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.

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.

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)

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)

Cabbies Demand Relief From High-Price San Francisco Taxi Medallions

By Wilson Walker : cbslocal – excerpt

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Cab drivers struggling to compete with Lyft and Uber are voicing their growing anger over San Francisco’s taxi medallion program’s cost and restrictions.

“You’re making an issue out of medallions that are totally worthless today,” declared cab driver Emil Lawrence, bordering on a shout…

This is what happens when you give San Francisco cab drivers a chance to sound off on the city’s disastrous taxi medallion program, and it went on for about two hours Wednesday at San Francisco City Hall…

Still looming over this entire discussion, the $28 million lawsuit filed against the city by the San Francisco Federal Credit Union, which now holds some $130 millon in what it calls ‘impaired’ loans associated with the troubled medallions.

The credit union says that lawsuit is moving forward now that a judge has found sufficient grounds for the breech of contract claim. In the mean time, the city is trying to roll out some answers for drivers, and so far, they do not like what they are hearing.

Maggi Yousef closed his comments to the SFMTA representative with one request: “Get me out of this, please.”… (more)

Muni cuts training hours to boost number of train operators, combat driver shortage

By Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez : sfexaminer – excerpt

In its scramble to roll out qualified train operators quickly amid a citywide Muni slowdown caused by an operator shortage, The City’s transportation agency has cut its standards and reduced the training hours for train operators, the San Francisco Examiner has learned.

Additionally, the number of hours certified trainers teach operators has been cut. Instead, operators are partially trained by other, already-trained operators that may not be certified trainers themselves — a practice that has the Muni operators union crying foul.

“If operators themselves don’t feel safe with their own training, how safe is the service being provided?” said Roger Marenco, president of the Transport Workers Union Local 250-A, in an August interview with the Examiner…(more)

Muni can’t seem to win. Maye they should listen to the workers instead of the voices in their head? We understand the biggest problem for the drivers is that they do not feel safe or respected. Why talk to the PUC? Aren’t they the group that is in charge of all the Uber, Lyfts and non-public disruptors? What do the drivers say about their training? Are they satisfied? Or may we ask?

‘Eroding the Confidence’: SF Mayor Breed Blasts Muni Officials For Flawed Service

By Sam Brock : nbcbayarea – excerpt (includes video)

Mayor Breed Balsts Muni Officials

One day after San Francisco Mayor London Breed blasted the Muni director in a letter, accusing him of “eroding the confidence” of riders in the system, the mayor took a ride on Muni and continued her criticism.

Breed said Tuesday you can’t push people to use public transportation and then have the transit not work. From widespread delays in service to the recent death of a construction worker, Breed said she’s fed up, and her concerns are echoing through City Hall… (more)

She not only complained about the Director, she blames the entire department and seems to be threatening the SFMTA Board as well for the lack of confidence in Muni. Hopefully she will appoint a strong new Board member to “shake things up”. Send her your suggestions.

 

Reiskin hangs on to his job, avoids firing —for now

By Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez” : sfexaminer – excerpt

In the first public opportunity for The City’s transportation board to oust or chastise Muni’s embattled head honcho, the board opted instead to show their support.

On Monday Mayor London Breed issued a fiery letter condemning the leadership of Ed Reiskin, the head of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, laying a litany of issues at his feet, including a citywide Muni slowdown stranding thousands of riders, and a failure to properly vet the safety record of Shimmick Construction, a contractor repairing the Twin Peaks Tunnel.

Insiders told the San Francisco Examiner this looked like a precursor to ousting Reiskin. But, importantly, Breed can’t fire him.

Instead, that responsibility rests with the SFMTA Board of Directors, who in a closed-door session conducted Reiskin’s annual job performance evaluation Tuesday.

While the results of the evaluation are confidential, the board voiced its support for him at its public meeting Tuesday…(more)

Muni closes two bus yards on weekends during operator shortage, union cries foul

By Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez : sfexaminer – excerpt

Muni began closing the Kirkland Yard on weekends starting in June, a move that union members allege has exacerbated a shortage of drivers.

The City closed two bus yards this summer amidst a Muni operator shortage, potentially straining already worn-to-the-bone bus drivers.

That’s the allegation of the Transport Workers Union Local 250-A, which represents Muni operators.

And, TWU Local 250-A President Roger Marenco said, that decision likely exacerbated the citywide Muni slowdown… (more)

Complaints are the only way to deal with people who are too “smart” to listen to reason. These people do not know the meaning of customer service and they need to be taught how to deliver it or get out of the public transit business.

Complain to the Mayor and the Supervisors and to Ed Reiskin and John Haley. It is their job to run the buses if they want people to take them. And send your comments to the newspapers. They are all covering the traffic and Muni meltdowns.

RELATED:

Transit woes? Escalator at brand-new Transbay Center already out-of-service

By Michelle Robertson : sfgate – excerpt

If you’re in a public transit station and all the escalators are functioning, you’re probably not in the Bay Area… (more)