Two Perspectives on DTX Extension:

SF’s Proposed Downtown Railway Extension Is an Unnecessary Boondoggle

By Marc Joffe : sfstandard – excerpt (includes maps and graphs)

With the Van Ness Bus Rapid Transit lanes in operation and the long-delayed Central Subway nearing completion, San Francisco transit planners and advocates are looking forward to commencing a much more expensive project.

The 1.3-mile Downtown Rail Extension (DTX) would allow commuter rail users from the Peninsula, and (ultimately) intercity high-speed rail lines, to access San Francisco’s financial district without changing trains or taking a long walk. But with an estimated price tag of between $4.4 billion and $5 billion, a light rail subway line connecting Caltrain’s San Francisco station (at Fourth and King streets) with the Salesforce Transit Center may be an extravagance ill-suited to post-Covid realities…

Marc Joffe is a Senior Policy Analyst at Reason Foundation(more)

The Best Time to Build the Downtown Extension Was Decades Ago. The Second-Best Time Is Now.

By Tom Radulovich : sfstandard – excerpt

Imagine a weekday commute several years from now. You live on the Peninsula and are headed to work in Downtown San Francisco on Caltrain. The first dozen miles of your trip are great. You’re riding in a brand-new, bi-level railcar with ergonomic seats and wifi. Several hundred people are on the train with you, and everyone has a seat. It’s electric-powered, clean and quiet. The tracks have been separated from auto traffic, so it’s fast and reliable. Trains turn up frequently enough during commute times that you don’t always look at the schedule.

The last mile of your commute is a different story. You’re dropped off at Fourth and King streets, a mile from the Downtown core and a mile from BART at a notorious chokepoint in Muni’s streetcar service. Assuming the Central Subway has opened, connecting Caltrain to Union Square via Fourth Street, that means a walk of several hundred feet to reach BART or the Muni Underground at Market Street, just to transfer to another crowded train and complete the trip.

The proposed extension of Caltrain Downtown to the Salesforce Transit Center will close the gap. The Downtown Rail Extension (DTX) is the single most important unfunded transit project in the Bay Area and the one missing link with potential to take the region’s transit network from good to great.

Tom Radulovich is the Executive Director of Livable City(more)

Franklin Street Quick-Build Project

sfmta – excerpt

Improving Safety on Franklin Street

Project Introduction

Franklin Street is a North-South roadway that extends from Market Street to Fort Mason Park. Between Broadway and Lombard streets, Franklin Street consists of three travel lanes in the northbound direction, andwith residential permit street parking on both sides of the street. The section of Franklin Street between Broadway and Lombard Streets is heavily residential and encompasses two schools: Saint Brigid School, and Sherman Elementary School…

Initial project goals include:

  • Improve pedestrian safety by increasing visibility of people walking and by reducing potential conflicts between people walking and people driving.
  • Improve traffic safety by slowing down vehicle speeds while keeping traffic moving.
  • Improve safe access to schools along Franklin Street for all roadway users through targeted improvements.

This project is in support of San Francisco’s Vision Zero commitment of eliminating all traffic deaths and serious injuries… (more)

Not sure how this improves Muni service, but that does not seem to be a high priority for the SFMTA. They would much rather spend their money on harassing drivers than fixing the Muni system. I went shopping with a Muni rider today and she asked me if it is true that the tunnel is closed. What do i know about a tunnel, but, if Muni riders are concerned, that should concern the SFMTA.if they really want them to rely on their service.

MUNI, Are You Okay? What’s Happening With Our Beloved Transit Agency

brokeassstuart – excerpt

…The first operator I asked for their anonymous opinion about the agency’s plans to address delays and restore full service referred me to MUNI’s website and refused to say more. The next one closed the doors in my face.

“Sure,” said the third operator. “Hop on.”…

I wanted to fact-check the announcement made on MUNI’s webpage about schedule updates, but first I had to learn the driver’s landscape, since it directly affects the rider’s experience both on and off the bus. An operator chooses their assignment, taking a different route each day. Seniority gets you the calmer ones while newness earns you demanding routes like the 14-Mission or the 27-Bryant.

“That one goes right by my place. Why is it always so late?”

The 27 is chronically late because its schedule, allegedly unchanged since January, is impossible to honor safely. “[For the 27] to run on time, I’d have to skip stops and run red lights.”…(more)

Study: Transit Boards Don’t Reflect Their Ridership

By Diana Ionescu : .planetizen – excerpt
Across U.S. cities, transit agency boards are overwhelmingly more suburban than their riders, causing a disconnect between decisionmakers and the people who regularly use transit.

As a new participant to their meetings, Cam Hardy, president of the Better Bus Coalition, noticed something about the board of the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority, writes Jake Blumgart. They were, in Hardy’s words, “Very white, very corporate and very resistant to change. Just cutting this and that [transit service] without really analyzing why a route might not be working.” Most of them, Hardy said, did not use transit themselves.

“This is not an unusual dynamic, a new study from TransitCenter shows. The advocacy and research group studied transit agencies across 11 cities — Cincinnati not among them — and found that their boards were not representative in terms of gender, race or geography.” According to the study, “In New York, 88 percent of riders live in the city but only 18 percent of board seats go to their representatives.” On average in the study cities, 75 percent of riders lived in central cities, with 40 percent of board appointments going to those jurisdictions. Meanwhile, many boards hold meetings at times inconvenient to working people, making it more difficult for transit riders to participate…(more)

Pretty much what everybody knows. Transit is not for the riders. Transit is a wonderful place to create jobs with benefits for contractors and consultants. The real goal is to clear the cheap real estate to make room for the new economic up-zoning engine. First step is remove parking and reduce traffic lanes and raise gas prices. Only they have been a little too successful and greedy. They forgot that the driving public is paying the bills and the driving public can leave.