Mayor names trans woman to SFMTA board

by Cynthia Laird :ebar – excerpt

ayor London Breed on Thursday appointed Jane Natoli to a seat on the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency board of directors, making her the first out trans person to serve in that capacity.

Natoli, 39, had run for a seat on the San Francisco Democratic County Central Committee in March but came up short in that effort.

SFMTA is a city department that’s responsible for all ground transportation. It has oversight of Muni, as well as bicycling, paratransit, parking, traffic, walking, and taxis. It is led by Jeffrey Tumlin, a gay man hired by Breed in November.

In a statement to the Bay Area Reporter, the mayor said Natoli would be an effective director… (more)

“Natoli is a financial crimes analyst at tech company Stripe, and previously was a financial crimes consultant at Wells Fargo bank. She also ran an unsuccessful campaign this March to join the San Francisco Democratic Party board, garnering 14,894 votes in the state’s 19th Assembly District, which encompasses roughly half of San Francisco.” – Joe Fittzgerald Rodriguez : sfexaminer



COVID-19 Developments & Response

By SFMTA online: https://www.sfmta.com/projects/covid-19-developments-response

COVID-19 Developments & Response
We are closely monitoring what is happening with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Please continue to check this page for the latest updates…

Muni Service: Please do not ride Muni if you are feeling ill, except as necessary to seek medical care after consulting with your medical provider. We’re also asking customers to only take Muni for essential trips that can’t be made by walking, biking or other modes of transportation.

Backdoor boarding is now required on all vehicles, except for passengers in wheelchairs or with other accessibility needs. If you need assistance, please request to board from the front door and an operator will help you access the ramp or the kneeler.

Muni bus service is currently running a reduced schedule:
Get details on which Muni routes are currently affected

Due to changing ridership, and in order to prioritize resources during the shelter-in-place order, the following additional service changes will be implemented:

Current Muni Service Modifications

Monday, April 6

  • Customers should prepare for delays across the Muni system both Monday and Tuesday. We expect to be below necessary staffing levels to provide adequate service. This gap will cause missed runs and delays that may not be accurately reflected in digital predictions. Please do not make trips unless they are essential. If you need to make an essential trip, plan to use other options or allow extra time when riding Muni.

Beginning Tuesday, April 7

  • Service will be temporarily discontinued on seven routes that are experiencing low ridership or have nearby lines that provide similar service and connections.
  • Routes to be discontinued include: 2 Clement, 3 Jackson, 5 Fulton, 7 Haight, 10 Townsend, 21 Hayes and 31 Balboa.

Beginning Wednesday, April 8

  • Service will be further reduced; remaining service will focus on our 17 most-used lines. This core network will provide service within one mile of all San Franciscans. This approach allows Muni to continue to serve San Francisco’s medical facilities and focuses on equity to ensure service for our customers most reliant on transit. The frequency of buses will vary by line so that lines experiencing some crowding will have more frequent service than others.
  • The 17 core routes that will remain in service, with some modifications include: N Judah Bus, L Taraval Bus, T Third Bus, 1 California, 8 Bayshore, 9 San Bruno, 14 Mission, 14R Mission Rapid, 19 Polk, 22 Fillmore, 24 Divisadero, 25 Treasure Island, 29 Sunset, 38 Geary, 38R Geary Rapid, 44 O’Shaughnessy, 49 Van Ness/Mission
  • More information on these service changes is on our blog

Map of service starting Wednesday, April 8

Paratransit

Paratransit service continues to operate as normal so that customers can travel for essential needs as defined by the Public Health Order. We ask riders to cancel any non-essential trips. If you are a paratransit customer and you need to cancel a previously scheduled SF Access trip, please call 415.285.6945 as soon as possible.

Effective Wednesday, March 18, the SF Paratransit Office will operate with limited capacity during regular business hours (Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 4:45 p.m.). Teller window hours are subject to change.

During this time, reduced staffing will be available to accept cash payments for monthly taxi debit card allotments only.

Parking Enforcement

Effective on Tuesday, March 17 for the duration of the shelter-in-place order, the SFMTA will not ticket for mechanical street cleaning. Street cleaning tickets issued on March 17 will be waived. However, it is crucial that we still clean our streets to prevent trash buildup and local flooding. Please still move your car for street cleaning if you can.

Enforcement will also be temporarily suspended for the following:

  • 72-hour parking limit and towing
  • All time limit parking (e.g., 1-hour, 2-hour, etc.)
  • Residential Permit Parking (RPP) permits
  • Commuter shuttles
  • Peak-hour towaway zones
  • Street cleaning

The SFMTA will prioritize enforcing parking rules that impact health and safety:

  • Fire hydrant zones
  • Red and yellow zones; and “No Stopping” or “No Parking” zones
  • White passenger loading zones, except in front of schools while they are out of session
  • Blocked driveways, double parking and parking on sidewalks
  • Parking in bike or transit lanes

Parking Meters: Given the significant shifts in parking demand, the city is implementing a temporary rate change for all parking meters citywide beginning on March 18 through the period of the Public Health Order. Time limits are also being waived on meters citywide, and is expected to be fully implemented by March 29.

