Archive for the ‘transit’ Category

Freeway Bus Stop, 94132

Friday, September 12th, 2014

Your reward for staring at eight lanes of freeway is the occasional bus to take you away – seems fair enough

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To me, this looks like a rural bus stop, something out of a scene out of North by Northwest, except it’s on a divided highway, a freeway with four lanes in each direction…

The SFMTA’s New MUNI Blog Urges You to Raise Your Rent by Voting YES on the Half Billion Dollar Prop A, More or Less

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

Why did the people at the SFMTA just happen to start up a PR blog three months before an election that it really, really care$ about, you know, so it can continue to pay its employees their six-figure salaries? Mmmm…

Their latest effort:

“Going Green – SF’s Taxis Can Help You Go Green by Gary Fiset, September 8, 2014″

Isn’t this a headline at least a touch patronizing? I think so. “Oh MUNI, help me go green! Empower us!”

Our occasional “Going Green” feature will focus on the sustainability efforts at the SFMTA. We’ll share fun facts and figures about one of the most sustainable transportation systems, including Muni and the city’s taxi fleet, in the U.S.

Boy, that prose gags, doesn’t it? I think what dude is saying is, “Vote YES on Prop A. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE!”

SF taxis come in all shapes, sizes and colors, but the vast majority of the fleet is definitely green.

Again, that prose gags, doesn’t it? But I think what dude is really saying is, “Vote YES on Prop A. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE!”

In the 90s taxis were mostly lumbering Crown Victoria sedans that got 10 miles per gallon. Today’s hybrid taxis get better than 40 miles per gallon, reducing the GHG emissions by 75 percent.

Well, let me call bullshit on that one, Gentle Reader. I’m showing a City MPG of 19 Miles Per Gallon for the oldest of the Crown Vics that the SFMTA is talking about. In fact, those lumbering Crown Vics weighed less than lithe, smallish, current-day BMWs, like an athletic 2.0 litre 5 Series, for example. So, if you throw in an airport run or two during an average shift, then you’re well over 20 MPG. Oh, what’s that, in real life, with the hills and all the passengers and luggage, 1990′s era CVs got less than 20 MPG? All right, well, then that means that, IRL, today’s hybrid taxis aren’t averaging “better than 40 MPG” in San Francisco taxi service, right? I mean I see the point you’re making, SFMTA, but you’re lying about mpg and you know it.

Converting SF’s taxi fleet to hybrid and CNG has resulted in removing more than 60 thousand tons of GHG emission savings, the equivalent of taking 6,890 passenger cars off the road every year.

Again, that prose gags, doesn’t it? And please note how the SFMTA spins the putting of GHG’s into the atmosphere as “removing” GHG’s – those are kind of opposite things, right?

So it’s looking like the SFMTA, San Francisco’s worst public agency and the operator of America’s slowest big-city public transit system, is giving itself an A+ on how it has managed taxis in SF.

I cry foul.

And, oh yes, I’ve learned a bit more about the rent increase, the”passthrough” you’ll be voting for yourself this November if you vote YES, as the SFMTA really wants you to do, on that huge Prop A bond. It’ll be turbo simple for your landlord to raise your rent to pay for Prop A. Other landlords will laugh at your landlord for NOT increasing your rent. So, even if you’ve never had to deal with rent passthroughs before, you’ll get one from Prop A.

So what you say, what’s a few bucks a month in increased rent over the next seven years to pay for a better MUNI? Well fine, Gentle Reader, as long as you know it won’t be just a “few” bucks, then vote AYE, and so long as you know what you’re getting us into. But IMO, the road to a better MUNI starts with a NO vote on Prop A.

