report by the City Controller’s Office that the transit agency requested the office to conduct.

According to the report, the SFMTA had the second highest employee absenteeism rate out of the 10 departments in The City with the largest budgets and spent approximately $42 million in leave pay during the 2013-2014 fiscal year.

Tonia Lediju, director of city audits, wrote in a letter to the SFMTA’s Board of Directors and Director of Transportation Ed Reiskin, on what the transit agency’s management was lacking in curbing chronic employee absenteeism:…

The report states that absence management program is key to minimize the negative effects of absences such as an increased in costs of unscheduled absences, increased pressure of other employees covering for absent employees and services not being delivered.

In this case, un-delivered services means canceled Muni runs, which cause longer wait times for passengers, the report said…

The public can read the full report on the controller’s office website(more)

Will the SFMTA follow the City’s Controller’s suggestions and deal  with the personnel problems that are at the root of the slow and missing service riders have been complaining about for years before sinking  more taxpayers dollars into more expensive, disruptive street projects  like the $350 million Geary BRT plan? Will the Supervisors consider delaying the decision to approve the most expensive solution until trying the cheaper sensible one first? Details on the citizens cheaper approach:
http://www.sfsensibletransit.org/

Solving personnel problems should be the first step they take.  Can they follow the Controller’s advice and do the right thing for once? Can the SFMTA serve the needs of the public and save the city from
further debt and traffic disruptions? Stay tuned…

Chariot, an alternative to Muni for your downtown/SOMA commute

from Potrero Hill : nextdoor – excerpt

Hi neighbors. If you commute to downtown or SOMA, you might be interested in signing up for Chariot (those blue vans all around town). The route runs along much of the same line as the 10 Townsend but with minimal stops. What’s great about Chariot is that you can reserve a seat in the van, and the price is only $3-5 each way. Plus you can use your commuter benefits, so it’s a win-win.

They still need 49 more people to sign up for the Potrero Pronto line in order to put it into circulation, which is why I’m posting about it here. You can learn more and sign up at https://www.chariot.com/crowdfund/potrer…

Comment from next door… “This is what’s on Next Door Potrero Hill and I’m seeing more and more of the Chariots around town like the two filling up at the 76 where I see the UCSF transport fill up… When I asked if property values were increasing in Wyoming (because I know they are increasing just like here near Jackson Hole), I was told me that there may be transportation created to connect her area to the Jackson Hole airport. I think there is a boom in private transportation.  People are willing to pay for it.  $30.00 to $50.00 / week. Up to $200/mo or $2400 per year as opposed to Muni/Bart card ($120/mo?). SFMTA/Muni are losing customers and revenue… And it was a 7/11 24hour store who delivered the first coffee and diapers? by drone about a month ago…Is the SFMTA obsolete? Is their interpretation of all these changes wrong? Shouldn’t public transportation MUNI be a separate department from roads and parking? Is the SFMTA too big?

IS SFMTA OBSOLETE? Not until voters CUT OFF THE FUNDS and change the balance of power by supporting the SFMTA Charter Amendment on the November ballot. Details here:  stopsfmta.com

There is no way the SFMTA can compete with the comfort and efficiency of the private shuttles and maybe they should not bother. Muni is the cheap alternative cattle ride for the public that has no other option but standing room only crowded buses. This is the third world system – three public transportation options at three different price points for getting around. All we need to make the system complete is a return of the jitney.

 

A year in public transit: Muni’s triumphs, woes, and bike controversy in The City

By : sfexaminer -excerpt

For the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, 2015 was a year of one of Muni’s grandest service expansions.

It also saw the public crying out for transit projects meant to save lives.

SFMTA’s Muni Forward launched in April, creating the most expansive increase in transit service since the Market Street underground rail, SFMTA Director of Transit Operations John Haley told the San Francisco Examiner at the time.

More than 700,000 riders across The City saw increased service on 27 routes. The agency also renamed all “limited” bus lines to “rapid.”

Those reroutes also left some small neighborhoods behind, however, like transit riders on the south side of Lake Merced who saw commutes increase by an hour.

Reflecting on the year’s ups and downs, SFMTA spokesman Paul Rose wrote, “Our top priority will always be the safety of San Francisco’s transportation network.”

He noted SFMTA completed 24 “Vision Zero” pedestrian safety projects ahead of schedule, and plans to complete six additional projects by February 2016.

Despite these continuing efforts, the year’s deadly collisions began in March, when an auto struck and killed 87-year-old Alfred Yee on a section of Geary Boulevard slated for safety upgrades by SFMTA. In May, a Muni train struck and killed 12-year-old Andrew Wu, also on a street slated for safety upgrades.

