When it comes to moving and removing bus stops, it’s rarely a smooth ride for Muni

By sfexaminer – excerpt

There’s an old saying among Muni circles, told this time by John Haley, director of transit at the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, that goes something like this:

“Every bus stop has a constituency.”

As the SFMTA, which operates Muni, rolls out its Muni Forward plan to speed up bus and train service across San Francisco, 136 out of about 3,600 total bus stops will be removed or shifted. The agency sees the consolidation as vital to speeding up the consistently underperforming Muni, yet the decisions are rarely straightforward.

Following the recently halted proposed removal of one bus stop on Hayes Street last month, and the potential shifting of another along Bayshore Boulevard, the SFMTA faced hue and cry from businesses that feared the potential negative impacts…

Whether the SFMTA takes a bus stop out, or moves one a block away, someone feels the effects…

If the SFMTA goes through with the changes, it will shave five minutes off a trip for each bus, agency documents show. The cumulative time savings are equal to adding an additional bus to the 9-San Bruno route…

Weighing the needs of riders and businesses is not easy, Cheryl Brinkman, the SFMTA board’s vice-chairwoman, told The Examiner… (more)

It’s not easy convincing people SFMTA can be trusted, much less do the right thing for the public that WANTS TO BE LEFT ALONE.  If moving bus stops is equal to adding another bus on the line (not that we believe it.) why doesn’t Muni just add another bus and leave the stops as they are? SFMTA has done nothing to improve Muni service. They have only made matters worse.

Muni gets red carpet treatment on Market

By Jerold Chinn : sfbay – excerpt

Market Street drivers are going to start seeing red on the roadway very soon.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency will start painting red transit-only lanes Friday night on Market Street between Fifth and 12th streets to let drivers know that the lane is for Muni use only.

Work for the $1.8 million project will begin from 10:30 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. on Saturday, which will require a partial lane closure of the eastbound track lane of Market Street between Fifth and Mason streets…

The westbound center lane of Market Street — currently open to all vehicles between Steuart and Eighth streets — will become transit-only from Fifth to Eighth.

The SFMTA has already painted red transit-only lanes on Church Street, Third Street and on Geary Boulevard and O’Farrell Street transit-only lane… (more)

Drivers are already seeing red. They will get to have their say in November when they vote to Restore Transportation Balance to the city. Having learned not to trust the SFMTA to do the right thing with bond money, many will not support the $5oo million bond measure either. That one needs a two thirds  majority to pass.

Here is a good example of what SFMTA does with bond money:  5 Fulton Capital Improvements

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.

A Big, Good, Bad Day for Google Buses in San Francisco

By Katy Steinmetz: time – excerpt

The city came one step closer to regulating them, and protestors staged one of their biggest protests yet…

Dozens of anti-eviction protestors marched behind a small brass band through the streets of San Francisco on Tuesday morning. The parade stopped at an intersection in a long-blighted, recently gentrifying neighborhood called the Tenderloin. Then the protestors did what has become their signature move in recent months: They blocked private buses attempting to ferry tech workers to their jobs in Silicon Valley, this time at Google and Facebook.

Private shuttles have become the cake in San Francisco’s revolution, a symbol of disconnect as the have-nots rally against a backdrop of skyrocketing rental prices and eviction rates. At a hearing at City Hall later in the day, a committee approved a proposal to allow and organize the growing fleet of vehicles currently using city bus stops without regulation. During roughly two hours of public comments, officials heard from tech workers who ride the buses, working-class residents who drive them and activists who oppose them (not to mention everything they stand for). Then the committee unanimously voted to go ahead with the 18-month pilot program, set to begin this summer… (more)

We are taking no position on this. It seems that there is a broader consensus on how to fix traffic and parking problems than on solutions for housing issues.

No new parking meter locations allowed in SF under $51 million purchase

by : sfexaminer – excerpt

Old news that bears repeating: San Francisco plans to spend $51 million to buy up to 30,000 new parking meters, but on one condition: no meter installations allowed at new locations.
All parking meters in The City – save for the “smart” meters installed in 2010 under SFPark, which track when spaces are open – are due to be replaced. (This conflicts with another article that claims the meters installed in 2010 are being replaced.)
Most of the meters are only about a decade old, but use technology that’s already outdated, according to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency. Meters that currently accept only coins will be replaced with credit-card friendly technology sometime next year.
In addition to the upgraded replacements, SFMTA had initially sought to buy an additional 10,000 meters from the San Diego-based company IPS Group… (more)

If you see any new meters going in let us know and let your supervisors know.

SFMTA parking meter buy delayed over concerns about expansion

by : sfexaminer – excerpt

The SFMTA has approved a $54 million contract to replace 25,000 existing meters, but the planned purchase of additional meters has delayed The City’s stamp of approval.

At just over a decade old, San Francisco’s parking meters are well past their prime. But a $54 million plan to replace the coin-fed meters with credit card-friendly technology is on hold, and distrust with the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s plan to buy up to 10,000 new meters is partly to blame.
The SFMTA in September approved a $54 million contract with San Diego-based IPS Group to replace the existing 25,000 parking meters — which use spare parts that are no longer manufactured and have erratic batteries — with solar-powered devices that can be fed via smartphone and credit card or coin. The 6,500 meters installed in 2010 under SFpark, “smart” meters that alert users to available parking spots in order to reduce traffic, would also be replaced.  Why?
The new meters won’t be as lucrative — the cost of operating them is projected to quadruple due to software licensing and wireless communications costs — but would be more convenient for motorists… Huh?
“There’s distrust in the neighborhoods” over parking meters, Supervisor Mark Farrell said at an October board hearing. With the new meters, “I don’t have any security that there’s not going to be 10,000 new [metered] parking spots.”…
“They have lied to us at every turn,” said Tony Kelly, a neighborhood activist who helped block meters in Potrero Hill. “Nothing in the past two years gives us any confidence that they’ll try to honestly get our approval before installing new parking meters.”(more)


Transportation board picks new exec

Michael Cabanatuan, Jill Tucker : sfgate – excerpt

A deeply split San Francisco County Transportation Authority board, also known as the Board of Supervisors, chose a new executive director after a closed session that concluded months of meetings and leaves lots of questions.
Supervisor John Avalos, chairman of the board, announced Tuesday only the selection of an unnamed primary candidate, but it’s Tilly Chang, deputy director of the authority formerly headed by Jose Luis Moscovich, who retired in November.
Not selected was Sonali Bose, finance director for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency. The board voted 11-0 to back her as the secondary candidate. Bose reportedly had four or five backers for the position. A third finalist was Stephanie Wiggins of the Orange County Transportation Authority.
But will the new chief continue the status quo of butting heads over transportation planning with the Municipal Transportation Agency? Or will the two agencies hold hands, sing you-know-what and work together to improve the city’s transportation system?
And does the vote signal a major split among supervisors on transportation? The authority, which oversees spending of transportation sales tax revenues and does some planning and project delivery, is the supervisors’ only chance to directly influence transportation policy. The MTA board is appointed solely by the mayor and doesn’t have to answer to the supervisors…
Board members, er, Supervisors Avalos, David Campos, David Chiu, Jane Kim, Eric Mar and Norman Yee voted for Chang, with London Breed, Malia Cohen, Mark Farrell, Katy Tang and Scott Wiener voting against her appointment… (more)

City – SFMTA, Board appointed by the Mayor

County – SFCTA, Board controlled by Supervisors

Let your Supervisors know what you want them to do with your tax dollars and when they should deny funds to the SFMTA.