Posts Tagged ‘metro’

The Only Bay Area Transit App Worth Having is the Brand-New “511 Transit App” – Find It In Your Android Market for Free

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

(You know, someday I’ll have to explain why my aging Samsung smartphone is better than your brand-new iPhone 4S, you know the one that has that big “Apple” chip inside that’s made by, um, Samsung? My phone cost $40-something, the sales tax was $40-something, the monthly bill is $40-something (plus San Francisco’s rather high tax scheme, which means I’m paying $50-something per month), I talk as much as I want, I download as much as I want (but no texting, texting is not in my plan, oh well, someday I’ll tell you why that’s sometimes a good thing), I have a bigger, better screen, I have a lighter phone, and before the year is up, I’ll get another brand-new phone. And BTW, what’s the Apple “experience” about? Is it the experience of choosing between the unreliable network (AT&T) and the slow network (Verizon)? Why is it that my phone never drops calls and gets double-digit scores on the same test that you see in the previous link? It’s like 11 Mbps indoors in the Financh. That’s like an order of magnitude faster, right? Not that I care, really, but what am I missing but not paying extra for an iPhone? The phone I have is faster, better, harder, stronger than any iPhone. And, as a bonus, it’s way cheaper. Just saying.)

Sorry iPhone owners, the Only Bay Area Transit App Worth Having isn’t out yet for Appleland, but you Android users should step right up and type “511 transit” into your “Market” icon thingy.

MUNI sucks, of course, but 511 Transit works awesome with MUNI. Try it and you’ll see.

See?

All the deets:

“GPS-Based Trip Planning Available for more than 30 Bay Area Transit Agencies

OAKLAND, Calif., Feb. 22, 2012  – The Bay Area’s 511 traveler information system is now offering its first smartphone app for transit users. The free 511 Transit App is a multiple-agency public transit trip planner using GPS-based location tools for smartphones. Ideal for a daily commute, weekend errand or occasional trip, the app serves both residents and visitors who are planning transit trips within the nine-county region.

“We are pleased to offer this unique and powerful tool for transit riders in the Bay Area,” said Adrienne J. Tissier, chair of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC). “Now you can use one app to plan trips on more than 30 public transit agencies, accessing the most complete coverage for the San Francisco Bay Area.”

The free 511 Transit App can be downloaded through the Android Market (search for: 511 Transit). A version for iPhone 4 will be released soon. The new app provides door-to-door transit trip planning and scheduled departure times for transit routes near your location or from a location you specify. It includes information for 720 routes and more than 23,700 transit stops throughout the region. An interactive, dynamic map shows routes and stops along the way, as well as your current position while on the move. Walking directions to and from stops and fares (including transfers) are also displayed.

“Smartphones and on-the-go trip planning are becoming increasingly common, and 511 is now extending its Bay Area transit planning tools to these faster, more compact platforms,” said Tom Spiekerman, 511 Transit project manager. “Currently, 511 customers plan more than one milliontransit trips per month using the popular website version of the 511 Trip Planner. The new app brings core features of this tool to customers on the go.”

Additional app features include:

–  Recently viewed locations and trips are saved automatically, as well as
favorites.

 –  GPS positioning enables users to set their current location as a
starting point for a trip, or to find nearby stops and transit routes
with scheduled departure times.

–  The app incorporates transit agency announcements that may affect a
trip’s itinerary.

511 Transit App customers are able to provide feedback on the new app by clicking on the “Help/Info” button to send an email to the 511 Team.

The new app complements numerous options people already have to access 511 traveler information. Smartphone and other mobile phone users may access many of 511′s most popular features through the mobile 511 site (m.511.org), by calling 511 from any Bay Area phone, or by receiving real-time transit Departure Times texts (SMS).  Desktop users can access the information from 511.org.

The 511 Transit App includes data from SF Muni,  BART, AC Transit, VTA, SamTrans, Caltrain,  Golden Gate Transit, County Connection, Vallejo Transit, LAVTA, Sonoma County Transit, VINE (Napa County) and more than a dozen additional agencies. For a complete list of all transitagencies included in the 511 Transit app, please visit the trip planning page at 511.org.