And a YES vote tells the SFMTA to carry on, business as usual, you all are doing a great job, gee thanks for all the “EXCELLENT TRANSPORTATION CHOICES” [that's an actual SFMTA corporate catchphrase, I'm srsly.], here, have some more money, build us another Subway to Nowhere why not…

Look Who’s Blogging Now: The SFMTA! – Presenting the Brand-New MUNI Blog, “[Slowly] Moving SF [If We Feel Like It]“

Friday, September 5th, 2014

The SFMTA knows it has an image problem, so when it spends our money to make itself look better it needs to acknowledge reality. So what it does is to say, “We’re working on it, we’re trying to get better.” See for yourself here at the new official MUNI Blog.

Compare it with PG&E’s current “We’re sorry we blew up part of San Bruno and killed eight people” campaign or Buick’s “We know we have a horrible brand image that’s been built up over the decades, but please give us another chance” campaign

So here it is, the Moving SF Slowly blog. What do we see here? We see a logo that was released with recklessness. And we see “excellent transportation choices?” What does that mean? Is it aspirational? Does the SFMTA really consider itself “excellent?” I mean, just random chance would have the transit system that you, the Gentle Reader, have be average, on average, or mediocre, right? But MUNI sucks, right? MUNI is the worst big-city transit system in America, right? So where does the “excellent” part come from? I mean, you’re living out there at 42nd and Lawton and what are your “excellent” “choices?” And “The SFMTA is responsible?” Do you think that phrase is in there by mistake? I don’t. IMO, it’s more phoney-baloney, folksy PR bullshit from an official SFMTA spokesmodel. And do the people at MUNI work “tirelessly?” Well, it depends. If you’re talking about the cable car operators who skim fares off of tourists six dollars at a time to “supplement” their already-fairly-large paychecks, well, perhaps you’re right, MUNI flack. And the SFMTA’s PR machine is only starting up now, in 2014? Like, they’ve never tried to start telling their “story” before? I think that’s incorrect. Anyway, check it:

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And who’s Kristen Holland? Why it’s none other than Nat Ford’s Right Hand Man!

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Or left-hand woman, in this shot anyway.

Hey Kristen, were you at the infamous “snitch” meeting? I think so! How has MUNI improved since then? You know, in some ways MUNI has gotten worse.

All right, we’ll see how this latest PR effort from MUNI goes. One suspects that Proposition A is the primary motive. (Hey Kristen, why would SFMTA Director Bruce Oka oppose giving you another blank check to the tune of a half billion dollars? Why not blog about that?)

Know Your Lesser Corporate Shuttle Buses: “SF Minibus” – SFMTA Code # 13 – White Ford Econoline Van in SoMA

Thursday, August 21st, 2014

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Question: What Actually Powers This New “ELECTRIC POWERED” MUNI Bus? One Simple Trick!

Friday, August 15th, 2014

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SPOILER

SPOILER

SPOILER

Answer: Diesel!

But the people at MUNI think you’re stupid, and they want you to like them more, so that’s why they lie.

BONUS ROUND: 

Hey, what did the SFMTA MUNI dump into San Francisco Bay that resulted in a petroleum spill that rivalled the Cosco Busan’s?

Answer: Diesel!

SFGov Installed a New Traffic Signal on Masonic for Just One Cul-De-Sac and They Put It On a Timer? Nightmare on Ewing Terrace

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

So let’s see here, back in the day a mom living on Ewing  Terrace went to an SFMTA meeting complaining about how it took her “20 minutes” to pull out of Ewing Terrace, so because of that a new traffic signal has been installed.

Check it: 

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Now that this signal has been lit, there’s no way you can miss it because it stops traffic on Masonic every 75 seconds these days.

THEY PUT IT ON A TIMER?!

What’s so special about this tiny street?

SFMTA, do you realize that you talk about speeding up MUNI, but how’s this going to help? Actually, it’s going to hurt. This light routinely slows down MUNI for no apparent reason.

Is this a temporary thing?

IDK.

Anyway, they wanted the support of this mom for the new spending the SFMTA wants to do on Masonic, so they’re all oh, this lady wants a light, so let’s throw her a bone and then she’ll be on our side…

I suppose that worked.

Perhaps eventually, this signal will be pedestrian / user activated?