As of Dec. 14, there were 20 pedestrian deaths in collisions in 2015…

Bikes dominated news this year when SFPD Captain John Sanford began a “crackdown” on bicyclists near the Panhandle in June. Cyclists protested in August, which led to the new Bike Yield Stop Law, courtesy of Supervisor John Avalos.

By year’s end the infamous “Google Buses,” properly called the Commuter Shuttle Program, became permanently regulated by the SFMTA, despite two legal challenges.

Public outcry prevented Muni power lines from being torn down for the Super Bowl City festival, after the Examiner first reported the proposal.

SFMTA launched two new transit lines this year: a new historic streetcar line, the E-Embarcadero, in July, and the 55-16th Street in January.

Late in the year SFMTA announced its buses will switch to from biodiesel to renewable diesel fuel. Since 2010 Muni reduced greenhouse gas emissions in its fleet by 19 percent, according to SFMTA… (more)

 

 

Hidden Costs of Affordable S.F. Public Transit

By Sophie Murguia : sfpublicpress – excerpt
Low-income residents relying on  v lose economic opportunity

San Franciscans spend less on transportation than residents of any other Bay Area city. But there are hidden costs for public transit riders: unreliable trains, long, slow commutes and unsafe pedestrian routes.

Muni service is slow citywide, but it can be particularly burdensome for lower-income riders who must repeatedly switch lines or buses just to travel a few miles to downtown. Lacking transportation options or flexibility for when they must be at their jobs, they often trade comfort, promptness and even safety for affordability.

“If you think of affordability in terms of what you pay out of your pocket, you’re going to get wrong answers sometimes,” said Elizabeth Deakin, a professor of city and regional planning at the University of California, Berkeley. “What you want to think about is the overall time and cost combination that people can afford to pay with the incomes that they make.”

A single ride on Muni now costs $2.25, up from a dollar in 2000. And because more than half of Muni’s 702,000 weekday riders make less than 200 percent of the federal poverty level (or $23,540 for individuals, $31,836 for a family of two), rising fares have a disproportionate effect on low-income San Franciscans. But the single-ride Muni fare remains on par with mass-transit fares in most major U.S. cities, and Muni offers reduced-fare programs to help ease the economic burden of transit for those who need it most… (more)

SFMTA puts bus reroute on hold to weigh rider concerns

By Laura Wenus, Fran Taylor : sfgate – excerpt – (video on vimeo)

The city’s transit authority has put a contentious reroute of the 33-Ashbury on hold after concerned riders and riders with mobility restrictions voiced concerns that the change would limit accessibility to San Francisco General Hospital.

The 33 Ashbury/18th Street currently travels from the Richmond through the Haight, Castro, and inner Mission, finally turning down Potrero Avenue to the hospital. A proposed Muni Forward reroute keeps the 33 on 16th Street past Potrero to the Dogpatch, requiring riders traveling to the public hospital to transfer to the 9 San Bruno.

Patients and staff at SFGH, neighbors, and advocates for seniors and people with disabilities have all voiced objections to the plan to take the 33 off Potrero…

Opponents of the route change have pointed out that Medi-Cal regulations require that medical services be offered within 10 miles or 30 minutes travel time from a patient’s residence. In compact San Francisco, the 10 mile stipulation presents no problem, but…READ MORE… (more)

Tech Shuttle Buses Block Traffic, Delay Muni, SFMTA Survey Say

By Tamara Palmer : nbcbayarea – excerpt

A new transit survey suggests that private tech shuttle buses are disruptive to San Francisco traffic on more than a third of daily stops.

KQED reported that the survey conducted during a pilot program by SFMTA noted that though the shuttles blocked Muni drivers 35% less of the time during the period of the program, private shuttle buses blocked motor vehicles and motorcycles about 35% of the time…

However, shuttles were found to add an average of 83 minutes of delay per day into the Muni system(more)

Do you trust this report or the one below?

Commuter Shuttle Pilot Program Reduces Conflicts Takes Cars off the Streets

SFMTA – excerpt

Conflicts with Muni buses were reduced and the number of commuter shuttle stop locations were halved under the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s pilot program to regulate commuter shuttles, an agency analysis of the program found… (more)

Community Meeting on SF General Hospital Parking and Transit

From SF Health Network:
September 30, 2015   6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
SF General Hospital, 2nd Floor Cafeteria
City and County of San Francisco (CCSF) is hosting a community meeting to update you on activities and proposed plans for changes at SFGH and in the surrounding vicinity. This meeting will be next Wednesday, September 30th from 6:00 to 7:30 pm in the 2nd floor cafeteria of the San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center.
Topics of discussion will include the following:
·         Status of the new acute care and trauma center
·         Potrero Avenue Streetscape Project
·         Neighborhood Transportation, Traffic and Proposed Garage Expansion
·         Proposed new UCSF Research Building on the SFGH Campus

Number of ‘Google Bus Stops’ grow, even in the west, activists say

By : sfexaminer – excerpt

Where the “Google buses” go, evictions follow.

