The backwards C is for Uber:
This is a requirement now.
On It Goes…
[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.
It looks like this, as seen just yesterday:
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 Stilgherrian 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.
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.
All the deets:
Every time you ride with leap, your credit card will be charged $6.00 automatically upon entering the bus. You…
Our shuttles flow downtown in the morning, and uptown in the evening. You can get on at any of the stops desig…
We’d love to. We’re expanding as rapidly as possible. If you’d like us to add service to your area, please sug…
Leap runs on weekdays during commuter hours. That’s from 7:00 AM to 10:00 AM and from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM.
We currently only support iPhone, but we will be supporting other platforms very soon.
We do not currently have a way to have your employer cover the tab. But it is something we’re working on.
Hey PG&E! Are you going to end up turning a profit on the killing of those eight people down in San Bruno?
You remember them, right? The eight people you killed?
Click to expand
Hey is San Francisco shadow-Mayor Willie Brown still on PG&E’s payroll?
Sure, why not?
And hey, is the leader of the San Francisco Democrat party still on PG&E’s payroll?
Again, sure, why not?
Is that a good thing?
Here’s today’s happy talk from your energy monopoly:
“PG&E Rates to Change Modestly at Start Of 2013
Gas Rates Will Dip, Electric Rates Will Rise in Line with Inflation to Pay for Enhanced Safety, Reliability and Clean-Energy Programs
SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 31, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) said today that with the start of the new year, residential customers will see a significant decline in natural gas rates, and a modest increase in electric rates to cover the utility’s costs of maintaining and modernizing its system and of meeting a state mandate to buy more renewable energy. (See table below for average estimated bill impacts.)
PG&E’s average rates for residential gas customers will dip in January almost six percent compared to January 2012, thanks in part to lower wholesale costs for gas. However, customers should expect an increase in gas rates of about two percent as early as February, reflecting spending approved this month by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) for PG&E’s Pipeline Safety Enhancement Plan. This plan, one of the most aggressive and comprehensive gas pipeline modernization programs in the United States, will help PG&E achieve its goal of operating the safest and most reliable natural gas system in the country.
Average residential electric rates will increase about 2.6 percent system-wide compared to last January, close to the rate of inflation in Northern California. The increase is driven primarily by higher costs for acquiring clean, renewable energy to meet state mandates, and by spending previously approved by the CPUC for operating, maintaining and upgrading PG&E’s electric generation and distribution systems. Thanks to such upgrades, electric customers recently experienced the lowest rate of outages in the utility’s history.
Customers will likely face another electric rate increase this May of about two percent to pay for additional electric transmission infrastructure to modernize California’s power grid and deliver more renewable energy to customers.
“We know our customers care more than ever about their energy bills during these difficult economic times, so we continue to focus on keeping rate increases as modest as possible while raising enough revenue to continue improving our safety and reliability,” said Tom Bottorff, Senior Vice President of Regulatory Affairs for PG&E. “These revenues help us serve customers by reducing the frequency of electrical outages, improving the responsiveness of our call centers, providing more convenient services and, above all, continuing to upgrade the safety of our gas and electric operations. Although electric and gas rates fluctuate from year to year, our average customer bills remain well below the national average.”
Bottorff added, “We try to empower all of our customers with tools to help them better understand and manage their energy needs so they can control their bills and make the best use of our services.”
SmartMeter-enabled online tools like MyEnergy, money-saving programs like Winter Gas Savings, rebates for energy-efficient appliances and home retrofits, and bill payment options make it easier than ever for customers the get more value for their money.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE: PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric utilities in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation’s cleanest energy to 15 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit http://www.pge.com/about/
RESIDENTIAL ELECTRIC BILLS
Customer Usage January 2012 January 2013 Change
————– ———— ———— ——
550 kWh $89.31 $91.60 $2.29
——- —— —— —–
850 kWh $184.23 $188.05 $3.82
——- ——- ——- —–
1,200 kWh $301.54 $307.13 $5.59
——— ——- ——- —–
JANUARY RESIDENTIAL GAS BILLS @72 therms
January 2012 January 2013 Change
———— ———— ——
$82.37 $77.47 -$4.90
—— —— ——
SOURCE Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E)
Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E)
CONTACT: PG&E External Communications, +1-415-973-5930
Web Site: http://www.pge.com
Uh, to make more money?