By Tuesday, March 24, all meters will be reduced to their base rates through April 7:

  • $0.50/hour for vehicle parking
  • $0.10/hour for motorcycle parking

We are maintaining a minimal fee to ensure there continues to be turnover around essential services, such as grocery stores, medical facilities and banks.

Parking Garages

To minimize risk to the public and our garage staff, the SFMTA has closed some city-owned parking garages and limited others to monthly pass-holders only. We are prioritizing maintaining access to garages that are near essential services like medical facilities or markets.

The following garages will be closed to the public until further notice:

  • Golden Gateway Garage (call 415-956-8003 for assistance)
  • Ellis-O’Farrell Garage (call 415-765-9069 for assistance)
  • Moscone Center Garage (call 415-765-9069 for assistance)

These garages will be open only to monthly pass holders:

  • Japan Center Annex Garage (call 415-956-8003 for assistance)
  • Performing Arts Garage (call 415-956-8003 for assistance)
  • Kezar Lot (call 415-956-8003 for assistance)
  • 16th and Hoff Garage (call 415-956-8003 for assistance)
  • Lombard Garage (call 415-956-8003 for assistance)
  • 7th and Harrison Lot (call 415-956-8003 for assistance)
  • Polk-Bush Garage – monthy pass holders with 24/7 access only (call 415-956-8003 for assistance)

The following garages are currently open to the public:

  • Zuckerberg General Hospital Garage
  • St. Mary’s Square Garage
  • 5th and Mission Garage
  • Sutter and Stockton Garage
  • Union Square Garage
  • Civic Center Garage
  • North Beach Garage
  • Vallejo Street Garage
  • Pierce Garage
  • Portsmouth Square Garage
  • Japan Center Garage
  • Mission-Bartlett Garage

Taxis and Ramp Taxis

Taxi services continue to operate as an essential service. ​Individual taxi companies are following best practices to minimize the risks of transmission. To request a taxi you can continue to hail them in the street or at the nearest taxi stand. You can also search the taxi directory or the wheelchair accessible ramp taxi directory for links to apps and contact information. During this time, the Emergency Ride Home program provided by official taxis will continue for individuals who work in San Francisco and are fulfilling essential job functions.

Taxi Drivers: Please note the Taxi Services Window is closed until further notice. Please see our website for more information or call 415.701.4400

Bikeshare and Scooter Share

We are deferring to operator discretion as to whether they continue to operate, and ​sharing best practices with them to minimize the risk of transmission of the virus. Please visit the websites and apps of the individual companies for more information on availability during the COVID-19 shelter-in-place.

Fines and Fees

Until further notice the SFMTA will take the following the actions:

  • Suspend new late penalties on citations
  • Extend deadlines for submitting citation protests
  • Extend citation/boot/tow hearings deadlines – you may request 48-hour tow hearing at hearingsgeneral@sfmta.com or call 415.503.8453
  • Extend deadlines for active community service programs
  • Extend deadlines for completing active payment plans
  • No longer forward additional delinquent citations to the Department of Motor Vehicles or Special Collections

Fares

No Lifeline passes will be sold for the months of April and May. Lifeline IDs, regardless of the monthly sticker displayed, are valid as proof of payment.

Customer Service Center

Effective Thursday, March 19, 2020, the Customer Service Center at 11 South Van Ness Avenue will be temporarily closed.

Get info on how to access SFMTA services(more)

Mobility report shows bike trips on the decline in SF

By Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez : sfexaminer – excerpt

San Franciscans may be spurning two-wheeled trips.

Nearly 20,000 fewer daily bicycle trips were taken in 2017 compared to 2016, data revealed Monday by The City’s newest “Mobility Trends” report shows.

The dwindling bike numbers look even worse when compared to The City’s record-setting year for bike trips, 2015, which reached a height of 126,000 average bicycle trips per day.

By 2016 those average daily trips dropped to 115,000, then down to 95,000 by 2017…

While solo bike trips in The City continue to fall, more people are hopping into cars and causing record-level traffic congestion, according to the mobility report. Muni ridership remains relatively stable…(more)

Valencia bike shop claims their business in on decline. We suggest a talk with the merchants on Valencia and other bike-friendly streets to see which industries are thriving and which are wilting under the combined weight of bike lanes and TNCs.

 

 

Self-Driving Vehicles Are Going to Make Traffic Even More Miserable, Says New Study

By Taylor Donovan Barnett : interestingengineering – excerpt

Whether you like it or not, self-driving cars will be hitting the road in full-force in the coming years. Thanks to new technology developed by companies like Tesla and even Uber, autonomous vehicles will become a staple of modern culture, with nearly 10 million self-driving cars expected to hit the road by 2020.

Yet, not all is well across the autonomous landscape. Like any new technology, there have literally been speed bumps in the world of self-driving cars. From accidents to malfunctioning AI, self-driving vehicles are still very much in their infancy.

