Posts Tagged ‘fleet’

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…

When You Gas Up Your Car You Use Dirty Fuel, But What About PG&E? Presenting the “CleanFuel Fleet”

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

You see, the dirty gas put into this Chevy Volt magically becomes CleanFuel because PG&E says so:

Click to expand

OK fine.

San Francisco Invaded by Hovercraft and Helicopters – See and Hear the Action, Courtesy of David Cruz

Thursday, October 4th, 2012

Renowned San Francisco photographer David Cruz caught the start of Fleet Week 2012 yesterday over at Ocean Beach.

Check it:

Via David Cruz

And the video:

Get To the Chopper! The West Side of San Francisco to be Invaded by the US Military this Morning

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012

Or so they say:

“This morning from 10-11 am a large military watercraft will arrive on Ocean Beach. This is part of an exercise and is only a drill.”

“This morning 11am-1pm there will be an exercise w/2 helicopters at Sunset Blvd & Lake Merced Blvd. Noise will be elevated. It’s only a drill”

Well That’s It: The Bay Area’s Formerly-Secret U.S. Navy “Sea Shadow” Stealth Ship Auctioned for Scrap Today

Friday, May 4th, 2012

Just like it was on eBay.

But back in the day, this ship was all that.

See?

The auction ends on Friday May 4, 2012. The buyer will be required to cut up this stealth ship for scrap. Current bid is $300k.

Oh well.

This boat was built here in the Bay Area and now it’s about to die here.

All the deets, below.

Remember  back when Bay Areans could espy the straight-outta-Redwood-City $200-million Sea Shadow stealth ship bobbing about in San Francisco Bay? Check this video from down Fun Diego way over at Telstar Logistics to see this baby in action.

Say it aloud: Super-Secret Sea Shadow Stealth Ship, Super-Secret Sea Shadow Stealth Ship, Super-Secret Sea Shadow Stealth Ship! This project was so secret that it didn’t make the Bay Area newspapers up until 1999, when this boat was identified as an airplane three times by the San Francisco Examiner.*

But lately, the ex Sea Shadow just sits around in the mothballed Ghost Fleet of the East Bay over in Benicia. Check out these great photos from Amy Heiden. Pretty boss, huh?

Now the first time the Navy tried to get rid of this historic boat, in 2006, they had all sorts of rules. Then they tried again in 2009 with more flexible rules. But the problem is that you can’t just take the Shadow, you also have to take the Hughes Mining Barge (HMB-1), a floating drydock boat that was developed as part of Project Jennifer. (That was the semi-successful, top-secret effort mounted by the Central Intelligence Agency to salvage the remains of the Soviet submarine K-129 from the ocean floor.)

Here’s a shot of  them together, ignore the two conventional warships in the background:

But wait, there’s more. Here’s how the Sea Shadow is laid out on the inside:

The bridge of Grant Imahara’s future evil lair. (Boy, talk about a glass cockpit, huh?)

And here’s how she looks from the outside:

You want. However, nobody set up a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and take these things off of the Navy’s hands. So now an important piece of Bay Area military history (and film history what with it inspiring the bad guys’ floating lair in Tomorrow Never Dies) is a gonna get scrapped.

Here’s what came next, after the Shadow got mothballed – it’s the all-aluminum Sea Fighter, as seen back in 2006:

via Telstar Logistics

The point being is that the aging Sea Shadow is the ur-ship, the JetFire of the stealth boat world. Why didn’t anybody save her?

Check out the owner’s manuals - pretty soon, that will be all that’s left…

Ever more deets, after the jump.

*From 1999: “The combined Navy-Marine exercise included overflights of the Bay Area by the Sea Shadow, the Navy equivalent of the stealth bomber.” No, this thing can’t fly, it just floats. Veteran SF Chronicle writer Henry K. Lee got that right but others did not. Nevertheless, SFGate.com, San Francisco’s online newspaper, remains an invaluable resource.

