Posts Tagged ‘fleet’

Frisco Loses “Hometown Airline,” “Thousands of Jobs” – Let’s Look at Excessive Hype for SFO the Past Decade – QANTAS and Vaunted A380

Monday, April 4th, 2016

1. Here’s the news:

Alaska Air Agrees to Buy Virgin America for $2.6 Billion

Does this airline deal “make sense?” IDK, we’ll see.

But let’s now take the chance to take a look at the hype over Virgin America nine years ago, when the Mayor of SF boasted of the “thousands of jobs” what would come from our “hometown airline.”

Flip to the next page to see that.

2. What else, oh the already-failed Airbus A380, the “green” plane what was “going to change everything.” From 2006:

These (A380) aircraft are also very efficient.

But no, not at all, not really. Actually, that’s the problem – A380’s aren’t all that efficient.

Now, did it make sense for SFO to prepare for the arrival of the A380 starting 10-20 years ago? IDK, perhaps, since the feds were paying for most of the work. But this plane certainly was not the future of air travel, as should have obvious to anyone a decade ago.

3. What else, oh, QANTAS.

The airline plans to bring its A380 aircraft to San Francisco on a regular basis in the next few years.

Hey, did this work out? No, not at all. In fact, QANTAS completely abandoned SFO a short time later. It preferred Texas(!) and, of course, Los Angeles, for various reasons.

(And that’s the way it’s been since the 1950’s – QANTAS comes to SFO then starts losing money and then it leaves us and then it comes back to us. This really isn’t under the control of any local Mayors.)

Anyway, that’s how things have gone at SFO the past decade.

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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.

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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.

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