However, new research in the world of autonomous vehicles has uncovered another potential issue down the line, parking. Anyone living in a metropolitan area will tell you that parking is always a long-winded adventure. According to a new study, autonomous vehicles could create a problematic parking issue…

The Autonomous Vehicle Parking Problem

Professor Millard breaks down his concerns further in his published paper, “The Autonomous Vehicle problem.” In his paper, he estimates that just the presence of the relatively small amount of 2,000 self-driving vehicles in the San Francisco area will slow traffic to less than 2 miles per hour(more)

Want to work on a job that is threatened by this new tech future plan? Do not want to live in the slow lane? Maybe take this up with your state public utility regulation agency, your state reps and your local government officials now. Insist on a pubic conversation about this new technology.

San Francisco transportation commission taps McMillan as new leader

progressiverailroading – excerpt

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) has named former Federal Transit Administration (FTA) official Therese McMillan executive director. She will succeed Steve Heminger, who is retiring next month after serving as executive director since January 2001.

MTC is the transportation planning, financing and coordinating agency for the nine-county San Francisco Bay area. McMillan — who also will serve as the top executive for the Association of Bay Area Governments — currently is the chief planning officer for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro).

“McMillan is no stranger to the bay area or to MTC, having worked for 25 years as a member of the commission staff, and for more than eight years as MTC’s deputy executive director for policy,” commission officials said in a press release… (more)

MTC, ABAG Name Therese W. McMillan New Executive Director

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 23, 2019 /PRNewswire/

Obama Administration Veteran Returns from L.A. to Replace Steve Heminger

…The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) today named Therese Watkins McMillan as its new Executive Director.  This position also serves as the top executive for the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG).  McMillan, who currently serves as the Chief Planning Officer for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, will replace Steve Heminger, who is retiring next month after serving as MTC’s Executive Director since January 2001 and as ABAG’s Executive Director since July 2017

McMillan is no stranger to the Bay Area or to MTC, having worked for 25 years a member of the Commission staff, and for more than eight years as MTC’s Deputy Executive Director for Policy before her 2009 appointment by then-President Barack Obama to serve as Deputy Administrator of the Federal Transit Administration in the U.S. Department of Transportation. McMillan subsequently served as Acting FTA Administrator from March 2014 to March 2016 before taking the position as LA Metro’s Planning Chief in April 2016. During the final five years of her original MTC tenure, McMillan also was an instructor of transportation funding and finance in the Transportation Management Graduate program at San Jose State University’s Mineta Transportation Institute… (more)

SFMTA needs new leaders, says LGBT Dem club

by Matthew S. Bajko : ebar – excerpt

Leaders of the Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club are calling on San Francisco Mayor London Breed to replace longtime board members overseeing the city’s transit agency.

In a January 6 letter the club sent to Breed, Alice co-chairs Gina Simi and Eric Lukoff wrote that “now is the time for new leadership on the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) Board of Directors.”

They called on those members serving for four years or longer to “step down to make room for new leadership and members who frequent Muni — and are therefore familiar with the system and would have more of a stake in the agency’s success.”

They applauded Breed for sending SFMTA Director Ed Reiskin a letter in July, shortly after taking over Room 200 at City Hall, expressing grave concerns with how the agency was being run. But they noted there has been “little follow up” since… (more)

Send your comments to the source and write the mayor and your supervisors to suggest the changes you would like to see on the SFMTA Board and let them know how you feel about Ed Reisikin. Contacts are changing with the new Board. Watch this page for updates: https://sfbos.org

BART Warns Commuters About 3-Year Cuts To Early Morning Service

By Holly Quan : kcbsradio – excerpt (in cludes audio)

OAKLAND — Early morning commuters are getting an early warning from BART that starting in February the first trains won’t start rolling until 5 a.m., an hour later than now.

The schedule change will affect commuters for the next three and a half years as the transit agency conducts seismic retrofitting of the Transbay Tube.

Roughly 3,000 riders regularly use BART during the hour of service that’s poised to be eliminated… (more)

One of the best reasons to not vote for any more transit bonds is to avoid these cutbacks. The more money they get the worse the service is.

Career Briefs: Sonali Bose, San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’

By

 

• Sonali Bose, San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s director of finance and information technology, has retired. During her tenure, she raised the SFMTA’s credit rating to be the highest of any transit agency in the country. She oversaw a new parking program that adjusts rates at meters and garages to match demand. She helped fund the biggest increase in Muni bus and rail service that San Francisco has ever seen and increased the revenue from the agency’s advertising contracts from $400,000 to $30 million. Bose helped beef up Muni service by 10 percent, replaced the buses and light-rail vehicles, boosted the workforce from 4,000 to 6,000 employees and doubled the budget… (more)

Amazon Is Coming. Can New York’s Transit System Handle It?

By Emma G. Fitzsimmons : nytimes – excerpt

When Andy Byford, the New York City subway leader, met with Amazon executives during the summer, Mr. Byford boasted that Long Island City in Queens was a transit wonderland ready to serve their army of workers.

The reality is far less rosy…(more)