New rules to ban jitneys from competing with Muni

By Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez : sfexaminer – excerpt

The City is on the cusp of approving new regulations that will officially bar private transit service Chariot — and similar jitney services, should they arise — from directly competing with existing Muni routes.

Late last year, The City approved its first-ever comprehensive regulations of jitneys, which chiefly govern San Francisco’s only remaining private mass-transit service, Chariot… (more)

California’s Bay Area Prepares for a Driverless Future

by Erin Baldassari : mercurynews – excerpt

Six cities in the region are getting $5 million to fund pilot programs aimed at integrating autonomous vehicles and solving general traffic congestion problems.

(TNS) —  SAN FRANCISCO — Within two to three years, bicyclists in Emeryville and Los Gatos will be able to download an app to get more green lights at intersections. Patients at the Veterans Administration Palo Alto Medical Center will be hopping on an autonomous shuttle for appointments. And, within a few more years, BART riders in Dublin will have a driverless vehicle picking them up and dropping them off at the station.

It’s all part of an effort to prepare the Bay Area for a future with self-driving cars, said Robert Rich, a planner at the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), the region’s transportation planning agency. When that future comes, cars will be expected to communicate not just with each other, but also with traffic signals and other infrastructure, he said… (more)

Companies Will Likely Have First Dibs on Fully Autonomous Vehicles

by JC Reind : govtech– excerpt

Top automakers say the first generation of the technology will be used for commercial purposes, not by the general public.

(TNS) — LAS VEGAS – Auto companies at this week’s CES tech convention affirmed plans to have their first true self-driving cars in production by 2021 — or in some cases earlier.

But don’t expect to see these vehicles on any dealership lots.

This first generation of autonomous vehicles will, in most cases, not be offered for sale or lease to the general public, but instead would be reserved for commercial use by ride-hailing fleets and delivery services… (more)


Uber Finally Admits It’s Taking on Buses

By Paris Marx : medium – excerpt

It’s not the only company looking to control urban transportation

Uber’s transportation ambitions have steadily grown since its inception. It started by taking on black cars, then challenged taxis before getting into food delivery and launching uberPOOL, which increasingly came to resemble a fixed-route bus service. But Uber diehards have insisted that the company was just innovating on its taxi model, not going after transit…

At a recent conference, Dara Khosrowshahi, who replaced co-founder Travis Kalanick as CEO in August 2017, told attendees, I want to run the bus systems for a city. I want you to be able to take an Uber and get into the subway… get out and have an Uber waiting for you.” He also compared the role of cars in Uber’s business model to that of books in Amazon’s: the first step to expanding into multiple other markets. With that information, do you still not believe Uber is going after transit?…

Uber Can’t be Trusted to Operate Transit

Becoming a transit operator is not simply the ambition of a new Uber CEO, but has been part of the company’s strategy for at least a couple of years. It already has agreements with a number of smaller cities in the United States and Canada to subsidize ride-hailing trips, occasionally with conditions attached. But there’s good reason to be worried about Uber’s intentions and the service it would ultimately deliver…

Uber’s ride-hailing service made the auto experience worse for millions of people by increasing congestion and travel times; is there any reason to believe the same won’t happen if it makes a more concerted push into transit? (more)

To some people is appears as if the SFMTA has been bought out by the private sector and is letting it fail apart while the agency concentrates on one huge construction project after another. Is it possible to have a real transportation director who does nothing but manage the public transportation system? Will a Charter Amendment save the public Muni system from Uber?

Deal for second Petaluma SMART station falls apart

By Hannah Beausang : petaluma360 – excerpt

A deal to build an east side SMART station, 225 commuter parking spots, and more than 400 housing units to Petaluma appears to have collapsed after differences emerged between the rail agency and a developer… (more)


Uber ‘thumbing its nose at the law’: San Francisco city attorney

Lyft good, Uber bad.

So says San Francisco’s city attorney, who’s accusing Uber of getting up to its old tricks amid a probe into the San Francisco operations of the two ride-hailing firms headquartered in the city.

“For a company that is supposedly changing its culture, thumbing your nose at the law is a funny way of showing that you’re now a good corporate citizen,” city attorney Dennis Herrera said in a statement Wednesday.

Uber on Wednesday disputed Herrera’s characterization of its actions, saying it cooperates with regulators to comply with the law.

Herrera launched his public attack after purported stonewalling by Uber as the city attorney’s office seeks company data going back to 2013 for an investigation into whether Uber and Lyft have been obeying state and local laws.

While Lyft initially resisted allowing some of its records to be examined by experts from city government outside the attorney’s office, it has now agreed to permit that, Herrera said.

“This is a reasonable agreement that preserves Lyft’s trade secrets while advancing our investigation into whether these companies violated the rights of ordinary San Franciscans,” Herrera said…(more)

Defending Our Future

caltransit – excerpt

2018 Spring Legislative Conference Coming May 22-23

The California Transit Association’s 2018 Spring Legislative Conference takes place May 22-23 at the Tsakopoulos Library Galleria in Sacramento….

With Defending Our Future as the theme, this year’s program will feature an in-depth discussion of Senate Bill 1 – both the opportunities presented by this monumental new transportation funding package, and threats posed by current efforts to repeal the funding measure through a statewide ballot initiative. In addition to discussion on other timely topics, such as the potential Innovative Clean Transit regulation, attendees will get an update on the Association’s legislative priorities for the current year… (more)

Sounds as if the California Transit Association is in doubt of their future if they are concerned with defending it. Wonder what the legislative priorities are going to be other than protecting SB 1.

Los Angles Attempts to Fix Pavement Problems for Cyclists

by Bethany Klein : norcalnews – excerpt

More and more people in California are beginning to see the benefits of bicycling. The bicycle is one of the most efficient machines ever made. Using very little energy, people are able to propel themselves to work or play. Bicycling is also inexpensive and great for the body. Unfortunately, not all cities are prepared to handle the recent surge in cyclists on the streets and in parks. For example, Los Angeles recently admitted a need for greater attention to its bike paths, and the city has a plan to fix them…

This means a dozen more staff members are planned to be hired in the coming budget year. These staff members and the repairs they will accomplish will cost at least $2.5 million annually. However, the costs might be able to be reduced by hiring construction works meant to repair streets a few months early. These workers could then accomplish a “biking path blitz” before tackling their regular work of repairing highways and city streets… (more)

The city of LA appears to be run by the same 1% that finances our political campaigns in northern California. The Bike Blitz pushes gentrification and displacement as it first targets low income “blighted” areas and then tackles the single family homes of middle class citizens. At a Town Hall I believe I heard Senator Wiener say, “There is nothing for the middle class.” What does he mean by that?

For more details on these statement regarding the use of cyclists and particularly bike share rentals, see the following article and you can do your own investigations into how this is playing out around the country as the land grab of the 21st century commences. This will put the gold rush to shame.

SFMTA is using taxpayer dollars to kill the public transportation system the way GM is accused of killing rail transit. SFMTA is handing over pubic

Love Citi Bike? You Have A Real Estate Developer To Thank