SFMTA to consider changes to ‘Google bus’ program

By : sfexaminer – excerpt

Protesters block two buses, transporting workers to Facebook and Yahoo in Silicon Valley, at the corner of Valencia and 24th streets on Tuesday.

The future of the “Google bus” program may no longer include the use of Muni stops — instead pointing the commuter shuttles toward hubs in the downtown area and elsewhere, according to legislation introduced Tuesday at the Board of Supervisors.

After two weeks of negotiations, seven supervisors supported a resolution calling on the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency Board of Directors to approve the commuter shuttle program for one year, with key provisions resulting from a tentative deal reached during talks this week between stakeholders.

The provisions would set the stage for modifying the program, possibly within six months.

Among the provisions is the analysis of disallowing commuter shuttles to use Muni bus stops citywide. Instead, the shuttles would use hubs, such as parking lots in the South of Market Area, and commuters could take public transit to those hubs. Another provision would require a review of the program within six months.

The transit agency is expected to take up the issue on Feb. 16, according to SFMTA spokesman Paul Rose. “We look forward to working with both boards, the community and other stakeholders to finalize an effective and responsible commuter shuttle plan,” Rose said.

If the brokered deal is ultimately agreed upon, the environmental appeal filed by SEIU 1021, a labor union with 6,000 members, would be dismissed by the Board of Supervisors on Feb. 23. The appeal has forced the negotiation.

A formal commitment from those involved in the negotiations — including technology companies Apple, Google, Facebook and Genentech, as well as the Bay Area Council — remains outstanding on some aspects and talks are expected to continue.

Those supporting the resolution included board President London Breed, along with supervisors David Campos, Jane Kim, Norman Yee, Aaron Peskin, John Avalos and Eric Mar… (more)



San Francisco Considers Charging Drivers to Enter or Leave Downtown

Posted by KQED News Staff – excerpt

…“We’re going to be faced with severe congestion at some point. We’re not able to say exactly when, but it’s certainly within the next, I’d say, 10 years. And if we don’t move decisively now, it might even be sooner than that,” said Tilly Chang with the SFCTA.
Chang said a plan to charge drivers to enter or leave downtown, known as congestion pricing, is again emerging as one solution to alleviate gridlock. She said something more is needed to really slow down the growth of traffic flooding into that area.
“We definitely see parking management and congestion pricing as examples of how we can encourage people to review their choices and to really think about, ‘Do I really need to make this trip in a car?’ ” Chang said…
A congestion pricing plan from the city Transportation Authority will soon undergo an environmental review. Any proposal the city develops would need approval from the Legislature… (more)

How about building some new parking garages as suggested by the Small Business Commission? That would help as much as anything. How about building those garages next to the freeway exists next to public transit  hubs so that people could get into the city and then easily transition to public transit? Wow! They just built a new BART parking garage in Richmond. But, San Francisco would rather eliminate parking than make it easy for folks to use Muni. Do the voters get to decide on this plan? Or will it be part of the Plan Bay Area scheme, financed by federal and state government debt?

SFMTA Brings Back Parking Meter Planning to Tough Crowd in the NE Mission

by Aaron Bialick : sf.streetsblog.org – excerpt

Following fierce opposition that led the SF Municipal Transportation Agency to roll back its first attempt to expand meters in the northeast Mission, the agency re-started a community planning process last night to expand parking meters and residential permit restrictions to reduce cruising for parking in the area. The meeting was seen as a litmus test for the public’s openness — and the agency’s tact — which will be key to implementing a plan for managing parking demand in a dense, complex neighborhood where parking problems are only expected to get worse… (more)

By “noticeable contingent of advocates backing parking reform”, are you referring to the four people who raised their hands when Jeff asked, “Who complained about parking?”
What I remember quite well, (and I recorded the event), is Jeff admitting that the department is dealing with conflicts of interests within its jurisdiction.
Could these obvious conflict of interests explain why a growing contingent San Francisco residents want to repeal Prop E and rewrite Transit First? Are they had enough of the SFMTA monster that was supposed to balance the Muni budget and fix the public transit system, but has failed miserably at both?


I suggested an idea that many have voiced and I agree with. We need park and ride Muni hubs for drivers who need to drive into town, park and jump on the Muni to get to their final destination. According to SFMTA, 41% of the cars parked in our neighborhood don’t live or work here. They are commuters driving into the city, parking and taking the Muni downtown. The same people who park in the Western neighborhoods and jump on the Geary buses. They are Muni customers. Why is SFMTA fighting them?
This request for more public parking near transit hubs is repeated all over the Bay area. Most BART stations need more parking for clients. Instead of fighting the cars driving to public transit, the city officials should create the parking options their clients need to easily use the public transit systems they want them to take.
I did say is that it is not my job to create those options. That job belongs to the public employees who are paid royally to manage parking and traffic.