Night Business: Warning Parties Create Roadblocks for Late-Night Transit

By Rachel Swan: sfweekly – excerpt

When Supervisor Scott Wiener called for a Late Night Transportation Working Group to address the dearth of transportation options for people working graveyard shifts, he envisioned a motley battalion coming together for a noble cause. Labor organizers, cab drivers, car-hire services, public transit agencies, and nightlife employers all have a vested interest in San Franciscans having a safe way home after dark, he thought. And surely they can agree on ways to accomplish that.

But setting up a task force in a sphere as balkanized as transportation might be a tall order. Wiener found that out the hard way, when he convened the first meeting of the disparate interest groups on April 14. He’d invited representatives from all the major transit lines and the app-based Transportation Network Companies. He’d asked the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency to invite drivers and managers of cab companies.

The meeting quickly devolved into bickering over who gets to make decisions and dispense resources in a highly cutthroat market. Wiener had essentially called upon feudal warlords to broker a government peace negotiation… (more)

Expanding taxis and shuttles and allowing private vehicles to use Muni-only lanes after rush hour is the least expensive way to increase transit after hours, but cost and public safety is not a consideration when your number one goal is to force cars off the street, so no doubt the only solution they will consider will costs the city more money.

Trains, planes and automobiles: Talking transit with Zusha Elinson

By : – excerpt

MM: What’s the most interesting part of reporting on public transit agencies?

ZE: Everyone uses transportation every day, whether it’s Muni or BART or CalTrain, or the car they drive to work. It’s a simple yet extremely important part of our infrastructure…

ZE: Public transit agencies oversee some of the largest budgets and most important activities, but very few people pay attention to what the agencies are actually doing, and there’s little oversight. That means there are often very interesting stories and very questionable actions taken by public officials that go unnoticed.

MM: Are you seeing any positive changes with some of the agencies you cover?

ZE: In fact, we are seeing very positive changes with BART following our stories about their bacteria-infested seats. They are in the process of changing their old seats with new, easy to clean ones in 100 of the cars. Also, since the tragic shooting of Charles Hill, BART police have instituted several reforms after extensive coverage of the incident.

Source: The Bay Citizen (

Source: The Bay Citizen (