Archive for the ‘transit’ Category

If Trader Joe’s Needs Traffic Cones for Its Parking Lot Off of Masonic, It Simply Steals Them from MUNI

Thursday, April 16th, 2015

Or so it appears:

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When an MSM Reporter “Stalks” You at Your Favorite Corporate Bus Stop, Feel Free to Photograph Him Right Back

Monday, April 13th, 2015

Here you go, it’s a photo from area reporter/producer Sam Harnett, as he was laboring for KQED en la Mision:

Wary Employers, Stigma Have Some Tech Workers Keeping Low Profile

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A techie is recording right back, to even the odds, one supposes.

Now, which corporate PR team is behind this?

One company pressured an employee to recant an interview we had already done. The PR team told me that story could be “weaponized” against the company, which was “under a microscope.” 

I can guess.

Can you?

So Sure, the SFMTA Regulates Corporate Buses, But What About the “Staging” Problem – Where Should They Park in SF When Idling?

Friday, April 3rd, 2015

This was the problem a few weeks back, when Facebook buses would “stage” on Masonic by double-parking in the slow lane.

Staging means buses sitting and waiting for the next run to start. (It’s a necessary part of running a reliable “transit” system.)

But where to stage has pretty much been left out of the SFMTA’s vaunted 18-month corporate bus stop “trial” – it’s pretty much up to the drivers / on-scene dispatchers on where to park buses for breaks / waiting time. (Contrast that with when are where the buses pick up workers – that’s highly regulated now.)

Oh look, here’s some staging as it’s currently practiced, by a non-Facebook* bus:

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This is Fell in the 94117. This is a great place to stage for like 15-20 minutes, cause cars have cleared out for the SFMTA’s weekly unnecessary $treet $weeping program. If the meter maids come, the driver will simply move along, plus s/he isn’t blocking any driveways. This is a great place to stage, but only on Tuesday mornings. Where do drivers stage on other days? I know not.

Here you go, a Google contractor bus chilling out by the infamous Fell Street DMV. The next day at the same time, it will be at another place:

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I’ll tell you, the Teamsters** who make the buses run on time are at their wits’ end trying to find places to stage without blocking traffic or pissing off residents.

ATTENTION MEDIA: This issue is a STORY.

Anywho, the particular problem on Masonic involving FB got solved in about 30 hours last week. Due to a lengthy construction project at Fell and Masonic, the slow lane of Masonic southbound was blocked, like for months. So the Teamsters made that lane their staging place and nobody complained. But when construction ended and the lane was no longer blocked by sawhorses and whatnot, they didn’t adapt the way they should have. Only after having this issue pointed out to them did they adapt. And to their credit, the Facebook bus operators cleared out tout de suite – they’ve found other places to stage in a matter of hours and they haven’t come back.***

And here’s the result, the return of native species to the area. Here’s a #43 Masonic cruising through the #3 lane, exactly where the FB buses have been blocking MUNI and everybody else for months:

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File this small issue in the RESOLVED file.

Ey yo the government is lies, son
United States of Google, Verizon
They all spies son,
I’m Pisces, risin’

And you ain’t Hoover, you suck like James Dyson
Google the devil but I feel lucky
Extreme Home Make-Over couldn’t touch me
Backyards, kittens, puppies, 401k’s, libels, yuppies
Yeeah, I’m talkin’ bout wine drinkers
Bald-head men, Klux Klan
swine-thinkers

*Is is a Loop Transport or a WEDRIVEU, or an SFO Airporter bus? That doesn’t matter. IRL, this particular one is a Google bus.

**Some of them aren’t Teamsters, not yet. 

***I’ll tell you, I was literally in the room when issues like these came up eight freaking years ago. The corporate reps seemed to know what they were doing. Somehow, things fell apart a few years back, IDK why. Millions of dollars donated to SFGov and the relatively recent hiring of insider Rebecca Prozan seem to have fixed things. JMO.

Sign at Powell Street Cable Car Turnaround is Truthful But Unhelpful – A “Two Minute Walk” to a Less-Crowded Stop

Thursday, April 2nd, 2015

I suppose somebody is selling something here?

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Well, sure, the stop is less crowded, but at that point, the cable car itself is super crowded, right? And how many people are going to get off to make room for you, Gentle Reader? About zero, right?

I cry foul.

And the next stop up the hill?

The stop at Powell & Post Street, at Union Square, is known locally as “Fantasy Island,” due to the unlikelihood of being able to board a cable car at that point and the persistence of visitors in believing otherwise.”

Hey, is this sign legal, per SFGOV / SFMTA / SFDPW? IDK.

“Slow” #5 Fulton Driver Totally Pwns “Rapid” #5L Limited Driver on Market Street, Once Again.

Thursday, March 26th, 2015

I’ll tell you, when I first saw the Orwellianally-named #5R Fulton from our inefficient SFMTA, I thought it stood for Regular, you know, as opposed to Limited.

Isn’t that sad?