So that means you’ll need to pay double to avoid getting blackballed by SideCar’s drivers.
Of course, if a trained and licensed San Francisco taxi driver charges you double a during busy time, that’s a misdemeanor.
But if a SideCar driver jacks up rates on NYE, that’s called bidness.
Hey, Gentle Reader! Why not check in on SideCar’s “amazing year,” below? You’ll be able to see if any mention is made of CPUC case #PSG-3360, you know, that whole “cease and desist” thing.
If only this woman on Market had a SideCar sign instead of a TAXI sign:
Click to expand
2012 has been an amazing year:
To ring in 2013, plenty of drivers in our community have told us that they plan to get behind the wheel on New Year’s Eve so that you can hit the town safely without having to worry about driving. <3 To thank them, we decided to do them a huge favor:
For New Year’s Eve only – and in The San Francisco Bay Area Only – from 5pm-5am, as a way of saying thanks to those driving on NYE, we are going to suggest double the community average donation for each ride within the app. This means that a ride with a typical community average of $10 will say $20 on Monday night.
Here’s why we’re doing this:
Of course, with SideCar what you donate is always up to you, and the community average is just there to help you decide. We just feel that on a night like New Year’s a little extra for drivers wouldn’t hurt. We hope you’ll feel the same way.”
A quote of a quote:
Matt Kochman… served as Uber’s founding general manager in New York before he left last year. Kochman left Uber to do consulting for transportation brands and startups, fed up with Uber’s irreverent attitude toward regulators. “Discounting the rules and regulations as a whole, just because you want to launch a product and you have a certain vision for things, that’s just irresponsible,” Kochman said.
Yep, pretty much.
Well, here it is, your brand new PG&E SmartMeter opt-out option.
Click to expand
David R. Baker was on the scene at the big CPUC meeting yesterday, actually engaging with the crazies, so check that out if you want.
And if you think that a SmartMeter has ANYTHING AT ALL to do with your health (and, oh yes, you yourself are somehow particularly affected by infinitesimal amounts of additional non-ionizing radiation in your life, I hear what you are saying) you’re barking up the wrong tree. People who don’t tell you that are just patronizing you, just saying.
Now here’s what PG&E has to say. Enjoy:
“SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 1, 2012 — Residential electric and gas customers who have concerns about wireless technology can now choose either a new SmartMeter(TM) or a traditional analog meter, following the final decision today by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) supports the CPUC’s decision and will respond quickly to customers who opt-out of the utility’s SmartMeter(TM) program.
“We know personal choice is important to our customers when it comes to the meters on their homes,” said Helen Burt, PG&E’s Senior Vice President and Chief Customer Officer. “This final decision in support of analog meters is a positive step forward for those who have concerns over wireless technology. We understand some customers have been waiting for this decision, and we are actively reaching out to those who have expressed their desire for a SmartMeter(TM) alternative.”
PG&E is installing digital, wireless SmartMeters(TM) throughout its service area in Northern and Central California as part of a statewide effort to help customers save on their bills by offering them more control over their energy usage, improve reliability and customer service, and conserve natural resources to help the environment. As part of a global effort to modernize the energy grid and transform it into a digital network that will deliver more reliable power to homes and businesses, similar metering programs are now underway at utilities throughout the country and around the world. To date, PG&E has installed nearly nine million gas and electric SmartMeters(TM), on its way to about 10 million meters in 2012.
Independent studies repeatedly have affirmed the safety and accuracy of SmartMeters(TM). However, in response to comments from some customers, PG&E in March 2011 proposed offering them a choice to turn off the radios in their SmartMeters(TM), and then provided customers with the option to delay the installation of new SmartMeters(TM) pending the CPUC’s final decision. In December 2011, PG&E asked the CPUC to approve analog meters as another alternative to receiving a SmartMeter(TM), which was the central element of the CPUC’s decision today.
