Posts Tagged ‘commuters’

OMG, the City of Pasadena is Selling Folding Bikes for Just $215? Isn’t This Program Better Than the SFMTA’s Bike Share?

Monday, June 3rd, 2013

Word comes from the San Francisco Examiner’s Mike Billings of the City of Santa Monica’s new FoldnGo program.

So, Pasadenians will be able to buy a small Dahon folding bike for $214.99?

Isn’t this a lot cheaper, you know, per bike, than the SFMTA’s / BAAQMD’s expensive bike sharing scheme?

Hell yes. Plus, you, Fellow San Franciscan, end up with a bicycle of your own.

Hey, where’s my almost-free Dahon bike, SFMTA? 

You know who’s excited about Pasadena already? Dahon Girl 2009, that’s who:

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Oh, what’s that, giving away bicycles ala Santa Monica is NOT a jobs program? Because most of the money would necessarily go into bikes instead of salaries and benefits and pensions?

And the  SFMTA is really an employment agency instead of the (very slow, slowest in America) transit agency it claims to be?

Oh, so I guess, for that reason, we won’t be getting a Pasadena-style program up here in the 415.

‘Cause I’ll tell you, SF’s new bikeshare program is of zero interest to me, as a supposed user. And I’ll tell you, most of the money for San Francisco’s bike share program will end up paying the employees instead of paying for the large, heavy, expensive, undesirable equipment for the program.

Last time I checked. the San Francisco Fire Department spends 91% of its budget on salaries / related expenses and just 9% on equipment. Will our bike share program end up with that kind of percentage  after it ends? We’ll see.

Of course, when you’re giving away or heavily subsidizing  a bike program as Pasadena  is doing, you’re going to run into corruption and fraud type of problems.

But guess what, we going to have these issues* with Alta Bicycle Share in our taxpayer-funded program as well.

So what’s the diff?**

Oh well.

*And vandalism. Don’t forget about theft and vandalism. Oh, you have the GPS to fight theft? Guess what, it’s sending out its signal from, say, underneath Pier 2. Who’s going to fish it out? We’ll see.

**One big diff will be that any issues anyone has about the bike share program will be met with a pitch for more money. More and more and more money.  

OMG, New “Leap Transit” Bus is a Replacement for the MUNI 30X – It’s $6 to Ride the Marina Express One-Way to Financh

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

[UPDATE: Kevin Montgomery of Uptown Almanac reacts.]

[UPDATE II: The Twitter-stream of one @kylekirchhoff just went private. C'mon, Bro! You gotta engage with the peeps. Today is your big day. It's not that incrimernating, is it? Bro discusses how much he doesn't like Twitter, McAfee Antivirus Inc, and how many people got shot on a MUNI #14 last year. You know, all the usual stuff. But I'll tell you, withdrawing from Web 2.0 is what criminales do, right? You're just a bro with a bus. Nothing wrong with that.]

[UPDATE III: Aaron Sankin of Huffington Post San Francisco weighs in.]

[UPDATE IV: And now Ellen Huet of the San Francisco Chronicle:

John Avalos, a supervisor who has fought against private companies use of Muni stops, called Kirchhoff’s comments “very disingenuous.”

“What a crock of s—,” Avalos said. “How does blocking a Muni stop make the city more efficient? You’re trying to make money, and you’re creating a two-tiered transportation system in San Francisco.”]

I’ll tell you, I’ve been waiting years for a MUNI alternative to pop up and look, it’s here.

Now I’m not talking about the corporate buses (like Google, Apple, FaceBook and so on) that have been around for a decade or so, and I’m not talking about Uber, Lyft, Sidecar and the like and I’m not even talking about the private version of the taxpayer-subsidized Twitter Express, the 83X.

No no. I’m talking about Leap Transit duplicating the unpopular MUNI Marina Express 30x with a private shuttle bus that costs $6 one-way.

It looks like this, as seen just yesterday:

Via Gregg Meyer

Here’s what the site looks like:

See that? The bus comes with WiFi and leather seats, but they cost three times as much as MUNI. And I’m supposing you and your wheelchair would be better off on MUNI, just a guess. And, oh yes,  you pretty much need an Apple iPhone (or as close an iOS device as possible) to climb aboard.

Now you’d think the MSM would be all over this new company, but no. So far, Leap has escaped notice, except from this bloke called  from Down Under. (Uh, he’s _not_ a fan. I haven’t seen a booting like this since Bart vs. Australia)

“This little blue bus symbolises everything that is wrong with the current bubble and boom of internet startup culture. It’s in San Francisco. It belongs to Leap Transit. And, on May 13, this “better bus” — OMFG, it has leather seats and wi-fi! — began operating as part of what’s billed as a “shuttle service for San Francisco commuters.”

Bonus bon mot:

“This socialized [x] is slow and unprofitable. Let’s start a [x] for rich people that pays its employees less.”

Leave there be no doubt, Leap Transit is a wannabe MUNI disrupter. See?