Anyway, yeah, out in the Richmond District, 5Ls travel faster than 5’s, but the tables turn on Market Street, when the regular #5’s regularly pass by the vaunted #5R’s (nee 5L’s).

Here’s the pass from the #5…

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…and then he’s gone, leaving me and the #5L driver in the dust:

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I’m thinking that unless you live Way Out West in the boonies of SF County, 5 > 5L.

Or, in the New Math, 5 > 5R.

Isn’t it ironic.

Dontcha think?

Here You Go, Here’s the SFMTA’s Entire 244-Page “2015 IMPLEMENTATION WORKBOOK” – What’s in Store for YOUR Route?

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015

Here’s your REVISION HISTORY, complete with an acronym list, the better to talk MUNI.

And here’s the rest

1-21 Intro, with index at the bottom

44-65 Proposals By Route + E Embarcadero to L Taraval

66-90 M Oceanview to N Judah + 1 California to 5 Fulton

91-115* 6 Parnassus to 12 Folsom/Pacific

116-150 14 Mission to 24 Divisadero

151-188 27 Bryant to 37 Corbett

189-244 38 Geary to 67 Bernal Heights

And moar? I know not.

Read all you want. (Imagine you’re an SFMTA fat-cat getting paid over $1000 a day to go through this stuff, if that’ll make it easier on you.)

*Sadly this part, she is missing. Send me a link if you find one.

MUNI’s Brave New World is Truly Orwellian: Like the #5L is Now the #5R? – Because “Rapid” “Sounds Better” Than Limited?

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015

So let’s see here, who’s offered me money, you know, for “outreach” that, you know, I’ve rejected? Well, PG&E and the SFPUC and that slow, clumsy SFMTA, for instance. Of course, some places, like the Bay Guardian (R.I.P.), and a defunct blog from the Avenues, and the MUNI Diaries or the SFBC, take money from those institutions, and in some cases, the dirty money has talked.

But it don’t talk to me.

Now you yourself might know more about MUNI than I, since I’ve mostly ridden bikes since I got here back in the 1980’s, because MUNI is such a remarkably poor transit system.

Having said that, WTF to this:

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One supposes that this is from an internal SFMTA PowerPoint presentation?

So “MUNI FORWARD?” What’s that? IDK. But let’s call it MUNI’s plan. And since we’re translating from marketing / “framing” words into Plain English:

“Investing” = Spending tax and fee payer money

“Customers” = Passengers

“Rapid” = Limited

Oh, here comes the “branding”

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Oh, a pole with a sign on it with the number of the bus? How fucking innovative! (Be sure to get a design patent on your “branding,” SFMTA.) And, what’s this,  you can’t put up plain simple cheap bike racks, you need to promote yourselves, SFMTA? Yish. Now “HISTORIC,” that means $6 one-way, soon enough, just as all the other lines will be $3 minimum, one-way, soon enough.

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[Poles + The airing of grievances = Festivus]

All right, time to pour the old wine into new bottles, or as they say in Japan: “古いワイン、新しいボトル” [Oh, snap!] So forget about the “branding” of the brand-new #5L, that new line that’s not really faster than the regular old #5, not really. Oh, here we go:

The 5L doesn’t really work

That’s from 40 Going On 28, who similarly isn’t on the take from the SFMTA. Anyway, here’s your scorecard showing that the 5L is history:

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(Comrades, the 5L is the 5R, therefore, the 5L has always been the 5R)

The nice thing about the word Limited is that it’s accurate and people understand it. OTOH, calling any particular SFMTA bus line “Rapid” might not be accurate, right?

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And here’s the Good News, Gentle Reader! OMG! Look at all the exclamation points! Wow!

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Of course some things the SFMTA wants to do are good and some are bad.

Hey, MUNI, what about all your antiquated work rules, what about those?

Oh, that’s hard to deal with? Oh, you’d rather just rename things and make PowerPoints? OK fine.

Anyway, we’ll see how this one goes…

*Originally, I had a heavy $199 cr0-molly MTB from Price Club and then I got some other bikes and now my main ride is a heavy aluminum $269 MTB from the Marin Bikes Outlet at 7th and Folsom. Not much has changed, huh? 

UPDATE: Facebook is Routinely Double-Parking Its Buses on Busy, Busy Masonic Avenue’s “NO STOPPING” Zone

Monday, March 23rd, 2015

[UPDATE: This sitch got fixed in about 30 hours after the first post on this tiny WordPress. The office of Supervisor London Breed handled this within an hour after being contacted.]

Get up to speed here.

And now for an update since that last post.

Here’s a 43 Masonic using the #3 southbound lane of Masonic to get from its Hayes stop to its Oak stop, with no interference from any Facebook double decker buses:

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But Here Comes The Zuck, down Fell, about to turn left to double park for ten minutes or so:

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With all the recent changes to our corporate bus bus routes, I thought that maybe this was a legit, SFMTA-approved staging area for the Facebook, but no, it’s still a NO STOPPING ZONE:

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Oh, here’s the next stop for the #43 – this is what Zuckerberg et al is blocking:

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Now it could be worse, of course, as a Teamster just told me on Friday. And I’ll concede that point. But we can’t just have FB contractors deciding on their own to double park on a bus line all the live long day.