Burt added, “The vast majority of our customers are already seeing the many benefits of SmartMeters(TM). By choosing to stay with our program, our customers will continue having control by seeing where they can save energy throughout the course of the day and making simple but effective changes around the home to save money.”
PG&E customers who want to opt-out of the SmartMeter(TM) program can submit their request online at www.pge.com/smartmeteroptout or call 1-866-743-0263. PG&E plans to remove the gas and electric SmartMeters(TM) from the homes of those opt-out customers who already have SmartMeters(TM); those customers who still have analog meters will be able to keep them.
The CPUC’s final decision requires customers who opt-out of the program to pay a $75 initial setup charge and a $10 monthly charge. This will cover the costs of manual meter-reading and associated operational and billing issues. Income-qualified customers will pay a $10 initial setup charge and $5 a month.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric utilities in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation’s cleanest energy to 15 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit http://www.pge.com/about/
SOURCE Pacific Gas and Electric Company”
Ah let’s review.
– Remember when a mid-level PG&E employee* threatened me at an event sponsored by the Presidio Trust, told me that I should take one of my PG&E-related posts down because, I was done told, “It would be your interest to take that post down?” And I was like, well what does that mean? Oh that’s right, Gentle Reader, you don’t remember, but I do. Strike One.
– And remember when PG&E killed eight people near SFO last year? Strike Two.
– And remember when Mayor Ed Lee* recently started going on about how “City Family” member “PG&E is a great local company who gets it?” Strike Three.
Now, here’s the scene last night at 7:00 PM as I was swinging by the FiDi to pick up my special lady friend at an area law firm. Workers were just setting up the cones. And then a paramedic was telling me, “This one isn’t PG&E’s fault – somebody was digging.” Well yeah, but that somebody was PG&E itself:
Click to expand
Isn’t it ironic, dont’cha think?
“The Pacific Gas & Electric Building is a 150 m (490 ft) skyscraper located at 77 Beale and Mission streets in the financial district of San Francisco, California. Completed in 1971, the 34 story building is headquarters for Pacific Gas and Electric Company, the main utility provider for Northern California, and has been host to a nesting pair of Peregrine Falcons since 1987. List of tallest buildings in San Francisco“
Isn’t it ironic again, dont’cha think?
Hey, PG&E, why don’t you eat your own dog food and CALL BEFORE YOUR DIG?
The easy-to-remember phone number is 811, you remember?
In short, I just can’t believe how much you suck, PG&E.
Straighten up and fly right PG&E.
*A member of San Francisco’s dominant political faction (aka Downtown) along with fellow members Willie Brown, Chamber of Commerce, Gavin Newsom, real estate interests, PG&E, and you know, all those non-profits, among others.
“Herrera says NTSB hearing on San Bruno blast offers ‘devastating indictment’ against PG&E, regulators – Findings strongly support Herrera’s July 14 notice of intent to sue CPUC, PHMSA regulators
SAN FRANCISCO (Aug. 30, 2011) — City Attorney Dennis Herrera has issued the following statement in reaction to today’s National Transportation Safety Board meeting in Washington, D.C. to discuss and adopt the pipeline Accident Report relating to the natural gas pipeline explosion and fire that occurred in San Bruno, Calif. on September 9, 2010.
“NTSB’s report offers a devastating indictment, not just against PG&E, but also the California Public Utilities Commission and federal regulators for their failure to reasonably enforce safety standards,” Herrera said. “These conclusions point to the lax regulation that has enabled PG&E to flout regulations and safe gas pipeline operating practices for decades. NTSB’s report thoroughly supports my office’s allegations in my notice of intent to sue and in our comments to the CPUC. It makes clear that both agencies have a great deal of work to do to better regulate gas transmission pipelines and protect public safety. I commend the NTSB staff for its thorough investigation and comprehensive findings, and NTSB members for unflinchingly adopting the staff’s recommendations.”