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OMG, the New Mitsubishi i Cars are Here – All-Electric Fleet Vehicles Come to City CarShare

Friday, December 9th, 2011

Well, here it is:

Click to expand

All the deets:

“Mitsubishi Motors Makes First Fleet Delivery of the 2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV (Mitsubishi innovative Electric Vehicle) to Bay Area’s City CarShare

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 8, 2011  – Representatives from Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc., (MMNA), along with San Rafael Mitsubishi, conducted the very first fleet delivery of the all-new 100% electric-powered 2012 Mitsubishi i to the California Bay Area’s City CarShare in a special ceremony held at the Green Vehicle Showcase located in front of San Francisco City Hall Plaza on Thursday, December 8 at 9:00 a.m.

City CarShare is a Bay Area nonprofit organization founded in 2001 with the help of several other local nonprofits and the cities of San Francisco, Berkeley and Oakland. Their mission is to promote innovative mobility options to improve the environment and the quality of life in the Bay Area. By providing short-term access to cars City CarShare is reducing traffic congestion, parking problems and dependence on oil while promoting cleaner air and quieter streets.

“We are very pleased to introduce the all electric Mitsubishi i into our fleet. This vehicle brings us one step closer toward our goal of having 50% of our fleet run on alternative fuel as part of our mission to decrease carbon emissions in the Bay Area,” said Rick Hutchinson, CEO, City CarShare.

Numerous fleet orders have already been placed for the innovative, environmentally-friendly and fun-to-drive Mitsubishi i by a wide variety of organizations – multinational corporations, municipalities large and small, major utilities and nonprofit organizations – from New York to Hawaii.

“We thank the Bay Area’s City CarShare for being the first fleet recipient of our innovative 100% electric-powered vehicle,” said Yoichi Yokozawa, President and CEO of Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc. (MMNA). “City CarShare’s stated goals are to help promote modes of personal transportation that help improve the environment while reducing noise pollution as well as fossil fuel dependence, so the 2012 Mitsubishi i is the perfect vehicle to help achieve this nonprofit’s ambitious mission.”

The 2012 Mitsubishi i is the first of several new advanced, alternative-fuel production vehicles that the Japanese auto manufacturer plans on bringing to the North American market in the next few years.

For more information about the 2012 Mitsubishi i, please visit media.mitsubishicars.com and i.mitsubishicars.com; for fleet sales information on Mitsubishi’s electric vehicle please log on to mitsubishicars.com/iMiEVfleet.

More information on the Bay Area’s City CarShare can be found at citycarshare.org.

SOURCE  Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc.”

The i-MiEV’s are Here, the i-MiEV’s are Here! PG&E is Road-Testing Tiny Electric Cars from Mitsubishi

Thursday, September 8th, 2011

Apparently, PG&E has been testing these Mitsubishi i-MiEV‘s (“Mitsubishi In-wheel motor Electric Vehicle” or “Mitsubishi innovative Electric Vehicle”) for a while, but this is my first time seeing one. PG&E fleet-tests all sorts of electric vehicles all the time, of course.

Isn’t that a wonderful contribution from a great local corporation? They’re a great company that gets it.

[What, what did I just say? What? Oh, why’d I say that? Mmmm. Now, is PG&E the outfit that lies about how they killed people or are they my number one booster?* Both, maybe? I’m conflicted. Note to self: Hire fashionable spokesmodel to clean up this mess. Get money from PG&E people to hire said spokesmodel. That’s using the old bean! Bingo-bango.]

Now, where was I? Oh, the electric motors are in the wheels – this is the approach Mitsu is taking. So that’s a little more advanced than what other companies (like Tesla Motors and (heh) CODA Automotive) are doing. Is that a good idea? We’ll see.

Click to expand

Those stalk things are your manual mirror adjustment controls – old school!

All the deets:

ALL-NEW, 100% ELECTRIC.
Welcome to a whole new era of fleet efficiency. The result of more than four decades of dedicated EV engineering, the 100% electric Mitsubishi i offers a host of advantages over traditional gas-powered fleet vehicles.