For more information, please see the 511 Transit App for Android Fact Sheet.

About 511
511 is a one-stop phone and web source for up-to-the-minute Bay Area traffic, transit, rideshare and bicycling information. It’s free of charge and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from anywhere in the nine-county Bay Area. Call 511 or visit 511.org. 511 is managed by a partnership of public agencies led by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, the California Highway Patrol, Public Transit Agencies, and the California Department of Transportation.

SOURCE  511″

Finally! A “DO NOT ENTER TUNNEL” Sign That Even a Toyota Prius Driver Can’t Miss – At Duboce and Church

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

See it? It’s all lit up 24-7, like a giant Hasbro Lite Brite toy.

Haighteration showed just how bright this light is right here and check out Potato Potato’s take right here.

Thanks, SFMTA!

Click to expand

Or should I say “Thanks, SOUTHERN MANUFACTURING of Orlando, FL” instead?

(And I still don’t know what’s up with Prius drivers. They’re a breed apart is what I’m saying…)

“Southern Manufacturing is proud to be
recognized as a leading manufacturer of
Blank Out and Lane Control signs. Southern
can design and engineer energy efficient
LED signs using standard MUTCD symbols as
well as unique displays. At Southern
Manufacturing, dedication to continuous
improvements in the technology and
fabrication of Blank Out and Lane Control
signs has led to great developments in
quality and design. We manufacture a
variety of sizes ranging from 24 inches up to
60 inches wide.
Using solid state, high flux/high output light
emitting diodes these signs are engineered
to withstand 110 mile per hour winds. With
a minimum projected life of 50,000 hours,
cost of operation has become a major
decision factor in the engineering and
fabrication of these signs.
Constructed from sheet aluminum the body
and frame is light weight and durable. The
sign bodies are continuously welded for
superior strength and weather protection.
Door frame and body are powder coated to
a standard black, with additional finishes
available.”

That Horrible Ultra Motor Ltd Company is Still Around, Still Selling Their Crummy A2B Electric Scooters

Thursday, June 9th, 2011

Now don’t get me wrong, I think test-driving an A2B electric scooter in Golden Gate Park can be fun, but the problem is that these rigs don’t really make sense for the vast majority of people, that’s the problem.

Anyway, this is the past weekend in GGP here…

Click to expand

…and this below is from the past.

Sometimes you spend money on an idea and it doesn’t work out.

Oh well.

Well well, has it really been a half-year since an example of the ridiculous, overweight and overpriced A2B electric bike / moped thing has been spotted on the Streets of San Francisco? Yes.

Here’s the one sighted yesterday. It’s a rental of course, but actually, that’s not a bad thing. Assuming you don’t run out of juice, renting an A2B for 69 bones doesn’t appear to be a bad way to spend a day exploring the 415 . You could easily haul on over to Sausalito (remembering to pretend to pedal – the Golden Gate Bridge people actually require this) and back without breaking a sweat.

See?

(Take care it doesn’t get stolen, though, else they’ll charge your credit card an arm and a leg.)

O.K. then.

Now I’ll tell you, most of the people who comment about the posts made about the A2B on this website actually work (or worked) for Ultra Motor.

For example, here’s a bit from Ultra Motor Co-Founder and President Jon Bowman from earlier this year:

“Wow. You really have nothing better to do than attack what appears to be a good idea and an innovative product.”

Does that make sense? He’s berating me for criticising one of his P.O.S. products from the standpoint of someone who doesn’t work for Ultra Motor, yet he works for Ultra Motor. (Reminds me of when people at the San Francisco Chronicle Newspaper would make comments on SFist claiming to work full-time for MUNI or something. They weren’t really fooling anybody…)

Anyway, a newer product Ultra Motor has is called the Excel and it’s being marketed as a $5000 electric scooter. O.K., if it makes you happy.

