Fee Increase for Commuter Tech Shuttles Using SF Muni Stops Approved

By Bay City News : nbcbayarea – excerpt

Companies using San Francisco city bus stops to pick up and drop off passengers on commuter shuttles will have to pay more than triple the cost to the city.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency board of directors voted to approve a fee increase from $1 per stop per day to $3.55 after realizing that the cost of enforcing the pilot program was more than originally anticipated.

The new fee would take effect later this year and rise to $3.67 next year.

The pilot program, which went into effect on July 1, allows companies operating shuttle buses to use San Francisco Municipal Railway bus stops for a fee to limit the impact of the shuttles on city bus service… (more)


Supes, Community Members Advocate For Central Subway Extension To Fisherman’s Wharf

: sfappeal – excerpt

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and other city officials marked a milestone in the Central Subway project this morning with the completion of tunnel boring from downtown San Francisco to North Beach.

Two boring machines, affectionately named Mom Chung and Big Alma after historical San Francisco women, made it 8,500 feet to the former site of the Pagoda Palace Theater earlier this month after about a year of digging two underground tunnels.

The tunnels will connect the San Francisco Municipal Railway T-Third line from the South of Market area through Union Square and into Chinatown.

The $233 million tunnel, which started in 2012, is part of the $1.6 billion Central Subway project expected to be completed in 2019…

Chiu said he “had a vision” of the tunnel connecting the subway to North Beach and Fisherman’s Wharf as well.

Supervisor Scott Wiener said with a growing population in San Francisco, “We don’t have the space. We have to keep moving forward with our public transportation capacity.”

He echoed Chiu’s calls for better north-south connections and a more efficient way to get workers, residents and tourists to Fisherman’s Wharf.

“We need to stay the course,” Wiener said…

There will be three underground stations built along the tunnel route—a Chinatown station at Stockton and Washington streets, a Union Square station at Stockton and Geary streets and Stockton and Ellis streets, and a Yerba Buena station at Fourth and Clementina streets…

A group of Central Subway supporters, part of the group SF NexTstop, carried signs on Powell Street that read, “Finish the Subway,” advocating for a subway extension to the Fisherman’s Wharf area.

Group leader Julie Christensen said the F-Market & Wharves Muni Metro and 30-Stockton bus lines aren’t reliable forms of transportation for the many workers, residents and tourists that come into the area daily.

“There’s a moat of congestion around Fisherman’s Wharf,” she said.

She said the group has proposed another station at Joseph Conrad Square at Columbus Avenue and Leavenworth Street or the Kirkland Yard bus storage center near Pier 39 on Beach Street… (more)

Community members does not tell us much about the support for the extension to Fisherman’s Wharf.

Here is where the EIR should be required. Boring into “unknown” underground landfill, including old sunken ships in the mud, and other equally unstable ground, should prompt an EIR. Let ‘s see who calls for one now.

What we see is more money being drained from Muni operations into the hole, which will mean further cuts in Muni service and more public debt.

Why Muni can’t find good drivers

By sfexaminer – excerpt

There’s a simple explanation for why buses and trains in San Francisco are often late or never show up.

There’s not enough people to drive them.

The San Francisco Municipal Railway has had a chronic shortage of qualified transit operators for several years, which contributes to late or missed runs as well as mounting overtime spending, according to city documents and interviews.

There are about 1,500 transit operators at Muni, which carries about 700,000 passengers a day on the agency’s buses, light-rail vehicles and cable cars.

There should be more.

As of Wednesday there were 266 unfilled operator positions, agency spokesman Paul Rose said, an “ongoing issue” that the SFMTA is trying to correct with a “training surge.”

Muni plans to add training staff and send operators through the training process more quickly, Rose said.

Last week, Muni graduated 25 new operators to full employee status. However, the hundreds of other open jobs have no takers for several reasons: pay, commuting and an ever-tougher working environment, according to interviews with drivers and union officials…

Muni drivers make more than their counterparts in Oakland and San Mateo County, but less than bus drivers in San Jose.