The Mitsubishi i has less moving parts than its gas-powered counterparts which can translate to reduced maintenance requirements and less downtime for repairs.
Volatile, rising fuel costs make it difficult to project expenses. Charging with electricity can stabilize that variability and help keep you in control of your budget.
With a low acquisition fee of under $30,000 and an operating cost of just $.03 per mile*, the Mitsubishi i is remarkably cost-effective.
Of course, the Mitsubishi i isn’t just about improving your bottom line. Featuring world-class performance, a targeted range of 85 miles,† comfortable seating for four and zero on-road emissions, this EV is equipped to handle a wide variety of tasks—and demonstrate your company’s commitment to the environment.

* Estimate based on 5.3 miles per kWh at .15 cents per kWh.
† Targeted LA4 EPA city cycle. Actual range will vary depending on driving / charging habits, speed, conditions, weather, temperature and battery age.”

You’ll be able to buy one for yourself next year. Maybe they’ll be calling it the Mitsubishi i by that point.

In other news, the big anti-PG&E protest will be tomorrow at noon

Jail the PG&E Corporate Criminals For Murder-Public Power Now 

NO MORE SAN BRUNOS! 

Rally Friday, Sept. 9 at Noon 
1st Anniversary of the 
CRIMINAL SAN BRUNO BLAST 

Protest PG&E 
for its Arrogance, 
Incompetence & 
Criminal Negligence! 
Public Power Now! 

PG&E Headquarters 
77 Beale Street, SF 

Sponsored by Terry Joan Baum for Mayor 2011 
email: staff(at)terryjoanbaum.com 
phone: 415-553-8847″

See you there!

*Actually, I was in the Presidio one time, IRL, I’m srsly, and while I was there a PG&E employee came up and told me, twice, that “it would be in your interest” for me to pull my post about PG&E hiring people from Nevada to canvas for some proposition in the Mission. And then, when I was huffing up Arguello to get home later that evening, she offered me a ride in her car! I didn’t get in. (“Never get in the van.” – that’s the lesson I learned from Three Days of the Condor)

Joubert: It will happen this way. You may be walking. Maybe the first sunny day of the spring. And a car will slow beside you, and a door will open, and someone you know, maybe even trust, will get out of the car. And he will smile, a becoming smile…

Well That’s It: The US Navy is Scrapping the Bay Area’s $200 Million Super Secret Stealth Ship – R.I.P. Sea Shadow

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

The United States Navy has given up on the idea of giving away to a good home the formerly spr sekrt stealth ship Sea Shadow. That means that this expensive piece of Bay Area military memorabilia will soon be cut up for scrap.

Oh well.

Good bye, IX-529.

But we’ll always have memories, like right here – check it out, from back in the day last year.

All the deets:

Remember back in the day, back when Bay Areans could espy the straight-outta-Redwood-City $200-million Sea Shadow stealth ship bobbing about in San Francisco Bay? Check this video from down Fun Diego way over at Telstar Logistics to see this baby in action.

Say it aloud: Super-Secret Sea Shadow Stealth Ship, Super-Secret Sea Shadow Stealth Ship, Super-Secret Sea Shadow Stealth Ship! This project was so secret that it didn’t make the Bay Area newspapers, excepting for 1999 when this boat was identified as an airplane three times by the San Francisco Examiner.*

This is what she looked like, coming out in the daytime when she was no longer so very supr sekrt:

Guess what, the U.S. Navy wants to give her away for free! The problem is that there are no takers as of yet, so the ex Sea Shadow just sits around in the mothballed Ghost Fleet of the East Bay. Check out these recent photos from Amy Heiden. Pretty boss, huh?

Now the first time the Navy tried to give away this historic boat, in 2006, they had all sorts of rules. Then they tried again in 2009 with more flexible rules. But the problem is that you can’t just take the Shadow, you also have to take the Hughes Mining Barge (HMB-1), a floating drydock boat that was developed as part of Project Jennifer. (That was the semi-successful, top-secret effort mounted by the Central Intelligence Agency to salvage the remains of the Soviet submarine K-129 from the ocean floor.)

Here’s a shot of  them together, ignore the two conventional warships in the background:

But wait, there’s more. Here’s how the Sea Shadow is laid out on the inside:

The bridge of Grant Imahara’s future evil lair. (Boy, talk about a glass cockpit, huh?)

