San Francisco Supervisor Wants Tax On Uber And Lyft

By Susie Steimle : cbslocal – excerpt (including video)

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — Ride-hailing companies could be forced to pay up if one San Francisco supervisor who says he’s tired of Uber and Lyft not contributing their fair share gets his way.

San Francisco Supervisor Aaron Peskin says the time for complacency toward these companies is over. Peskin is calling state lawmakers complicit and says lobbyists have influenced California for far too long…

On Tuesday Peskin called on state lawmakers to turn the reigns over to cities when it comes to regulating rideshare. Next week he plans to introduce a city ballot measure for November that would allow San Francisco to tax Uber and Lyft… (more)

We suggest looking at the individuals at the CPUC who are caving to the TNCS. Who appointed them and where do they get their authority? Also consider why people are taking these rides to begin with. What did the SFMTA think people would do when they made car ownership and parking so difficult and cut Muni services and stops and killed the taxi industry? Fix those problems and the Uber Lyfts will be less popular.

Oh, and the new CEO of Uber stated it is his company’s intention of taking over municipal transportation. So they are directly competing with Muni How many residents are competing with Muni?


Proposal for $9 tolls on Bay Bridge, $8 on other bridges gets big boost

By Lizzie Johnson : sfgate – excerpt


Sunset cruise on the Bay Bridge photo by zrants

A measure to raise Bay Area bridge tolls to $9 on the Bay Bridge and $8 on others over several years took a major step forward Wednesday when a key transportation committee unanimously recommended putting it before voters in June…

But to get before voters, the recommendation will need approval from the full Bay Area Toll Authority, which usually follows the committee’s lead. A vote is expect Jan. 24.

If the authority gives the measure the go-ahead, the Board of Supervisors in each of the nine affected counties will make the final vote to place it on each county’s ballot for June 5 as Regional Measure 3. If it passes, the toll hikes will affect only drivers on the Bay Area’s seven state-owned bridges. The Golden Gate Bridge would be excluded. Commuters who cross two bridges to get to their destination would receive a 50 percent discount on their second crossing if they have a FasTrak pass…

The measure also includes a proposal to create an inspector general whose job would be to examine BART finances and operations…(more)

Good to know that they will use the increase in bridge funds to hire another high-paid consultant. That sounds like a winning strategy for workers who are paying an average of 40% of their shrinking incomes on housing. I’m sure they will jump at the prospect of paying higher bridge tolls.


Santa Clara County has four of the 10 most congested Bay Area freeways


Santa Clara County is home to a quarter of the Bay Area’s population, it shares half the area’s jobs with San Francisco and it had four of the 10 most congested freeway stretches in 2015, according to the Metropolitan Transportation Commission’s (MTC) annual report.

Although the most congested freeway was a north- and eastbound stretch of U.S. 101/I-80 in San Francisco in the afternoon from the I-280 interchange to Treasure Island, Santa Clara County has…

Santa Clara County voters will consider Measure B on their November ballots to raise sales taxes a half-cent for 30 years to raise $6.4 billion for transportation improvements, including $1.1 billion for freeways. Another $2.65 billion of the total will go for mass transit projects including BART and Caltrain to offer reasonable alternatives to freeway driving. In all, four Bay Area counties — Santa Clara, San Francisco, Contra Costa and Alameda — will consider November ballot measures to raise $13.4 billion for transportation (read more about why here).

Nearly 30 percent of the Bay Area’s buses, railcars, tracks and other transit assets are past their useful lives, according to the MTC. In the worst shape is BART, with 71 percent of its fleet beyond its useful life. BART fleet replacement is included in the transportation measure for San Francisco, Contra Costa and Alameda counties..(more)


City makes last call for tech shuttle ‘transit hubs’

By on July 4, 2016 1:00 am

Last Call is right. Who is going to respond on Fourth of July? And who is going to read the response?

San Francisco will close its first survey on the controversial “hub model” for private commuter shuttles today. The shuttles, locally nicknamed “Google Buses,” are perhaps best known for ferrying technology workers to Silicon Valley.

The survey was an effort by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency to answer one key question:

If created, where in The City would the shuttle hubs go?

The results were more than 900 answers suggesting neighborhoods across San Francisco to host these new “shuttle hubs,” as of July 1.

The San Francisco Examiner requested early results to showcase where residents opinions before the survey closed.

