Eva Chao for BART Director 2018

Dear SaveMuni members and friends,

For a variety of reasons San Francisco needs strong representation on the BART Board.  Given the constant pressure from the eastern and southern parts of the Region to put extensions of BART service to their areas ahead of properly operating and maintaining the core system, strong San Francisco representation on the BART Board is now more important than ever

BART Board District 8 covers the  northern, western and southern parts of San Francisco.  At the 10/15 Save Muni meeting we heard from the five District 8 candidates…all earnestly trying to win the seat.  One candidate stood out.  Eva Chao is smart, serious, independent and has clearly been doing her homework about BART.  Most of the input from the other candidates centered around ideas familiar to every newspaper reader or, in one case, pie-in-the-sky subway-building fantasies.  What was particularly impressive about Ms. Chao’s approach was her independent and thoughtful responses to important BART operational and financial issues.

Her campaign needs are not huge, but she needs financial help and other indications of support.  Please help her to get elected.  Send checks and endorsements  to:

“Eva Chao for BART Director 2018”
Mailing address:   9460 TEGNER ROAD, HILMAR, CA 95324
Or, you can donate on-line, https://evaforbart2018.org/home

This is an important race.

Regards to all,

Jerry Cauthen

We support Eva Chao for District 8 and all the other BART Board candidates who are interested in running the BART transportation system instead of getting involved in other enterprises such as construction projects. BART has enough on its plate without taking on anything else. It is so close to being a good transportation choice it just needs a few tweaks to make it better.

 

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Where the SFMTA’s Prop. A money has gone

By Will Reisman : sfexaminer – excerpt from April 14, 2013

Prop. A, five years later: The second part in a two-part series explores where funding from Proposition A has gone since voters passed the initiative in 2007. It was intended to give the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency more control over revenue from parking meters and off-street lots to put toward the Transit Effectiveness Project. It appears that money has been put toward other uses...

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, which manages Muni, is projected to collect $31 million in revenue this fiscal year from Proposition A, a ballot measure passed in 2007. Prop. A gives the agency more control over revenue collected from parking lots and meters, and the money is supposed to go directly toward the Transit Effectiveness Project, a long-awaited plan to improve Muni service.

However, funds have been directed to areas that seemingly have ambiguous links to transit service, according to records obtained by The San Francisco Examiner…

Overall, the funds will pay for 217 transit agency employees at a cost of $23 million. Along with funding these positions, Prop. A revenue will go toward a new dump truck and 50 Go-4 Interceptors, the small vehicles used by parking control officers…

Paul Rose, a spokesman for the transit agency, defended the expenditure plan.

However, former Board of Supervisors President Aaron Peskin, who advocated for Prop. A in 2007, said the funds are being misspent.

“We gave the SFMTA and its commission unparalleled authority and took away oversight from the Board of Supervisors,” Peskin said. “But it has been a failure because the SFMTA has simply not used the money properly. I think it’s time to put oversight of the funds back into the elected officials who represent Muni riders.”

Quentin Kopp, a retired Superior Court judge and also a former board president, called the expenditures an expropriation of taxpayer funds…(more)

Wonder how Peskin feels about dealing with the SFMTA now. Of course he has his hands full with the Leaning Tilting Sinking Millennium Mess and the Transbay Terminal Terminal.

Hopefully someone on the Board of Supervisors will find the time to hasten the restructuring of the SFMTA Board that just killed the taxi industry, and is doing everything in their power to hand over control of the streets to their corporate buddies, Lyft, Uber and the rest of the disruptors.

CA: Safety the Top Priority in BART Board Race

By Erin : masstransit – excerpt

Oct. 17–Rider safety topped the list of priorities for all 12 candidates vying for a seat on BART’s governing board this November.

The concerns over safety come on the heels of a spate of high-profile crimes, including the July stabbing death of 18-year-old Nia Wilson, as well as a 70 percent increase in the number of aggravated assaults over the past four years, which the candidates cited as a major factor for the decline in the number of people riding BART.

The candidates fall largely into three camps when it comes to their approaches to stemming crime: those who want more police officers patrolling stations and trains, those who want more civilian ambassadors serving as the “eyes and ears of the system,” and candidates who are looking for some combination of the two…(more)

Read the details on each candidate. It appears the choice over parking is a big one in the East Bay, where incumbents support more housing and challengers want more parking. How much time should BART officials spend on non-BART issues is another big one. Comments welcome.

 

Protesters Block Google Bus Near San Jose State University

cbslocalexcerpt (includes video)

SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — A group of protesters blocked a bus carrying tech workers near the San Jose State University campus Thursday.

The demonstration happened on the 100 block of E. San Salvador St. near Fourth St. outside a parking garage.

KCBS Radio reported the protest was the first tech bus protest in San Jose and directed at Google, with protesters dressed in hazmats suits saying the company is “toxic.” The demonstrators say they are opposed to Google’s plans for a new campus near in San Jose…(more)

It has finally happened. SF residents have been protesting against the disruptive tech buses for months and now the protests are starting at the other end. We’ve been wondering how the residents near the campuses are dealing with them. Now we know. These exclusive carriers are only appreciated by the the riders who enjoy the perks. This in-your-face opulence is fanning the anti-gentrification flames around the Bay. The corporate takeover of the streets is not going to be smooth.

