San Francisco Bay Ferry To Cut Fares Up To 20 Percent

By John : sfnews – excerpt

SAN FRANCISCO—The San Francisco Bay Ferry is considering lowering their prices and adding new routes to its services as a way to develop business. The change is being considered for at least a year with new off-peak trips being added. Fare reductions range from 7 percent to 20 percent off of current fares. 

On Sunday, March 7, the Ferry’s Executive Director, Seamus Murphy, told the San Francisco Chronicle, “We don’t want to sit back and hope and wait for riders to return.”...(more)

Ever wonder who runs San Francisco Bay Ferry service. We did, so we looked it up. We also wondered what the current rates are so we could figure out how the 7-20% cuts might look. It looks like that depends. If they cut the rates, you may want to look into it.

https://weta.sanfranciscobayferry.com/
WETA flag closeup

The San Francisco Bay Area Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA) is a regional public transit agency tasked with operating and expanding ferry service on the San Francisco Bay and with coordinating the water transit response to regional emergencies. Under the San Francisco Bay Ferry brand, WETA carries over three million passengers annually utilizing a fleet of 15 high speed passenger-only ferry vessels. San Francisco Bay Ferry currently serves the cities of Alameda, Oakland, Richmond, San Francisco, South San Francisco and Vallejo.

Life without Muni presents hardships for seniors and disabled residents

By Carly Graf : sfexaminer – excerpt

…San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency cut the 31-Balboa in April, along with Muni rail and all but 17 bus routes, in order to manage its budget crisis and balance limited operator availability with declining ridership demand.

The resulting Core Service Plan concentrated limited resources on transit-dependent residents while prioritizing access to life-giving and life-saving destinations like food and hospitals for The City’s neediest, including older adults and the disabled, according to spokesperson Erica Kato…(more)

Here is an idea, instead of pushing a sales tax to keep the Caltrain afloat, the city could cut their spending on non-Muni projects and concentrate on designing a Muni system that works for he people who need it. Let the train, bike lanes and traffic control go for a while and take care of the Muni.

The Bay Area’s Transit Dilemma: Too Many Agencies, Not Enough Riders

By Laura Bliss, Citylab : Bloomberg – excerpt

With budget gaps fraying a large and fragmented public transportation system, transit voices in San Francisco and Oakland push for a single regional operator.

As public transit agencies across the U.S. grapple with budget holes, safety concerns, and ongoing economic uncertainty, a number of policymakers, advocates and officials in the San Francisco Bay Area are calling for the region’s numerous and disjointed systems to join together for better interoperability. Bus and rail operators must coordinate pandemic response plans and reduce barriers to access, or riders will suffer, they say… (more)

 

Golden Gate Bridge District Receives $30.2M Grant from CARES Act

By Bay City News : nbcbayarea – excerpt

The funding will support the district’s transit and ferry services during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act included a $30.2 million grant for the Golden Gate Bridge, Transportation District, the U.S. Department of Transportation said Friday.

The funding will support the district’s transit and ferry services during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. The grant is part of roughly $25 billion in CARES Act grants allocated to public transit agencies across the country.

“This historic $25 billion in grant funding will ensure our nation’s public transportation systems can continue to provide services to the millions of Americans who continue to depend on them,” Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said…(more)

30 million dollars to support a few months work of ferry service that is running limited service? “Until further notice, Golden Gate Ferry will operate reduced weekday services and NO weekend services.” There is not much traffic on the bridge these days. How much does it cost to operate this service each month?

SFMTA Essential Trip Card

sfmta

The SFMTA COVID-19 page has the latest service and citation information.

Muni is making necessary service reductions during the order to shelter-in-place. We know that for many people with disabilities and seniors, walking farther to an alternate bus — or paying for other transportation — isn’t possible. To serve this need, the SFMTA is announcing the Essential Trip Card (ETC) – a discount program to help seniors and people with disabilities make essential trips in taxis during this crisis.

The ETC will subsidize about two to three round trips by taxi per month for older adults (persons 65 and older) and people with disabilities. Eligible participants will pay 20% of the cost of a regular cab ride fare for essential trips.  The program uses taxis to take people on essential trips like going to the grocery store, pharmacy or another necessary medical trip during the shelter-in-place period. Customers who pay $12 will receive $60 value for taxi trips on a debit card.

We ask riders to do their part by wearing a face covering as required, except when allowed by the April 17th Health Order, making only essential trips, washing their hands thoroughly or using hand sanitizer before and after taxi trips, coughing or sneezing into a tissue or elbow and not touching their faces. We also encourage riders to clean their debit card, child seat, or any items that the driver or anyone else may help to carry or load with a sanitizing cleaner, before and after your trip… (more)

 

Trouble-plagued Transbay Center votes to extend, augment contract for longtime program manager

By : misisonlocal – exxcerpt

The $2.2 billion Transbay Transit Center has long been envisioned as the Grand Central Station of the west — but is presently referred to derisively as San Francisco’s billion-dollar bus stop after structural problems shut it down shortly after its 2018 opening. This morning, its board voted to extend and increase the contract for its longtime program manager, URS Corporation.

By a 6-1 vote of the Transbay Joint Power Authority Board of Directors, with only Matt Haney dissenting, the board picked up an option to extend URS’ present agreement through June of 2024, and to increase its budget by $14.6 million to a max of $50.6 million.

“They’ve been working on this project for a while, and some things have not gone well,” Haney noted prior to the vote… (more)

That is an understatement. The SF Board of Supervisors is sticking to a plan to do something about the failed transit system that is misspending tax-payer dollars and the Trans Bay Terminal is a poster child for that. No surprise that the district supervisor would not support a business as usual model in his district.

Supes send message to transit agency board by ousting director

By Jerrold Chinn : sfbayca – excerpt

Supervisors say they are sending a message to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s Board of Directors by ousting Director Cristina Rubke.

The board voted 6-5 Tuesday against Rubke’s reappointment — Supervisors Hillary Ronen, Sandra Fewer, Matt Haney, Dean Preston, Shamann Walton and Aaron Peskin voted in dissent…

Peskin, who plans to introduce a charter amendment next week that would restrict the SFMTA board authority, said:

“The only check and balance that we have really comes through the nomination and confirmation process and I think that sending a message not only to the MTA commission… but to other commissions, that when the duly elected Board of Supervisors comes up with a policy urgence, that policy urgence really must be heeded.”…(more)

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)

FASTER Announcement Re: 2020

via email

Greetings BATWG friends,

I hope you are all healthy and safe.

I wanted you to know about a change in the timeline for FASTER Bay Area. As you know June 24 was already an incredibly tight deadline for state legislation, especially as FASTER is proposing a wide variety of transformative policy changes. With COVID-19 that timeline is no longer feasible. FASTER will continue to work towards passing legislation to authorize a Bay Area ballot initiative but we will no longer be proposing that it be eligible for the November 2020 ballot.  Please see the attached FASTER statement for more details.

FASTER has developed a framework and a proposal for a regional transit network plan that we believe can be truly transformative and will form the foundation for our work moving forward. . We are releasing these in the attached documents   Feel free to let me know if you have any questions.

Best wishes to you, your families and your communities as this crisis unfolds.

Stay safe and know that we need to continue to watch this program.