SFMTA to increase Muni fares and fines starting next month

SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU and wires) — The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency announced a fare and fine increase on Monday, which will start next month.

On July 1, select cash and Clipper fares, as well as some major fees and fines will increase, SFMTA officials said.
ktvu – excerpt

The discount cash fare for persons with disabilities, youth and seniors will increase from 75 cents to $1.

Adult “A” monthly fast passes for Muni and BART within San Francisco will increase from $80 to $83. Adult “M” monthly fast passes for Muni only will increase from $68 to $70.

Monthly Muni passes for persons with disabilities, youth and seniors will increase from $24 to $25.

The Lifeline monthly pass for low-income residents will increase from $34 to $35.

A single cable car ride ticket will increase from $6 to $7.

Lastly, a school coupon booklet worth 15 Muni tickets will increase from $11.25 to $15, according to agency officials.

In addition, fees, fines and rates that will also see an increase include parking, transit and taxi fines and late penalties, neighborhood parking permits, contractor parking permits. Fines for parking in color curb zones and during temporary street closures, special traffic permits, boot removal, auto towing and storage, special collections, service vehicle rental, parklet installation, parking meter use, sign posting and various taxi permits will also increase, SFMTA officials said… (more)

Seamless Bay Area Transit System Proposed to Attract New Riders

By Michael Cabanatuan : techwire – excerpt

The Bay Area’s tangle of public transportation operators is proving to be an obstacle to getting more people to take or try transit, concludes a study to be released Tuesday.

While BART, Caltrain and Muni are bursting at the seams as the region and the economy grow, just 3 percent of Bay Area commuters take transit, and the fragmented nature of the transit system is partially to blame, the report says.

The report, from the regional urban think tank SPUR, calls for creation of an integrated transit system that makes it easier for existing and potential riders to navigate the Bay Area’s labyrinth of transit systems as if they were one.

Titled “Seamless Transit,” it is scheduled to be released in conjunction with a Commonwealth Club transportation summit attended by experts from major metropolitan areas Tuesday… (more)

Informative SFMTA Board Meeting

Tuesday, February 3, 2015, 9am
Hall of Flowers, 1199 9th Ave. (at Lincoln Way in Golden Gate Park)
The next SFMTA Board Meeting will be an informative overview of SF transit, goals and projects.  Feel free to attend or watch on SFGOVTV.  You may want to speak – to support accelerating Transit-Priority Street projects, stopping low benefit-to-cost projects like the Central Subway etc.

BOARD WORKSHOP PRESENTATION:  Includes good data and project descriptions:  SFMTA Strategic Plan, transportation trends, modal share goals, Vision Two:  Transit-First, Vision Three:  Central Corridor Projects & Planning Initiatives…..

It’s interesting to note that SF’s transit modal share has remained stagnant at 24% for decades.  Despite billions of dollars of expenditures, SF hasn’t significantly moved towards the 60% transit modal shares of Zurich, Bogota and Curitab (or the 52% pedestrian modal share of Paris).  A major blame is the Central Subway, which has drained $605 million of local/ state matching funds from Muni (and $983 million of federal funds that could have gone to effective projects).
Like Zurich, San Francisco has the choice of fast-tracking Transit-Priority Projects to strive for the goal of 60% transit modal share—because we have seen that it is possible.

– Regards, Howard

Muni Forward Open Houses

by Rachel Hyden

This year we resolve to make your commute easier. From pedestrian safety improvements that make it safer to walk to transit priority projects that improve Muni reliability, Muni Forward is all about making it easier and safer to get around town.
To kick off 2015, we’re hosting two open houses to share our proposed improvements for the 22 Fillmore and 30 Stockton. Join us to learn more, engage with SFMTA staff, ask questions and share your thoughts!
Your feedback is important as we work together to improve Muni.
Muni Forward January Open Houses
6 – 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 14
Marshall Elementary School
1575 15th Street, San Francisco
Can’t make it? Take our project survey!
6 – 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 28
North Beach Library
850 Columbus Avenue, San Francisco
Can’t make it? Take our project survey!
These open houses may be the first of 2015, but we’ve got plenty more in store this year. Stay in-the-know about all things Muni Forward by signing up to receive email updates, or follow us on Twitter @MuniForward.
Comment often.

