from Howard Wong via email:
SFMTA: COVID-19 RESPONSE
MUNI Core Service: https://www.sfmta.com/travel-updates/covid-19-muni-core-service-plan
MUNI Travel & Transit Updates: https://www.sfmta.com/travel-transit-updates
MUNI Coronavirus Response: https://www.sfmta.com/projects/covid-19-developments-response
Taxi Rides for Essential Workers: https://www.sfmta.com/getting-around/accessibility/paratransit/essential-trip-card
Essential Worker Ride Home: https://sfenvironment.org/essential-worker-ride-home#:~:text=Our%20Planet-,Essential%20Worker%20Ride%20Home,to%20shelter%2Din%2Dplace.
Residential Traffic Calming Program: https://www.sfcta.org/blogs/applications-sfmtas-residential-traffic-calming-program-due-june-30
SFMTA: NEXT STEPS
MUNI: Supporting Small Businesses https://www.sfmta.com/blog/how-sfmta-%C2%A0supporting%C2%A0small-businesses%C2%A0
To support small businesses, the SFMTA is working with agency partners to fast track permits enabling businesses to utilize the public right-of-way for their operations. The Shared Spaces effort includes using the curb along requesting business frontages to provide space for curbside pickup and delivery, outdoor dining or physical distancing where queues form. Note that not every business’s application will meet the criteria. Learn more about the program and apply here.
The pandemic has upended every aspect of our society, and the SFMTA is no exception. The COVID-related health and financial crises have resulted in deep and painful cuts to Muni service. We will be draining our fund reserve and spending one-time money just to sustain the service we have. Absent new outside funding, we fall off a financial cliff in 2023, just as the city needs us the most to support its economic recovery. As your Director of Transportation, I want to be open and transparent about how we got here and what it means for you.
But the new Metro rail service will look different when it comes back: Some Muni Metro lines could be taken out of the subway to cut severe pre-COVID-19 delays and backups in the tunnels. This would also allow us to add more cars to our Metro trains to increase capacity.
Though no rail lines will be eliminated, routes will be reconfigured with a focus on running fewer, longer trains through the tunnel and keeping others entirely above ground. The agency believes this should alleviate congestion and reduce passengers’ risk of exposure to COVID-19.
But in early April, as the city moved to stop the spread of COVID-19, the 55 was cut, along with the majority of other Muni routes. The move made sense, but it also inconvenienced or even stranded low-income seniors and disabled residents. Taxis offer the obvious solution, but for many who live on fixed incomes, any added expense presents a challenge.
CHRONICLE: Muni expects to lose the majority of its bus lines permanently as financial devastation mounts
San Francisco, which once packed 68 crowded bus lines into its lean streets, stands to lose most of them as the pandemic sinks its transit budget and steers riders into cars. Up to 40 of the bus lines that San Francisco cut at the beginning of the pandemic are not coming back unless the city finds a new revenue source, transportation chief Jeffrey Tumlin said this week. Just about every aspect of San Francisco’s transportation future looks grim. Elbow-to-elbow transit has long been a feature of life in San Francisco. Yet the daily bustle ended with COVID-19, which closed schools and businesses, moved offices into homes and lured more people into cars. Faced with galling projections of $568 million in revenue losses over four years, along with a $46 million increase in pension contributions, the board took a hard look this week at the budget it approved in April.
CITYLAB: The Forces That Will Reshape American Cities https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2020-07-02/how-coronavirus-will-reshape-u-s-cities?cmpid=BBD070220_CITYLAB&utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&utm_term=200702&utm_campaign=citylabdaily
There is no reason why millions of people must get on cars, trains or transit and commute from far-flung suburbs into the central business district every day. In fact, the rise of work from home shows that this acute separation of work from living is an increasingly outmoded, expensive and unproductive legacy of the industrial age. The modern central business district with its giant office towers stacking knowledge workers and service support workers is one of the last holdovers of the from this era—a relic of a time when office workers needed to be massed together and skyscrapers stood as the physical manifestation of the all-powerful mega-corporation. High-end retail districts stand as physical symbols of the hyper-gentrified luxury city of the one percent which is why they have been targeted by the recent wave of protest and urban unrest.
But Laubscher says the original Clay Street car in 1873 and those that followed were meant to be “functional and local transportation,” a faster, cheaper and cleaner alternative to the horse-drawn cars that struggled up and down San Francisco’s hills.
FORBES:How Transportation Innovation Can Support Covid-19 Recovery https://www.forbes.com/sites/worldeconomicforum/2020/06/05/how-transportation-innovation-can-support-covid-19-recovery/#32af1f761126
The effort to create a multi-year national pilot program to test new revenue collection methods, including a “vehicle miles traveled fee,” is the right way to transform transportation systems with efficacy and effectiveness, particularly if it recognized the user’s ability to pay. This will be a critical effort to better manage congestion and emissions, as well as raise much needed funds as gas tax revenue dwindles, while narrowing socio-economic gaps. Zoning, through access restrictions and pricing, is another demonstrated tool for replacing an unsustainable commute with a sustainable one while increasing equity — if designed right and includes robust transit improvements. Technology now also allows for dynamic, variable fee or pricing systems that can account for a variety of factors, such as passengers’ ability to pay, the number of passengers in the vehicle, the time of day, the type of vehicle, and location.
CITYFIX: Public Transport After COVID-19 Lockdowns: It’s Time to Innovate and Change Benchmarks of Success
Transit agencies must adjust their traditional mentality by asking how they can adequately help residents, especially those most vulnerable, move safely and affordably given the unique circumstances of the coronavirus.
MCKINSEY: Restoring public transit amid COVID-19: What European cities can learn from one another
It could be a long time before physical distancing is no longer required and office workers can resume commuting every day, students are invited back to university campuses, and city dwellers can resume normal leisure activities. Until then, cities and their public-transit systems will have to function in a state of partial openness. Careful management and safety measures can allow public-transit authorities to accommodate more passengers, so they can avoid delaying economic recovery without contributing to a recurrence of the coronavirus. But public-transport operators cannot do it alone. They will need to work closely with (local) government officials on measures such as staggering school hours. Transport operators will also need the technology to constantly monitor demand and manage scheduling. And they will need to safeguard their employees. Riders, too, will play crucial roles in bringing public transit back up to speed by adapting their travel habits and behavior.
MASS TRANSIT: New York MTA, Transit Innovation Partnership launch COVID-19 response challenge to strengthen public transithttps://www.masstransitmag.com/technology/miscellaneous/press-release/21145539/mta-headquarters-new-york-mta-transit-innovation-partnership-launch-covid19-response-challenge-to-strengthen-public-transit
The Transit Innovation Partnership and the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) have launched a new COVID-19 Response Challenge to engage the private tech industry and to rapidly evaluate and deploy innovative technologies that make transit safer, healthier and more responsive to customer and workforce needs in light of the global pandemic.