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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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.

 

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)

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)

SF Muni’s Twin Peaks Tunnel now has automatic control system problems

By : sfchronicle – excerpt

The big $41 million overhaul of San Francisco’s Twin Peaks Tunnel appears to have been hit with the Muni curse… (more)

The most fun thing about covering Muni is coming up with new headlines to describe the latest disaster to befall the challenged agency.

Op-ed: Before Breed Axes Transit Chief, Crucial Changes Needed at City Hall

: streetsblog – excerpt

Sacking Ed Reiskin won’t accomplish anything without a paradigm shift in governance

Last month, Mayor London Breed expressed frustration with Muni’s poor performance in a sternly-worded letter to Ed Reiskin, the city’s transportation director. The move signaled that Reiskin’s tenure might soon end. But if the mayor is going to throw him under the bus, she certainly knows not to count on it arriving on time. Only about half of the city’s buses show up according to schedule, a benchmark that no mayor in recent memory has been able to budge.

The time may have come for a new transit boss, but anyone who heads the San Francisco Municipal Transit Agency (SFMTA) will fail unless firm, decisive changes occur at City Hall.

The first priority: Create a bold vision for Muni. And it must come directly from our new mayor… (more)

 Everyone seems to anticipate that Ed will go and are glad to see the back of him. He appears to have little support from the pubic that is made up of cyclists, drivers, Muni riders and government officials. It will be hard for the Mayor to keep him much longer.