And those private shuttles are expanding all across The City, with more than 20 new stop locations and over 900 more annual pickups made by shuttles so far in 2015, compared to last year, according to new data.

Those are the assertions of the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project and some advocates suing San Francisco and various tech companies. The goal of the suit is to compel an environmental review of the Commuter Shuttle Pilot Program, which legalized private commuter shuttle activity.

The data on the growing number of private commuter shuttles, nicknamed “Google buses” comes via public records requests of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency by activist Sue Vaughan.

Vaughan is one of the litigants in the lawsuit, along with local activist Sara Shortt and the local SEIU.

Mapping project activist Erin McElroy famously protested a Google Bus in 2013, along with groups like Heart of the City, demanding Google and other tech companies help stem evictions.

“We found that evictions were up 69 percent more in proximity to [shuttle] stops between 2011 and 2013,” McElroy said, adding the newer commuter shuttle stops would likely bring higher rents and evictions.

The mapping project also released an interactive map last week, showing new commuter shuttle stops in the west and south ends of San Francisco:
http://www.antievictionmap.com/

When the San Francisco Examiner asked SFMTA if they had studied the correlation between evictions and shuttle stops, they said questions should be referred to the Planning Department.

Gina Simi, a spokeswoman for the Planning Department, said “This isn’t something that would fall under Planning’s jurisdiction or analysis.”

As previously reported by the Examiner, public documents show the SFMTA is working hand-in-hand with the Planning Department to exempt The City from conducting environmental impact reports, which may include measuring community displacement effects…. (more)

The SFMTA is using our tax dollars to hire lobbyists in Sacramento, and possibly Washington to change the laws in favor of the tech buses. This is especially concerning because no other city has this problem that we know of.

Please let us know if there are other cities, particularly in California that have tech buses.

A gentrification report came out, or was discovered on twitter this week that shows a strong correlation between the transit-oriented development and gentrification that further proves the point many have been making for some time.

The goal is to build, not build a green or clean city. Just build, and any story, no matter how true, will do to get that next project approved and shift the demographic in San Francisco to one that can be easily controlled.

The question that arises out of this realization is: Should the regional transportation agency be elected?

RELATED:
Tech bus drivers forced to live in cars to make ends meet
Scott Peebles drives employees to their jobs at Apple, the wealthiest tech company in the world, yet he can’t afford a place to live. (so he lives in his van.)

Making up for a lost generation of Muni improvements

By and : sfexaminer – excerpt

Around Potrero Hill, buses sleep, but they hardly run.
There are two Muni yards in the Mission near Potrero Avenue and two more in Dogpatch. Buses, trolleys and streetcars return to these yards after lumbering for hours throughout
San Francisco.

With all this metal resting nightly around our neighborhoods, one would think it would be relatively simple to improve transit service on this side of town, especially in the midst
of the current building boom in Potrero Hill, Dogpatch, SoMa and Mission Bay.

But instead, east side residents have had to ponder a riddle over the last two decades: How do you accommodate so many new residents, many without parking, while failing to expand transit?…

The Potrero Boosters Neighborhood Association, in our efforts to design a community-serving public shuttle, identified significant unmet transit demand among this precise route. We know that a complete 11 route would have the residential, commercial and employment density necessary to fill the buses.

The SFMTA has the same data we do about our neighborhoods’ explosive growth and ridership potential. But so far, the 11 route is still designed to die in Mission Bay.

The City and the Warriors are getting well-deserved public pressure to fully plan for the local transit and traffic impacts of their proposed arena, welcoming up to 17,000 people a night for up to 200 nights a year.

Around Potrero Hill, we are bracing for a similar amount of new residents and workers each and every day and night of the year. The neighborhoods need a full-court press for transit and traffic planning, just like the Warriors do.

Over the last two decades, there has been a lost generation of potential Muni improvements for The City’s eastern neighborhoods, even as those same neighborhoods absorb the overwhelming majority of San Francisco’s growth.

The City has a chance right now to begin correcting this longstanding failure, and all it has to do is accept the solutions being handed to it by the neighborhoods.

J.R. Eppler is president, and Tony Kelly is vice president, of the Potrero Boosters Neighborhood Association...(more)