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.

 

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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/

Teamster Shuttle Drivers Ratify Contract

Teamster Shuttle Drivers For High-Tech Companies Overwhelmingly Ratify Contract

Pressrealese Newswire : businessinsider – excerpt

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 24, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Members of Teamsters Local 853 who are shuttle bus drivers for high-tech companies have ratified a strong agreement including wage increases and a secure retirement.

The 600 drivers work for WeDriveU and Loop/Hallcon, contractors to high-tech companies including Apple, Tesla, Amazon, Twitter, LinkedIn, Salesforce, Electronic Arts, Lam and Facebook.

The agreement includes wage increases of 5 percent the first year, 4 percent in the second and third years, and 5 percent in the final year or the option to open the agreement early for additional improvements. The drivers also received $1,800 in retroactive pay…

Supervisor Ahsha Safai recently organized a hearing at the Board of Supervisors to examine whether the companies were in compliance with the labor harmony provision. The SFMTA asked each company to resubmit their service disruption plans based on a determination that they were inadequate.

The Teamsters Union is part of a growing movement of labor, faith and community-based organizations and workers challenging income inequality in Silicon Valley through an innovative partnership called Silicon Valley Rising. For more information, visit, www.siliconvalleyrising.org.

Teamsters Joint Council 7 represents 100,000 working men and women in 22 local unions in Northern California, the Central Valley and Northern Nevada…(more)

Forum on the Future of Transportation in San Francisco

SAVE MUNI: Forum on the Future of
Transportation in San Francisco

Saturday, September 29, 10 am to Noon
Koret Auditorium, SF Main Library

The Forum will address increasing congestion on San Francisco’s streets and the deterioration of public transit service. The Muni carries roughly the same number of passengers in 2018 as it did a decade ago despite increasing city population and the continuing economic boom. What can be done to make it easier to move around the city?

The Forum features four presentations by transportation experts who will share their ideas for reducing congestion and improving public transit service.

Jonathan Hopkins, Executive Director of Commute Seattle will describe how his city has been the only one in the nation to increase transit ridership since the recession

Jerry Cauthen Transportation consultant, Senior Engineering Manager and Transportation Vice President, Parsons Brinckerhoff, will talk about ways to improve public transit service and ridership in San Francisco.

Mollie Cohen D’Agostino from the Institute for Transportation Studies at the University of California at Davis will share results of her group’s study of the transportation networking companies (Lyft and Uber) in San Francisco and other American cities.

Bob Feinbaum, Chair of Save Muni will describe the role for congestion pricing in San Francisco, aided by a video featuring Jonas Eliasson, head of transportation for Stockholm which adopted congestion pricing more than a decade ago

These presentations will be followed by a moderated discussion of questions from the audience. Come and share your ideas to make San Francisco truly a city where public transit comes first.

Doors open at 9:30 AM. Please come to the Grove Street library entrance and tell Security that you are here for the transportation forum. Coffee and snacks will be available at the small cafe opposite the auditorium.

Sponsored by Save Muni and the Coalition for San Francisco Neighborhoods.
Contact: Bob Feinbaum bobf@att.net

Muni operators tell assault stories, plead for safety

By Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez : sfexaminer – excerpt

They’ve been vomited on, spat on, beaten, sucker punched, shot with fire extinguishers, and threatened with murder.

Now Muni operators have had enough.

The men and women who help ferry more than 700,000 people in San Francisco every day, and night, aboard buses and light rail vehicles have come forward to tell their tales of assault, in the hopes of compelling The City to do more to keep them and the riding public safe. Those operators were gathered by their union, Transport Workers Local 250-A and its president, Roger Marenco… (more)