San Francisco’s Mayor Lee Sheds Light On Financing Muni’s Light Rail Expansion

Margie Shafer : cbslocal – excerpt

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee may have already announced a major expansion of Muni’s light-rail fleet, but at a news conference he said options to finance the multi-million dollar project are still being considered.

Lee made an announcement Tuesday morning at the Muni Metro East Maintenance Facility at 601 25th Street at Illinois, where the aging fleet of cars is maintained…

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) will seek up to $153 million in California cap and trade funds and the $57 million balance from the MTA. If that doesn’t work, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) is expected to guarantee funds to fill in the gap… (more)

Large Sinkhole On Fourth Street, Caused By Central Subway Construction, May Take Weeks To Fix

: sfist – excerpt

A pretty significant sinkhole that appeared at Fourth and Jessie Streets over the weekend, which the SFMTA is euphemistically referring to as a “void in the street,” may take two weeks or more to fix, and definitely freaked out the employees and owner of Cole Hardware, which sits right next to the “void.”

As Cole Hardware owner Paul Shindler told KTVU, “It wasn’t so bad, until they sent an officer in here telling us to shut our front door. So that was nerve-wracking!”

Bay City News reports that the SFMTA is investigating the cause of the sinkhole, which happened right above the path of the Central Subway tunnel, and that they will be inspecting the complete route of the new subway to make sure this doesn’t happen again. Also, apparently, the sinkhole impacted a water main but did not impact any surrounding buildings. Crews have filled in some concrete underneath to stabilize the street, and currently two lanes of Fourth Street are open.

As of today it’s undetermined how long long repairs will take… (more)

This Stretch Of Stockton Street Will Be Closed For The Next Five Years
Roadway Above Central Subway Gives Way in SoMa


Development interests have been working for 3 years to push the Central Subway northward. The $173,000 study below, completed in October, prompts ideas for better transit projects.

SPEAKERS: A few speakers at the below MTA Board Hearing would be good. Some points:

· With $173,000 spent for the Phase 3 Study, a $100,000 Study should evaluate quicker and inexpensive transit improvements—like free shuttle bus loops.

· Free shuttle loops are the hottest transit trend in the United States, with big new ridership increases—like in Baltimore, Dallas, Raleigh, Denver, Minneapolis, Bethesda, Aspen, Long Beach, Oakland, Emeryville, Walnut Creek, Palo Alto, South San Francisco…..

· The Central Subway takes large sums of money from the rest of Muni—with small new ridership and service cuts in other neighborhoods.

· Instead of service cuts, we need to prioritize dollars to modernize the entire Muni system. For example, the 15 existing Muni lines in northeast San Francisco can be improved.

· Instead of 20% transit modal shares, Muni should strive for the 60% transit modal shares of Zurich and other cities, which have implemented transit preferential streets and bus rapid networks.

· Bus rapid networks are more democratic, without a subway’s impacts on land values and gentrification.

SFMTA BOARD AGENDA: Tuesday, December 2, 1pm (Item 15, after 2pm)

http://www.sfmta.com/calendar/meetings/board-directors-meeting-december-2-2014 The Phase 3 Study is Item 15—the fifth item on the Regular Calendar.
The Board Hearing is worth watching on TV (Channels 26 or 78) or attending. Items include purchase of new low-floor buses, SFMTA Annual Report, All-Door Boarding and SFMTA Audit.

PRESENTATION: T-Line, Phase 3 Concept Study, December 2, 2014

STUDY: T-Third, Phase 3 Concept Study, October 2014

TRANSPORT POLITIC: “Cities Develop Alternative Bus Networks to Combat Perceived Disadvantages of Mainline Routes.” [See list of cities with circulator routes].

“Baltimore’s new transit network, which supplements the city’s metro rail, light rail, commuter rail, and bus routes, is the most recent example of a trend that has taken American cities by storm: The creation of auxiliary routes for the inner-city that are designed for frequent, high-quality service with the goal of attracting onto buses people who aren’t used to public transportation.”

– Howard Wong, AIA

SaveMuni = FRISC

Fast, Frequent, Reliable, Inexpensive, Safe, Clean and “Cool”.  SaveMuni is dedicated to improving the entire Muni transit system in every neighborhood of San Francisco – quickly and inexpensively – emphasizing best transportation practices in the world, transit-preferential streets, bus rapid networks and high benefit-to-cost infrastructure projects.