RELATED:

Monday, October 29, 1:30 PM
Room 250 City Hall – Supervisors Land Use and Transportation Meeting
Who will get to drive in the Red Lanes? SFMTA Director Ed Reiskin, is handing the decision on whether or not private tech buses will use the Red Lanes to the Supervisors. Don’t miss your chance to comment on who can use the Red Lanes.

The T line has never lived up to its promise. Coming upgrades may not be enough to help

Jamil Wardlow leaves his Bayview home an hour early whenever he has to catch the T-Third Street Muni Metro. The line runs so late, and the trains are so sluggish, that he needs that extra time, he said.

Lamar Reed said he once got so tired of waiting for the T that he walked five miles to get downtown from Kirkwood and Third streets.

These aren’t outlier stories; they are typical rider experiences on a troubled light rail line that has never lived up to its promise of delivering brisk, convenient transit service to one of the city’s most isolated and least accessible pockets. Too often, riders say, the line is either stuck at one of the many intersections along its route or idling in car traffic…

The line is about to enter its next phase, when the Central Subway opens in 2019. At that point, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency will reroute the T near Fourth and King streets, piping trains into a tunnel beneath Fourth Street, where they will zip north under SoMA to a new station in Chinatown.

“Once they open the Central Subway the whole rail line will improve,” said former SFMTA board chair Tom Nolan. He hopes that by 2020, trains will skate from Visitacion Valley and the Bayview up to Stockton Street… (more)

Hello! How does this help the folks in Bay View who have limited service? Sometimes the ideas SFMTA comes up statements with defy reason. This is one of them. Whoever suggested this as a solution to fix the T-Line should apologize for insulting the riders’ intelligence. DON’T WASTE OUR TIME! Don’t worry about speeding service until you eliminate switchbacks!

 

Officials can’t predict reopening date for SF’s Transbay Transit Center, park

: sfchronicle – excerpt

Transbay Transit Center officials said Thursday they’re working as quickly as they can to get the building’s cracked support beams repaired but still don’t have a date for resuming bus service or reopening the popular rooftop park.

Mark Zabaneh, executive director of the Transbay Joint Powers Authority, which built and operates the $2.2 billion transit hub and is overseeing its repair, told the agency’s board Thursday that he understood frustration over the lack of information.

“Unfortunately, we do not have a timeline for reopening the center now,” he said…

Tilly Chang, executive director of the San Francisco County Transportation Authority, wanted to know if other parts of the center are being monitored for damage and the impacts of the temporary bracing…(more)

This comment deserves further investigation: “Why hasn’t anyone besides the SF Biz Journal reported that the company (isi Berkeley) responsible for final inspection of welds and steel connections, had it’s offices raided by the FBI in August for bribes involving multiple UCSF construction jobs?”

What more can go wrong with this latest boondoggle now that we know the Transbay Terminal spans across two radically different soil conditions that meet at the original waterline, and each side of the water line seems to require a different foundation treatment.

What “center” is the Tilly Change referring to that needs retail tenants? Definitive Maps and plans are confusing and hard to come by. Lots of nice renderings that do not answer that question. After a bit of searching, we found the map below attached to these articles:

SF’s landmark tower for rich and famous is sinking and tilting

Found another link to drawings that include elevations. it looks like there are six levels, 2 below ground and 4 above.

CPUC fines BART $1.3 million for worker deaths during 2013 strike

By Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez : sfeaxminer – excerpt

California regulators preliminarily fined BART $1.3 million Thursday for “safety failures” that led to a train striking and killing two BART workers in 2013.

Those deaths came amid a heated BART strike that brought the transit agency to a grinding halt, as workers picketed for better wages and increased safety procedures… (more)

New 300-passenger ferry to join SF Bay fleet

By Michael Toren : sfexaminer – excerpt

San Francisco Bay will soon see a new commuter ferry grace its waters, as officials aim to ease congestion on the roads and crowded BART trains.

The construction of a new high-speed ferry was commissioned Thursday to join the growing fleet of public transit vessels crisscrossing local waters.

The Board of Directors of the San Francisco Bay Area Water Emergency Transportation Authority, the public transit agency that runs the San Francisco Bay Ferry service, voted to approve the construction of the $13 million ferry which is expected to be delivered by 2020… (more)

No mention on where the ferry will be docking. Maybe that decision will come later.

 

SAVE MUNI FORUM RECAP

Hi Everyone, Saturday’s Forum went very well—virtually a finale to Transit Week. Nicely done! Good speakers. MTA Director Ed Reiskin and media added gravitas. A Chinese reporter interviewed Ed Reiskin. Anyone know who all the camera-people were—and did they use their footage? Would be nice to post forum video on website. Also, a BART Board candidate attended, brought by Charley Marsteller (should have invited all the candidates). Our event was advertised on Fun&Cheap, which is a Bay Area calendar. Any attendees mention that ad? NEXT FORUM THOUGHTS: Locate along Market Street in a smaller auditorium, like Mechanics Institute or Hobart Building (could be free). More slide shows too. Best, Howard

Below is neat graph shown by Commute Seattle:

GRAPH: Change in Bus + Rail Ridership

https://www.geekwire.com/2017/seattle-area-transit-ridership-growing-faster-big-u-s-cities-options-way/

Below is Saturday news story about cracking beams—with Jerry speaking.

KPIX: Crews Begin Repairs To Cracked Beams In Transbay Transit Center

https://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/video/3943778-crews-begin-repairs-to-cracked-beams-in-transbay-transit-center/