And here’s how she looks from the outside:

You want. Why don’t you start up a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and take these things off of the Navy’s hands? Otherwise an important piece of Bay Area military history (and film history what with it inspiring the bad guys’ floating lair in Tomorrow Never Dies) is a gonna get scrapped.

Here’s what came next, after the Shadow got mothballed – it’s the all-aluminum Sea Fighter, as seen back in 2006:

via Telstar Logistics

The point being is that the aging Sea Shadow is the ur-ship, the JetFire of the stealth boat world. Won’t you save her?

O.K., first things first. Check out the owner’s manuals and start writing your business plan. (And, oh yes, while you’re at it, scrape up some cash. Lots and lots and lots o’ cash.)

Happy sailing!

The Navy’s announcement, after the jump.

*From 1999: “The combined Navy-Marine exercise included overflights of the Bay Area by the Sea Shadow, the Navy equivalent of the stealth bomber.” No, this thing can’t fly, it just floats. Veteran SF Chronicle writer Henry K. Lee got that right but others did not. Nevertheless, SFGate.com, San Francisco’s online newspaper, remains an invaluable resource.

(more…)

Refreshing RocketBoat Adds Some Needed Color to San Francisco Bay – 2010 Season is On

Monday, May 3rd, 2010

Of course, some people* don’t like you, RocketBoat, but I do. You add color to the bay. You complete me, RB. Thanks for coming back in 2010.

Get all the deets on the Rocket Boat here from sailboat-hating Ken Garcia.  And take a look at the action on YouTube. RocketBoat just might rock your world. Check it:

Came back for a 2nd round and this time we had a party of 7 go on the Rocketboat. That boat kicks ass. It goes about 45 mph and the driver loves to spin donuts.”

Verily.

Now, we’ve all heard the expression “let’s get busy.” Well, this is a boat who gets “biz-zay!” Consistently and thoroughly. Look at RB totally pwning a local yachtsman just the other day:

Click to expand

Even “smart chicks” love the RocketBoat. You will too.

Get all the deets after the jump.

See you there!

*Local sailboat people disapprove of motor vessels in general, and RocktBoat in particular. RocketBoat, RocketBoat/ It’s not your fault.

(more…)

Attention San Francisco: A Gas-Powered Toyota Prius Taxi is Not an Alternative Fuel Vehicle

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

The Question of the Day is whether a car powered by regular old gasoline is an alternative fuel vehicle. Let’s go to the source, and let’s leave out the ifs, ands, or buts while we’re at it: 

Hybrid electric vehicles such as the Toyota Prius are not actually alternative fuel vehicles…”

So, now you’re up to speed when you read the latest Governing By Press Release press release below.

No Aaron, don’t put plain old gasoline into daddy’s anthropomorphic Prius, put in the alternative fuel instead:

via Goldberg

Now, when you want to abuse the English language, the proper way to do it is explicitly, the way they do it on Wikipedia. Or, indeed, the way the Feds do it when they define Canadian-made cars as “American” cars.

“Canada is considered to be part of the United States when determining the “domestic” content of cars. Let’s see what U.S. Code TITLE 49 > SUBTITLE VI > PART C > CHAPTER 323 > § 32304 Passenger motor vehicle country of origin ­labeling has to say:

“6. ‘foreign content’ means passenger motor vehicle equipment that is not of United States/Canadian origin.”

See? That’s how you show you know what you’re doing. That’s the way you do it.

Time for some remedial reading - how about Physics for Future Presidents instead of yet another damn poetry book? (You might not agree with everything in there and you might not enjoy the process, but you’d be a better person for it. This is not to say that a manager needs to spend all his or her time on the gritty nitty, but investing a few hours, a few days or so, well that’d be nice.)

Just saying.

“I don’t know what you mean by ‘glory,’” Alice said.
Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. “Of course you don’t – till I tell you. I meant ‘there’s a nice knock-down argument for you!’”
“But ‘glory’ doesn’t mean ‘a nice knock-down argument,’” Alice objected.
“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said in a rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean – neither more nor less.”
“The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
“The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master – that’s all.”
Alice was too much puzzled to say anything, so after a minute Humpty Dumpty began again.
“They’ve a temper, some of them – particularly verbs, they’re the proudest – adjectives you can do anything with, but not verbs – however, I can manage the whole lot! Impenetrability! That’s what I say!”