SFMTA officials changed legislation. Claimed they were “simplifying and clarifying”

Support the November Ballot initiative: Restore Transportation Balance in San Francisco.  It is important to get the facts out about Props A, B, and L. Props A and B will will give the SFMTA license to spend over $500 million dollars as it pleases, and Prop L seeks to Restore Transportation Balance. We contend that SFMTA is out of control and needs to be stopped.

This video explains how unelected SFMTA officials changed street parking legislation while claiming they were “simplifying and clarifying” the language. It is important to understand this process because other unelected government bodies are attempting to do the same thing. We feel the best way to stop these practices is for our elected supervisors to hold public hearings to investigate them. If you agree with us, please sign the petition to Restore Parking Oversight of SFMTA.

Even after appeals from 20+ neighborhood and business associations and the agency’s Citizen Advisory Committee to rescind the policies, the SFMTA Board has taken no action. The Board of Supervisors must step in to provide oversight and accountability.

LOW VOTER TURNOUT: A Few Enlightened Votes Will Win.

SaveMuni = FRISC
Fast, Frequent, Reliable, Inexpensive, Safe, Clean and “Cool”.

SaveMuni is dedicated to improving the entire Muni transit system in every neighborhood of San Francisco – quickly and inexpensively – emphasizing best transportation practices in the world, transit-preferential streets, bus rapid transit and high benefit-to-cost infrastructure projects.

Voter turnout will be low – 56% or less (242,000 total votes). With many complex ballot measures, absentee ballots have been slow. On Election Day, over 140,000 votes will be cast.

Securing every vote is key. Help secure a few “No on Prop A” votes—to offset the City’s $1.2 million campaign.

PROPOSITION A: A DATA ANALYSIS CHANGING PROJECT DESCRIPTIONS The Bond Pitch was initially for transit improvements—then pedestrian safety projects or perhaps road/ street work.Legal Ordinance has no binding language for any specific work. SFMTA can spend the money for anything, including cost overruns of existing capital projects.PropAPieChartChronicle’s Matier & Ross Report made a best-case analysis of dollar allocations, showing little funding for Muni—despite incurring $1 billion in total debt load.

Ultimate Result: No appreciable improvement in Muni performance or ridership numbers. Actually, Muni would be worse off—with more cuts in neighborhood bus service and bus stops.

Vote No on Prop A!


Don’t have faith in Prop. A funding direction

B : sfexaminer – excerpt

Randy Shaw, in a Sept. 11 op-ed piece in The San Francisco Examiner, lauds Proposition A, the $500 million Transportation and Road Improvement Bond that funds desperately needed public-transit infrastructure improvement. Shaw says while voters know how Prop. A funds will be spent, that is not the case with Proposition B.

I beg to differ. Shaw reveals the hidden agenda of Prop. B’s surreptitious $22 million transfer of funds from needed services, police, parks, street cleaning, homeless programs and mental health service, while the language of Prop. A reveals less of its hidden agenda. Prop. A will cost more ($500 million plus $350 million in interest) in the long run than Prop. B.

Prop. A should be called the faith-based proposition because it does not specifically say how the funds are to be spent or what part of the funds will be allocated to the number of specific measures outlined in the bond. For instance, instead of using the more legally binding language of shall or will, the bond language is riddled with maybes. Ironically, the only time the words shall is used is in Section 10, page 8 when it comes time to pay off the bond. Part of the language: “For the purpose of paying the principal and interest on the bonds, the Board shall, at the time of fixing the general levy … collect annually each year until such bonds are paid.”

Examples of past propositions indicate how important the word shall is. These are state propositions 116 (1990 $2 billion state rail bond), 1B (2006 $20 billion state transportation bond) and 1A (2008 the state high-speed rail bond), as well as San Francisco Prop. B (2011 road and street maintenance bond). All of these bond measure not only used the term “shall be allocated,” but also made specific fund or parentage allocations to well-defined projects or programs.

As Shaw says in relation to Prop. B, “Why should voters approve a ballot initiative that raids other city department to give [the] SFMTA more money?” Ditto for Prop. A. Why should homeowners and their tenants pay over a 30-year period for a vaguely worded measure where the money might be spent for other projects other than the listed ones in the proposition (the overbudget cost for the Central Subway could be one).

Denise D’Anne is an environmentalist and political activist on the board of San Francisco Tomorrow and San Francisco Gray Panthers as well as the president of the Dance Mission board... (more)