Where should they go?
San Franciscans suggested many neighborhoods to host commuter shuttle hubs in an online survey by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency. The Examiner compiled the most numerous suggested neighborhoods here. Some people suggested “none” and opposed the notion of shuttle hubs, which is included in the tally. Note: The survey completes July 4, this list was compiled July 1. The results are preliminary.

Top suggested neighborhoods and corridors for Commuter Shuttle “Hubs”:
Mission District: 53 (Includes 24th street BART, and other Mission locations)
Van Ness: 41
Glen Park: 40
Noe Valley: 32
The Castro: 31
4th and King Caltrain station: 22
The Marina: 20
None: 24

Responses via SFMTA, compiled by the San Francisco Examiner.

If you feel like you got left out of the survey you might write a letter with your suggestions to the SFMTA Board and the Board of Supervisors explaining that you got the message to late. Here is a shuttle-bus-hubs1 letter with recipients to inspire you.


Should the regional transportation agency be elected?

By Zelda Bronstein : 48hills – excerpt

A new twist in the power struggle over Bay Area planning


This fancy ABAG graphic shows the commute flows into and out of the nine Bay Area counties.

The power struggle between the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and the Association of Bay Area Governments got a lot more complicated over the past week.

Since MTC voted in late June to fund ABAG’s planning staff for only the first half of fiscal year 2015-16—an action followed by revelations that the regional transportation planning agency wants to take over ABAG’s land-use planning functions before their joint December move into fancy new digs in San Francisco—the two entities seemed destined to consolidate by the end of the year. Only the Sierra Club had registered its opposition to a merger.

But with ABAG’s Executive Board meeting on September 17 and MTC convening on September 23, several other influential parties, including SPUR, the League of Women Voters of the Bay Area, SF Planning Director John Rahaim, and ABAG Executive Director Ezra Rapport, have come out against hasty action, if not against consolidation, while the SF Labor Council has warned MTC not to take over ABAG’s planners, period.

Meanwhile, the state Legislature could be dramatically changing the entire regional planning picture. A bill by Assemblymembers Phil Ting and Marc Levine, ABX1-24, would turn MTC into an elected board, forcing the organization to accept a level of democracy that has never remotely existed in the past.

The bill would re-name MTC the Bay Area Transportation Commission and replace the body’s current 21 appointed members with commissioners elected by districts of about 750,000 residents. Each district would elect one commissioner, except a district with a toll bridge, which would elect two. A citizens’ redistricting commission would draw the district boundaries, and the campaigns for commissioners would be publicly financed. Elections would be held in 2016, with new commissioners taking office on January 1, 2017.

“It’s time to take a hard look at reforming this agency,” Ting told us. “We need to make it more accountable to the voters, the state, and the region.”… (more)

Continue reading


Finding a home on Hotel 22

By Isabel Angell : KALW – excerpt (audio)

I’m on the Valley Transportation Authority’s Line 22 bus somewhere between East San Jose and Palo Alto. It’s 2:30 a.m., and it’s raining. I start a conversation with a man sitting down, and ask him if he’s heard the nickname for the bus.

“Yeah, well there’s the Motel 22 or Hotel 22. That’s the big one I’ve heard.”

I ask him what he calls the bus.

“I call it home.”… (more)


City proposing new housing development fee to expand transit

By J.K. Dineen and Mi : sfgate – excerpt

Mayor Ed Lee’s administration is looking to tap into the city’s housing boom to help bankroll $1.2 billion in transit improvements over the next 30 years.

A proposed transportation sustainability fee announced Tuesday would apply to new market rate condominium and apartment projects and would add $14 million to the $24 million a year already collected from other types of developments.

The money would be spent on expanding the Muni fleet with new buses and railcars, improving reliability on the busiest routes, retrofitting existing trains, investing in the electrification of Caltrain, and making streets safer for bicyclists and pedestrians.

The proposed fee, introduced at Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting by Scott Wiener, was crafted by the mayor’s office, the city Planning Department, the Municipal Transportation Agency and County Transportation Authority after years of study.

“As our city grows, we must ensure that our transportation network grows along with it,” the mayor said in a statement from Rome, where he is at a meeting with the pope on climate change. “That is essential to meet the needs of our residents and workforce.”…

The new transit fee is needed to strengthen public transit and get commuters out of their cars at a time San Francisco, which has added 100,000 jobs since 2010, is growing by 10,000 residents a year.