In any event, the starting wage of $18.60 is low by Bay Area standards — San Francisco’s minimum wage could be $15 by 2018 — and the $29.53 maximum hourly salary does not go far in The City…

At the end of May, Muni operators soundly rejected an offer from the SFMTA that would have seen hourly wages rise to over $32 an hour, which would make them the second-highest-paid transit operators in the country.

That offer was coupled with increased employee contributions to pensions, which would have led to a cut in take-home pay, union officials say…. (more)

Good MTA Director v. Bad MTA Director

by Alison Stevens Rodrigues : beyondchron – excerpt (first posted Aug. 17‚ 2005, re-posted Friday, Sept. 13, 2013)

At yesterday’s Municipal Transportation Agency (MTA) Board of Directors meeting, members of the public were reminded of what they did not want from a new transportation director even before they were allowed to discuss what they did.
Before that, however, they were reminded of the San Francisco Municipal Railway’s (MUNI) current state of affairs. As a MUNI representative read results from the system’s quarterly report, it became clear that MUNI’s performance falls short of standards outlined in Proposition E. The lack of operators and number of missed runs are two of MUNI’s bad pennies… (more)

Remembering how we got here. How well did the process work the last time? Might people have different ideas now?

Fifteen Hospitalized After Muni Streetcar Rear Ends Muni Bus

by : excerpt

1:45 PM: Fifteen people were taken to hospitals—including a number of children—when a San Francisco Municipal Railway bus and a streetcar collided this morning on Market Street.
The accident, which involved a 9L-San Bruno bus and the F-Market and Wharves streetcar, happened around 11 a.m. at Market and Sixth streets.
Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White said 15 people were taken to four hospitals, including four adults who were taken to San Francisco General Hospital with moderate injuries. Seven children were among those transported, she said…. (more)

Too many of these to keep up with these days. One more reason to avoid the Muni. They are not safe. No comment from Mr. Rose on this one? Maybe the Supervisors should consider spending some of those federal and state dollars on fixing the Muni so that it would be safe instead of using them to push the SF Bicycle Coalition agenda. This news came the same day the SFMTA announced it hired yet another SF Bicycle Coalition worker to push through “their” agenda.

Report: Muni Breakdowns Cost Commuters $4.2 Million Last Month Alone

by Dan McMenamin : sfappeal – excerpt

San Francisco Municipal Railway service disruptions cost commuters at least $50 million in economic production annually and the system remains far away from its on-time service goals, according to a report released today by city officials.
The quarterly report by San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency officials and city economist Ted Egan was requested earlier this year by Supervisor Scott Wiener, who held a hearing of the Board of Supervisors’ land use and economic development committee to discuss the report’s findings.
The report, which Wiener said he believed was the first of its kind in the city, found that Muni breakdowns cost at least $4.2 million in lost productivity for commuters in April, or at least $50 million each year…
Wiener is also considering various ways to boost revenue to fund Muni improvements.
Last week, he asked the city controller’s office to assess the economic impact of a surcharge of $1 to $3 that could be added to prices of tickets for large events such as baseball games and concerts and would go toward maintaining the Muni system… (more)

Suggestions for other revenue sources:
Portland City Club Report Recommends Taxing Bike Sales to pay for bike lanes

Time for SFMTA to quit spending all their money and their time on future perfect projects and get down and dirty with the engineers and mechanics and help them do the job of getting the people who need the Muni where they need to go. Leave the rest of us alone.

Comments welcome on the source site.

Supes Committee Approves Union Square Central Subway Plan

By Dan McMenamin : Bay City News – excerpt

,,, The board’s Land Use and Economic Development committee this afternoon unanimously agreed to send the proposal to the full Board of Supervisors as part of the $1.6 billion San Francisco Municipal Railway project linking the city’s South of Market neighborhood to Chinatown.
The vote comes after SaveMuni.com, a group opposing the project, filed a lawsuit last Wednesday arguing that construction on Union Square violated a clause in the city charter that requires voter approval of any structure built and maintained on park property for non-recreational purposes.
Some of the opponents spoke at this afternoon’s committee hearing at City Hall, including Tom Lippe, the attorney representing SaveMuni.com.
Lippe said the clause requiring voter approval for the project is “about as plain as the law gets” but “for some reason has been ignored” by city officials… (more)