The Teamsters, they covet a staging area in the 94117. They’ve already gotten kicked out of the other places they’ve tried. I’ve suggested the already-existing area on Fell near Alamo Square, the one that the tourist buses use. Just an idea.

Oh, here we go – sometimes the 43 needs to wait with the blinkers on, to beg drivers in lane #2 for, you know, a little help. Isn’t that sad? Anyway, our sad-sack SFMTA navigating around a company worth nine figures:

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Oh what’s that, really this bus is a WEDRIVEU or a Lux or a Loop Transportation and who the fuck knows who’s inside? Yeah, right. [Sarcasm.] MPK = Facebook, non?

I’ll tell you, I don’t know who is the Facebook analog for Google’s Rebecca Prozan* in the 415. If I did, I already would have contacted him/her. As it was, I simply shot a note to London Breed’s office.

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So yes, Facebook, I understand why you were able to get away with this for a while, owing to the fact that this lane was blocked already due to all the recent construction. But FB, you have no idea how much you stick out when you park on Masonic like this.

And yeah, the cops don’t care and no millionaire homeowners are around to complain at you, but this bus standing area will not stand.

*Appointed Mayor Ed Lee, who, really, is lucky to have his gig, and really, is nobody special, thinks he’s REALLY REALLY SPECIAL. So when the Googlers came to town to meet with him a few years back they’d say stuff like, oh, good idea Mr. Mayor – we’ll get back to you on that, that kind of thing. Well, our Dear Leader, who bruises easier than a Cavendish banana, hit the ceiling and ended up all sore, due to the fact that Google sent some, some underling up to Frisco, an underling who couldn’t make a deal with SFGov. Well, G learned its lesson after that – it hired Rebecca Prozan and it gave $6.8 million to the SFMTA and it did a host of other good deeds, you know, to ease the pain. Of course, G was stupid to allow its contractor drivers to make such a low hourly wage. Why? Because it invites the Teamsters to move on in, right? What G should have done was say to the bus contractors, OK, what’s your lowest bid assuming that you’re going to pay your drivers extra for split shifts and that you’re going to pay them, IDK $40 per hour, something like that. Now what’s happened is that the Teamsters are fully activated and a begrudging 20% pay bump to fight off further unionization, and more and more “work rules,” isn’t going to help, IMO. Google went hog-wild outfitting these buses, but it forgot about some pretty basic stuff. IMO. IMO, based upon observing this GBus program for the past nine years…

Uh Oh, FaceBook’s Corporate Buses are Using Busy Masonic Avenue as a Staging Area? Double-Parking to Block MUNI Buses

Friday, March 20th, 2015

Here’s a FaceBook corporate shuttle bus idling(?)/waiting on busy southbound Masonic betwixt Fell and Oak during the busy morning drive afore taking FB’ers on down to (MPK) Menlo Park:

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So that means that it’s blocking the slow lane of Masonic, as here on Saint Patrick’s Day 2015

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At first I thought, oh maybe it broke down, but no, this is where it was waiting to pick up more people in the Upper Haight area, at the assigned MUNI stops FaceBook has. If the drivers come back to SF early, they need a place to hang out, right?

When I see this situation, there’s always the driver plus a, IDK, let’s call him a starter, a handler, a scheduler – a person who makes the trains run on time.

So I thought, mmm, this isn’t a MUNI bus stop – perhaps the FB drivers got used to this lane being blocked at Fell the past few weeks? IDK.

But look, it’s the same thing yesterday too:

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So the #43 Masonic needs to merge into the middle lane from the stop at Hayes and then get back into, let’s call it the FaceBook Lane after passing the Big White Bus in order to get into the stop on the other side of Oak:

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So what’s the deal here, does this guy just hang out all morning waiting for more buses to double park?

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IDK.

But this lane just got freed up after all that lengthy construction, so it seems a shame that MUNI drivers now can’t use it…

Forget About the Small Type, This SFMTA MUNI Bus Sez, “STOP U.S. AID FOR PALESTINIAN TERRORISM”

Tuesday, March 17th, 2015

Does it not?

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Oh what’s that, Brinkman? MUNI sometimes posts Maya Angelou couplets or whathaveyou to make up for all its “offensive” ads? Oh, well, I suppose that takes care of everything then…

I’m sure that somewhere on this bus is a disclaimer saying how MUNI don’t believe in the ads that people pay it money so that you believe in the ads, but I don’t see that disclaimer here in this shot. What I see is a couple of large slogans plus the large MUNI snake logo.

In fact, to see the disclaimers that FIX EVERYTHING FOR MUNI, you’d need SUPER-VISION.

I’ll tell you, I can see 20-15 (corrected, of course, bifocals, of course) but I am/ I am NOT Superman/ so I can’t see everything.

And neither can you, Gentle Reader…