So far, reaction around town has been mixed.

To wit:

connie hwong ‏@crh17h This has come to my attention: a $6 shuttle from the Marina to SOMA, with leather seats & wifi. Seriously, SF?”

Check it:

I don’t know, if the 30X just passed you by ’cause it’s raining and you see a Leap bus coming at you and you have an iPhone and you’re already signed up, well then Leap just might be worth the six bucks.

A 28-year-old white man wants you to ride his technicolor submarine.

Will you?

All the deets:

Today on KQED-FM at 10:00AM: “Critical Mass, 20 Years Later” – Michael Krasny – Commute Clot Anniv.

Monday, September 24th, 2012

Well, today’s the start of San Francisco Critical Mass Week 2012.

Michael Krasny of KQED Forum will kick things off with a one-hour show on the history of Critical Mass.

And then festivities will end, of course, this Friday with the big 20th Anniversary Ride the evening of September 28th, 2012. (Not that you’d know it from the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition website’s ”Chain of Events” section, where all info about CM* is now censored.)

Suddenly surrounded by bicycles:

All the deets:

“It started with a bike ride in San Francisco on Sept. 25, 1992. About 50 people cycled in a pack along Market Street, hoping to earn some respect from drivers who sometimes ignored them or edged them off the road. They called it the “Commute Clot.” Today it’s known as Critical Mass, a movement that’s spread worldwide. Supporters say it promotes cycling and the rights of bicyclists. But critics say it is illegal, clogs traffic and antagonizes drivers. We talk about Critical Mass’ 20th anniversary, and its effects on the city.

Host: Michael Krasny

Guests:

Chris Carlsson, co-founder of Critical Mass who was part of the first ride on Sept. 25, 1992, and has since participated in Critical Mass rides in Milan, Vancouver and Porto Alegre, Brazil

Hugh D’Andrade, founder of SFCriticalMass.org

Rob Anderson, blogger on transportation issues and author of the blog District 5 Diary

Tune in at 10:00 on your radio or on your device, Listen Live.

*The SFBC raises money through fees but it also gets mucho dinero directly from SFGov. So that’s why it endorsed Ed Lee for Mayor even though SFBC’s members generally did not and still do not like Ed Lee. Similarly, Chrstina Olague, Mayor Ed Lee’s hand-picked recruit for District 5 Supervisor, gets endorsed over Julian Davis even though SFBC members actually favor JD. The SFBC is basically a quasi-government agency now, so it’s very afraid of seeming to say something negative about certain members of the City Family. It’s also afraid of hurting the chances of its officers someday getting jobs / health care directly with SFGov / SFMTA. Anyway, that’s why the SFBC is basically a SFGov kiss-ass these days. It will lobby San Francisco government, certainly, but that’s about as far as it wants to go. (Think about it – who would the SFMTA endorse for Mayor?)

Rush Hour 2, Market Street Inbound, San Francisco, USA, 2012

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

This is the sequel to Rush Hour, filmed the previous day.

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Not a car in sight.

This is quite a change from five or ten years ago…

Rush Hour, Market Street Inbound, San Francisco, USA, 2012

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

The left lane is for bus drivers, and car drivers who choose to ignore the left-turn-mandatory signs at 10th and 6th on inbound Market:

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What It’s Like to Commute From Treasure Island to the Financial District – If You Lived Here, You’d Be Home By Now

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

Here’s a great shot by Mike Behnken taken* from Yerba Buena Island:

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If you move to that new city they’re building on sinking Treasure Island, your commute will take you from camera right onto the western span of the San Francisco Oakland Bay Bridge and then right into SoMA.

On a good day, that would take like four minutes…

*Wow, a 30-second exposure, but there’s no good place to put a tripod except for the roadway. I’ve seen people hanging out taking photos close to here but they looked none too comfortable owing to the slope.

Surf McAllister: Simple Geometry Explains Why It’s Better to Roll on McAllister Street Rather Than the Overhyped Wiggle Route

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

I suppose this longboarder could have taken The Wiggle bike route, but he’s carving down McAllister instead. See?

The hilly part of McAllister – it’s a couple blocks: 

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So, if you are headed from the Financh or Mid-Market to the Golden Gate Park Panhandle, taking McAllister to Divis is:

1. Shorter (by about a third of a mile);

2. Faster.

3. Safer.

And there are no cops handing out tickets for those who California-stop through stop signs. (The Wiggle is a cop magnet, of course – look for them on Haight and Scott.)

And, best of all, Octavia Boulevard, the place where Wigglers generally need to stop to watch the cars go by, is just a nothingburger by the time it gets up to McAllister Street. (The last thing our failed Octavia Boulevard needs is more activity, that’s for sure.)

Hurray!

Rush Hour in San Francisco Seems to Have More Bikes Than Cars

Friday, June 12th, 2009

At times, anyway.

San Francisco has significantly more bike riders than just a few years ago.

IMG_7269 copy

How about that?