More than half of the recommendations adopted by the NTSB today are directed at government entities — including CPUC, DOT, PHMSA, and the Governor of California. NTSB has indicated its intent to publish its synopsis of findings, probable cause, and recommendations at the following URL following today’s meeting:
On July 14, 2011, Herrera took the first step toward suing the California Public Utilities Commission and federal regulators for not reasonably enforcing gas pipeline safety standards as required by the federal Pipeline Safety Act. The notice of intent to sue is a legally-required precursor to civil litigation by San Francisco, which will seek a federal court order to compel the CPUC and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration to enforce federal pipeline safety standards in an effective manner.
PG&E runs three major gas transmission lines — including the very same line that failed catastrophically in San Bruno last year, and another that dates back to the 1930s — under nine high-population-density neighborhoods in San Francisco where hundreds of thousands of people live and work, according to Herrera’s 14-page letter. Major facilities threatened by the failure of these inadequately inspected transmission lines include numerous schools and recreation centers, San Francisco City College, and San Francisco General Hospital, which typically contains more than 5,000 acute care patients and visitors, medical professionals and staff. Significant stretches of Highway 101 and Highway 280 additionally run over the antiquated lines.
Herrera’s July 14, 2011 notice letter outlines San Francisco’s prospective legal action, detailing the manner in which CPUC and PHMSA: (1) failed to enforce federal regulations mandating that pipeline operators maintain adequate records to enable the operator and regulators to ensure that pipeline conditions are not a threat to public safety; (2) failed to enforce federal regulations requiring that gas transmission pipeline operators identify all “high consequence areas” in which pipeline failure would result in significant harm to people and damage to property; (3) failed to enforce federal regulations mandating inspections of gas transmission pipeline integrity for pipelines susceptible to manufacturing and construction defects or other risks; (4) failed to ensure that CPUC had staff sufficient in number, training, and experience to adequately fulfill its obligations to regulate and enforce pipeline safety regulations; (5) failed to ensure that integrity management inspections of gas transmission pipelines in California are performed with sufficient frequency and thoroughness to ensure pipeline safety; and (6) failed to require PG&E to correct violations found in audits of PG&E’s integrity management practices.”
Man, that PG&E has issues, huh?
In lighter news, Rob Reiner explicates his ardor for Dennis Jose:
“I’ve been active in statewide politics for decades. I chaired the Prop 10 campaign in the 1990s to create the groundbreaking “First 5 California” program, which delivers critical services to millions of children from birth to age 5. I took on big developers to save our state parks and wildlife. And I fought big tobacco to protect public health, and to reduce its influence in Hollywood.
But it was as co-founder of the American Foundation for Equal Rights—which initiated the federal legal challenge to Prop 8 that eliminated marriage equality in California—that I had the opportunity to work closely with San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera.
And that’s why I’m endorsing Dennis Herrera for Mayor of San Francisco.
Not all San Franciscans fully appreciate the extent to which California looks to their city for strong, progressive leadership on issues that make a real difference in people’s lives—like civil rights, the environment and consumer protection. But we do.
That’s why what’s at stake in the 2011 San Francisco Mayor’s race is so important to all Californians. Dennis has a serious plan to create jobs and make San Francisco a model of a 21st century city. His proven record of leadership and professionalism is best suited to continue San Francisco’s honored tradition as a beacon of innovation and progress.
Dennis Herrera filed the first government lawsuit in American history to challenge state marriage laws that discriminate against lesbian and gay couples. His principled advocacy for the broad societal imperative of ending any-LGBT discrimination continues to make a persuasive difference in the courts in our fight for marriage equality.
A strong advocate for early childhood services, Dennis shares my conviction that government can and should do more to support schools, children, parents and teachers. And his record of accomplishment on consumer protection, the environment and public integrity is unmatched
Dennis has the best plan to make San Francisco a model 21st century city—and to continue San Francisco’s tradition as a beacon of innovation and progress.
Thank you so much for your support of Dennis.
Only 70 days?