Perhaps eventually, this signal will be automatically switched to green when a MUNI bus approaches using some kind of transit override function?

We’ll see.

But in the meantime, it appears that the SFMTA just spent Target’s money to slow down MUNI…

 

The SFMTA’s Secret Plan to Kick Lyft and Uber (But Not Taxis!) Off of Market – It’s Called “Safer Market Street” and It’s Coming Next Year

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

So apparently, the SFMTA is working on a plan to ban cars from parts of Market Street while still allowing them to cross over Market Street?

It’s called “Safer Market Street.”

Will kicking cars off of Market Street betwixt Montgomery and Eighth make Market “safer?” I don’t know. (But if the SFMTA wants to propose kicking buses and taxis off of Market, well then that certainly would make Market safer, IMO. )

I don’t know why we allow the SFMTA to do whatever it wants without getting something in return. Like, OK SFMTA, we’ll let you spend all this money on the porked-up Central Subway project, but in exchange, you’d have to bring MUNI up to the level of a mediocre big-city transit system.

Anyway, it’s easy to get tripped up with all the Orwellian names the SFMTA comes up with, like Great Streets! and “Livable” Streets and Safer Market and Better Market, but see if you can figure the words you can see below.

First up, a rep from the local government-subsidized urban renewal outfit uses the word pilot as a verb, because that’s the lingo:

Lawrence Li (SPUR): Can you pilot some of these auto restrictions? 
Some auto restrictions were piloted in 2009 and have since then become permanent. We do not 
plan to pilot auto restrictions at this time due to environmental review constraints. However, 
there is a separate project, independent of Better Market Street, called Safer Market Street that 
is looking at implementing some auto restrictions between 8th and Montgomery potentially as soon as next year. The public kick-off for that project is planned for later this summer.”

And here’s a way for the SFMTA to stick it to the man, to fight back against those TNC’s by supporting cabbies:

“Kevin Carroll: There are private autos operating as taxis such as Lyft, Uber, etc. Will they be 
allowed to drive on Market Street with these auto restrictions in place? 
No. These services are subject to the private vehicle restrictions and would not be allowed on 
Market Street with these auto restrictions in place.”

That’s all I know. Like I said, it’s secret, more or less, for now.

All the deets, after the jump.

(more…)

Know Your Lesser Corporate Shuttle Buses: EBAY – SFMTA Code # 06 – Surf Blue, Pantone 286c

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

It’s the same color blue as the “b” in the ebay logo:

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The Happiest Bus in the World: Golden Gate Transit 1522 – #70 Novato – As Seen in SF Civic Center

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

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A Case Study of SFMTA’s Controversial “MUNI-COMMUTER” Shuttle Program: The New Stops at Hayes and Clayton

Monday, August 4th, 2014

Here’s what things looked like on August 1, 2014 at a MUNI bus stop that just debuted as a new “commuter shuttle” stop:

I think MUNI meant to say MUNI/COMMUTER SHUTTLES instead of MUNI-COMMUTER SHUTTLES, but who knows.

Note that the small print advises those with Concerns or Complaints to go to Hell call 311.

Here’s the place, on Hayes at Clayton:

Things were pretty sedate around here before the shuttle program began. (Yes, Hayes is a thoroughfare, as it has the 21 Hayes bus line but that bus doesn’t run as much as the nearby #5 Fulton just to the north or the lines on Haight just to the south.)

Anyway, some of the area NIMBYs are upset, so they started a direct mail campaign and they posted fliers about.

Like here on this rather dirty building, which lost some paint when the fliers came down cause the tape they used was extra strong oh well:

So that’s it – life here is pretty much the same as far as I can tell. I’ve jogged past these two stops, the inbound and the outbound right across the street from each other, four times now, during times when I know that there are hundreds of people milling about the 415 / 628 waiting for dozens of shuttles, and I haven’t seen nothing.

Perhaps the NIMBYs were wrong? Perhaps all good and bad points about life in the 94117 will remain unaffected?

We’ll see.