The proposed fee underscores what has become a hot-button issue around the city: complaints that the proliferation of high-end residential towers in neighborhoods such as Dogpatch, SoMa and Rincon Hill has not been accompanied by adequate improvements in open space and transit, not to mention sufficient levels of affordable housing.

While the idea of a transit impact fee is not new in San Francisco — the city’s current Transit Impact Development Fee applies to commercial developments and PDR (production, design and repair) facilities and produces that $24 million a year in revenue — the big difference is that the new fee adds builders of market rate apartments and condos. Making market rate housing developers part of the fee structure increases the amount collected 40 percent, from $720 million to $1.2 billion over 30 years… (more)

Anyone who is watching what goes on at City Hall would have to ask a few questions about the intent of collecting the fees. When will the fees be collected, and will they be turned into in lieu fees as the current ones are? How will this effect the price of housing? When ABAG and MTC can’t agree on a transportation scheme, (or how to figure out the best way to describe their goals), who will determine what the money is spent on?

Adding open space of transit in Dogpatch, SoMa and Rincon Hill is a joke. There is no room left to put any.


City should keep bus line

By sfexaminer – excerpt

“S.F. General faces parking crisis,” The City, Feb. 18, City should keep bus line – On the subject of transit access to San Francisco General Hospital and the shortages it is facing, your reporter stated: “Efforts will also be made to expand bicycle and public-transit access.”

May I bring to your attention the fact that in the last few weeks, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency in public meetings has announced its intention to eliminate direct service on the 33-Stanyan bus line from the Richmond and Mission to General Hospital, a proposal residents overwhelmingly oppose.

The 33 is a crucial bus line, a vital link between the west and eastsides of town. It must not be dismantled so that poorly trained bureaucrats can justify wasting precious taxpayer dollars.

Clearly this does not indicate any expansion of public transit to General Hospital, but the opposite, and more reason to believe that the SFMTA is a grossly mismanaged agency that badly needs overhauling and a clean sweep of its corrupt board of directors.

Is the SFMTA telling The San Francisco Examiner one thing and the public the opposite?

– Nick Pasquariello, San Francisco

As I walked back from the BART station after attending the MTA Board meeting I watched a couple of buses pass by. The 55 had maybe 10 people in it. It was followed closely by the 33 line. That no had a few more people but was by no means full. Comparing that the the BART with standing room only at around 5 PM, I wonder why the rush hour buses are so much less crowded than BART.


Roadshow: When a transit commute takes twice as long as driving

Q I would like to live in Thomas McMurtry’s world (Roadshow, Feb. 12), where access to public transportation is as easy as getting on a bus or train that stops in front of your house.

I live 13 miles from work, which isn’t that far. But there’s no simple public transit in my neighborhood, and no public transit comes by my place of work. I live in a different county than the one I work in, so even if it was easy on both ends, I’d still be negotiating three transit agencies.

Google tells me that my commute via transit would be just over 2 hours versus about 40 minutes in commute traffic. Charging for parking works in some areas, but it’s hardly a panacea for all traffic issues…

I would love to use public transportation more, but all Caltrain and VTA light-rail lots within 5 miles of where I live are full weekdays at 7 a.m. Caltrain is standing-room-only at rush hours...

The powers-that-be want us to use public transportation more, but they do nothing to make it workable. If the best we can do is convert carpool lanes to “Lexus lanes,” transportation in the Bay Area is doomed to gridlock in the not-too-distant future... (more)



Ed Reiskin Refuses to Comply with the SFMTA Citizens Advisory Council, So Let’s Run a Trial on Masonic Ourselves

sfcitizen – excerpt

Here’s the Citizens Advisory Council’s recommendation that Ed Reiskin, operator of America’s slowest and least efficient big-city transit system, has refused:

“Motion 140122.01 – The SFMTA CAC recommends that the peak hour restrictions be repealed on Masonic Avenue between Geary and Fell Streets, with the objective to measure traffic impacts on the 43 Masonic prior to the implementation of the Masonic Avenue street design project.”

Why did he do that? Well, because a “success” for him is the SFMTA spending the money it’s been given to spend. So why should he do anything to interfere with that when he’s in the red zone already?

Anywho, you can read what he has to say about a test-run after the jump.

In view of this, let’s run a Masonic “streetscape” trial of our own, shall we?

Let’s start here, northbound, on the 3000 foot stretch of Masonic that will soon be changed: … (more)