The big problem with all these bikes is that they don’t sell. The fact that you have to fork over $2200 plus tax, minimum, to buy one (unless you get a deal through Craigslist ) is merely the first problem. It’s not the only problem, not at all. (Now, they have this newer model, the Velocity (Velociti?) but I ain’t never seen one of those – maybe it’s closer to being an actual electric bike…)

Oh well. Even the people who like these things don’t really like these things.

If you want an electric bike, get a Trek or something else.

The Mean Streets of San Francisco are No Place for an Ultra Motor A2B Electric Scooter Moped Bicycle Thing

Thursday, May 12th, 2011

Maybe it was a chuckhole or maybe it was going around the open car door and onto the train tracks that caused this fellow to take a tumble on his crappy Ultra Motor A2B electric moped on Market Street yesterday.

You see, them wheels is too small – it’s a styling thing, apparently:

Click to expand

You know, on their website they tell you everything but how much these contraptions cost…*

*Too much**

**A-waaaaaaaaay too much. Oh well.

Bicycle Trilogy: This Fellow Actually Bought an A2B Electric Bike – They’re Aren’t Too Many Like Him

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

I’m not sure if a Segway scooter sighting is rarer than an A2B electric bike / scooter sighting on the Streets of San Francisco.

The sales of both haven’t met expectations, I’d imagine.

Anyway, count this guy as an A2B True Believer:

Click to expand

For one

Ultra Motor’s A2B Electric Bike, the Worst Consumer Product of 2009, Spotted in 2010

Monday, August 9th, 2010

Well well, has it really been a half-year since an example of the ridiculous, overweight and overpriced A2B electric bike / moped thing has been spotted on the Streets of San Francisco? Yes.

Here’s the one sighted yesterday. It’s a rental of course, but actually, that’s not a bad thing. Assuming you don’t run out of juice, renting an A2B for 69 bones doesn’t appear to be a bad way to spend a day exploring the 415 . You could easily haul on over to Sausalito (remembering to pretend to pedal – the Golden Gate Bridge people actually require this) and back without breaking a sweat.

See? 

(Take care it doesn’t get stolen, though, else they’ll charge your credit card an arm and a leg.)

O.K. then.

Now I’ll tell you, most of the people who comment about the posts made about the A2B on this website actually work (or worked) for Ultra Motor.

For example, here’s a bit from Ultra Motor Co-Founder and President Jon Bowman from earlier this year:

“Wow. You really have nothing better to do than attack what appears to be a good idea and an innovative product.”

Does that make sense? He’s berating me for criticising one of his P.O.S. products from the standpoint of someone who doesn’t work for Ultra Motor, yet he works for Ultra Motor. (Reminds me of when people at the San Francisco Chronicle Newspaper would make comments on SFist claiming to work full-time for MUNI or something. They weren’t really fooling anybody…)

Anyway, a newer product Ultra Motor has is called the Excel and it’s being marketed as a $5000 electric scooter. O.K., if it makes you happy. 

The big problem with all these bikes is that they don’t sell. The fact that you have to fork over $2200 plus tax, minimum, to buy one (unless you get a deal through Craigslist ) is merely the first problem. It’s not the only problem, not at all. (Now, they have this newer model, the Velocity (Velociti?) but I ain’t never seen one of those – maybe it’s closer to being an actual electric bike…)

Oh well. Even the people who like these things don’t really like these things.

If you want an electric bike, get a Trek or something else.

Jay Leno-Approved A2B Electric Mopeds Appear on the Streets of San Francisco

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

It took a while, but this photo is clear evidence of an A2B electric moped from San Francisco-based Ultra Motor USA apparently being used by a regular San Franciscan. Heretofore, I’ve only seen A2Bs being borrowed by tourists for short-term rentals, or by riders on test drives, or by employees trying to promote the brand, stuff like that.

So this is progress, of a sort.

Let’s see here, yes, that’s an overweight, overpriced A2B Metro being used as designed in San Francisco. Finally.