Leaving you with the News of the Day:

 MAYOR NEWSOM ANNOUNCES THAT MORE THAN HALF OF SAN FRANCISCO TAXI FLEET IS ALTERNATIVE FUEL VEHICLES

San Francisco, CA— Mayor Gavin Newsom, the San Francisco Municipal
Transportation Agency (SFMTA) and the Department of the Environment joined
the San Francisco taxi industry today to announce that 57 percent of the
taxi fleet is comprised of hybrid or compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles.
There are 788 alternative fuel vehicles out of a total of 1,378 eligible
vehicles. The CNG vehicles account for 131 of those and the hybrids account
for 657.
“The clean taxi program shows that aggressive action is possible at the
local level to make major reductions in carbon emissions,” said Mayor
Newsom. “Today’s announcement reinforces our commitment to bringing these
emissions to zero.”
In addition, less than two years after the City passed a law requiring taxi
companies to reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 20 percent from
1990 levels by 2012, emissions from San Francisco taxis are now at 12
percent of 1990 levels. With only 8 percent in reductions remaining, the
taxi companies are now more than halfway in meeting the 20 percent required
by the legislation.
Phasing in hybrid electric and compressed natural gas (CNG) taxis into the
taxi fleet has resulted in roughly 35,000 tons of GHG emissions savings
each year, which is the same as reducing fuel consumption by 2.9 million
gallons per year. That is equivalent to taking 4,700 regular passenger cars
off of the road, or saving roughly $9.5 million dollars annually in fuel
costs.
“The SFMTA is proud to continue the work begun by the industry and the Taxi
Commission,” said Nathaniel P. Ford Sr., SFMTA Executive Director/CEO.
“This collaboration is an important part of creating a comprehensive
transportation system that is environmentally sustainable.”
This number of alternative fuel vehicles continues to rise because the
hybrid and CNG vehicles, while contributing to cleaner air for San
Francisco, are also very popular with taxi drivers. Although the fee
charged to a taxi driver to take out an alternative fuel vehicle is a bit
higher at $104.50 per 10-hour shift instead of $96.50 for a gasoline fueled
vehicle, the savings in fuel costs are substantial. For example, gasoline
for one shift is approximately $28 to $35, whereas filling up a hybrid
vehicle after a shift costs about half of that, around $15.  The hybrid
vehicles provide an additional economic benefit to taxi companies in that
they require less time and money for brake repairs. San Francisco’s hills
require the Crown Victoria taxis to have their brakes changed about once a
month. Hybrids can go six to eight months on a single set of brakes.
The gradual and flexible nature of the clean taxi program facilitated its
success. The program was accompanied by economic incentives from the City
to vehicle purchasers in the form of grant subsidies and gate fee increases
for alternative fuel vehicles. The SFMTA has continued the work of the
former Taxi Commission in coordination with the Department of the
Environment to encourage companies to purchase alternative fuel vehicles by
providing a Clean Air Taxi Grant incentive. Grants of $2,000 per new
alternative fuel vehicle are available to purchasers on a first come-first
served basis. The SFMTA merged with the Taxi Commission in March 2009 and
will oversee the ongoing upgrade of the San Francisco taxi fleet.
“Innovative solutions like the clean taxi program will keep San Francisco
beautiful,” said David Assmann, SF Environment Acting Director. “By working
in concert with the industry, San Francisco has created a program that gets
results.”
San Francisco currently has 1,474 taxis in service. Of these, 96 are ramp
taxi vehicles that are not subject to clean air vehicle requirements due to
the lack of good alternative fuel wheelchair accessible vans available on
the market. San Francisco taxi vehicles typically have about a four year
useful life and must be taken out of service once they have reached 350,000
miles.
The clean taxi ordinance was drafted in 2007 and originally published as
Police Code Section 1135.3.  The SFMTA re-enacted the requirement as
Transportation Code, Division II, Sections 1106(m) (emissions reductions)
and 1114(e)(9)(A) (annual reporting requirement). The next report from taxi
companies on their plans for vehicle upgrades going forward is due June 1.