S.F. Muni Embarks on a Big Expansion in Bus and Light-Rail Service

By Ted Goldberg : KQED – excerpt

San Francisco’s Muni is launching a major expansion in bus and Metro light-rail service this weekend that officials say is a response to both the city’s increasing population and changes in how people work and play here.

San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency officials say more frequent service will start Saturday on Muni’s six light-rail lines as well as on 14 bus routes. The agency is expanding service hours on eight bus lines and creating connections to BART on two other routes. It’s also adding overnight “owl” service on two lines.

Saturday will mark the fourth and largest service increase that’s part of what the agency calls Muni Forward, a project that began in January 2015.

But the real expansion will be seen on Monday, the first weekday in the new schedule, said John Haley, Muni’s director of transit.

“We will have more service out on the streets than we’ve ever had in the history of the agency,” Haley said in an interview. “We’re responding to a need when people are living and working differently than they were 20 years ago.”

With an influx of new riders stemming from San Francisco’s recent boom, SFMTA is responding to new commute patterns.

“We’re no longer all going downtown,” Haley said. “The demographics, the job market in the city is changing.”… (more)


A new agenda for the supes and new buses for the streets

By Heather Knight and Michael Cabanatuan : sfgate – excerpt

Anybody who’s sat through a Board of Supervisors meeting knows the torture that is waiting for the one item out of dozens you care about.

First, the 11 supervisors debate the minutiae of all the items you don’t care about. Then, they each offer commendations for the best restaurant, best small business or best (fill in the blank) in their district. Then, they talk about legislation they’re introducing and offer their condolences for residents in their district who have died in the past week.

Then, dozens of people speak at public comment. There’s the Jesus devotee who thinks the world is about to end, Walter Paulson, who offers a new song every week (we love you, Walter!), and multiple people with eccentric headgear including, but not limited to, tinfoil hats.

Then, the supervisors get to your item, by which point your parking meter has long expired, your babysitter is pulling her hair out and you need multiple shots of espresso to regain consciousness.

Democracy. Isn’t it great?…

David Lee, a political science instructor at San Francisco State University, is leading the effort that would require all city public meetings to be streamed live online, allow people to offer public comment remotely and have their testimony appear on monitors at the meeting, and create a “time certain” agenda designation. That means any time 50 members of the public petition for a specific time for their agenda item to be discussed, it will — wait for it — be discussed at the appointed time…  (more)

Ah, that new-bus smell: Another crop of shiny new Muni buses are coming soon to a street near you, though that new bus smell probably won’t last long.

The first of the new buses — all 60-foot buses that bend in the middle — were unveiled Wednesday at a city Earth Day celebration at Boeddeker Park in the Tenderloin. Sixty of them are electric trolley buses powered by overhead wires, while an additional 61 are diesel-electric hybrid buses that burn biodiesel… (more)