And here’s something else that’s new – an endorsement from Jay Leno. Check the short video with dressed-for-success(!) (in a camo tank, Daisy Dukes* and high-heeled boots) Ultra Motor “Sales Manager” Shelby Nielsen at advertising-choked JayLenosGarage.com:

Let’s see here. Jay Leno:

Clearly doesn’t understand the concept of voltage. [Conferre this huge 6-volt lantern battery with tiny 9-volt battery next to it - which has more power do you s'pose? Discuss.] 

Thinks the weight of 73 pounds (or is it closer to 90 with the optional $650 battery you can see behind the seat?) “isn’t bad.” [Actually, it is bad.]

Thinks it’s practical to pedal a moped.

Thinks it’s practical to carry a moped up and down stairs on a daily basis.

Doesn’t care about the price

Believes in helmets for people on motorcycles but not on mopeds, despite the fact that he needed to wear a helmet during his test drive on public streets under CA law.

Here’s the thing – A2B mopeds, like all mopeds, are basically manifestations of  license-and-registration scams. Moped owners don’t have to deal with all the hassles involved of owning a scooter or a motorcycle – that’s the reason for the ridiculous design compromises.

So that’s how it’s going for the first year of these mopeds in the 415.

And to close, let’s review The Law: 

Motorized Bicycle, Electric Motor: Safety and Equipment Requirements

24016.  (a) A motorized bicycle described in subdivision (b) of Section 406 shall meet the following criteria:

(1) Comply with the equipment and manufacturing requirements for bicycles adopted by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (16 C.F.R. 1512.1, et seq.) or the requirements adopted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (49 C.F.R. 571.1, et seq.) in accordance with the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966 (15 U.S.C. Sec. 1381, et seq.) for motor driven cycles.

(2) Operate in a manner so that the electric motor is disengaged or ceases to function when the brakes are applied, or operate in a manner such that the motor is engaged through a switch or mechanism that, when released, will cause the electric motor to disengage or cease to function.

(b) All of the following apply to a motorized bicycle described in subdivision (b) of Section 406:

(1) No person shall operate a motorized bicycle unless the person is wearing a properly fitted and fastened bicycle helmet that meets the standards described in Section 21212.

(2) A person operating a motorized bicycle is subject to Sections 21200 and 21200.5.

(3) A person operating a motorized bicycle is not subject to the provisions of this code relating to financial responsibility, driver’s licenses, registration, and license plate requirements, and a motorized bicycle is not a motor vehicle.

(4) A motorized bicycle shall only be operated by a person 16 years of age or older.

(5) Every manufacturer of a motorized bicycle shall certify that it complies with the equipment and manufacturing requirements for bicycles adopted by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (16 C.F.R. 1512.1, et seq.).

(c) No person shall tamper with or modify a motorized bicycle described in subdivision (b) of Section 406 so as to increase the speed capability of the bicycle.

Added Sec. 3, Ch. 804, Stats. 1995. Effective January 1, 1996.

Safety Helmet Regulations

27802.  (a) The department may adopt reasonable regulations establishing specifications and standards for safety helmets offered for sale, or sold, for use by drivers and passengers of motorcycles and motorized bicycles as it determines are necessary for the safety of those drivers and passengers. The regulations shall include, but are not limited to, the requirements imposed by Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 218 (49 C.F.R. Sec. 571.218) and may include compliance with that federal standard by incorporation of its requirements by reference. Each helmet sold or offered for sale for use by drivers and passengers of motorcycles and motorized bicycles shall be conspicuously labeled in accordance with the federal standard which shall constitute the manufacturer’s certification that the helmet conforms to the applicable federal motor vehicle safety standards.

(b) No person shall sell, or offer for sale, for use by a driver or passenger of a motorcycle or motorized bicycle any safety helmet which is not of a type meeting requirements established by the department.

Amended Ch. 163, Stats. 1985. Effective January 1, 1986.

*In the “accepted vernacular

San Francisco Reacts to MUNI’s New Transit Photography Policy

Monday, January 4th, 2010

After a gestation period rather more appropriate for a large mammal fetus, MUNI has finally birthed some bouncing baby SFMTA Guidelines for Photography and Videography. Read all about it and see the reaction courtesy of Troy atCaliberSF.

Two things jump might jump out at you:

1. The ban on the use of “large cameras” doesn’t give too much guidance to MUNI employees tasked with enforcing the policy. How large is large?

2. The ban on photographing stuff in non-public areas wouldn’t apply to somebody who isn’t on MUNI propertah, obviously. There’s no way a shot of a non-public bus yard from a public sidewalk could be banned by the SFMTA.

Anyway hurray, I guess.

Hear that, little critters? Those recording your late night bus rides now will have no fear of harassment from The Man. 

Congrats to Troy Holden and MUNI spokesmodel Judson True for working on this.

SFMTA Photography and Videography Guidelines

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), which operates the
Municipal Railway (Muni), welcomes photography and videography on SFMTA
vehicles and publicly-accessible property subject to the following guidelines. All
photography and videography activities should be pursued safely and with respect for
all SFMTA customers and employees. SFMTA facilities and vehicles are for the
exclusive use of the SFMTA, its employees and its customers. Any and all
permission granted to photograph or take video in connection with these guidelines is
subordinate to the SFMTA’s obligations to its customers, employees and to the
general public.

Non-commercial Photography and Videography

The general public is permitted to use personal, handheld photography and
videography equipment on all Muni in-service transit vehicles and on publiclyaccessible
SFMTA property, including Muni stations, as long as such activities do not
interfere with transit operations.
While on SFMTA property, all photographers and videographers must comply with
the following restrictions:
• Photography or videography activities cannot interfere with the safe operation
of any Muni vehicle as determined by the vehicle’s Operator or other SFMTA
personnel.
• Photography or videography activities cannot impede the safe movement of
Muni customers as they board or alight from transit vehicles or make their
way through Muni stations.
• Stairways, escalators, doors and aisles cannot be blocked by photographers
and videographers at any time.
• Photographers and videographers must fully and immediately comply with
any requests, directions or instructions from SFMTA personnel related to
safety concerns.
• Large cameras, photo or video equipment or ancillary equipment such as
lighting, tripods, cables, etc. are prohibited.
When using photography or videography equipment on SFMTA vehicles or property,
always be aware of your surroundings, including your proximity to moving transit
vehicles or the edges of Muni platforms.
All photographers and videographers are prohibited from entering, photographing, or
taking video in non-public areas of the SFMTA’s transit system.

Questions about the SFMTA’s Photography and Videography Guidelines can be directed to judson.true@sfmta.com or 415.701.4500

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission Throws Up Useful Signs on Market Street

Tuesday, October 6th, 2009

Thanks MTC / 511.org!

(The ball is in your court, 311.)

Keep ‘em coming, 511:

IMG_8048 copy

Click to expand

Worst Consumer Product of 2009 – the $2700 Ultra Motor A2B Electric Bike / Moped Thing

Saturday, August 8th, 2009

Reports are positive so far from those San Franciscans taking extended test drives of Trek’s new electric bike.

Having said that, let’s award Worst Consumer Product of 2009 to another kind of electric bike – the $2700 (or so, some people sell them new for $1700-something) Ultra Motor A2B Electric Bike / Moped Thing.

If you want to check things out, they’re on sale now at the Best Buy and you can even rent them for 79 bones per day

But hey, look at this guy on Market Street near the failed Octavia Boulevard. He just might be an owner/operator of an A2B - the first I’ve seen. Maybe he works for CNET or Engadget or someplace. This early-adopter certainly seemed outgoing and happy though, like three-tabs-of-Ecstasy happy, so good for him. And he was actually pedaling the thing for a bit, amazingly.

IMG_8173 copy

Click to expand.

But for the average person, the A2B is way too heavy and expensive. Why does this electric moped, a “commuter bike,” need full suspension and why does it have tiny wheels? Styling?  

Let’s get some input from an A2B person (employee?), who saw fit to offer this blog his comments here. Read his pearls of wisdom in bold:

Brent Meyers says:
July 17, 2009 at 10:18 am  

“Just curious to know if this ‘blogger’ has ever ridden an A2B.”

See the word “blogger” in quote marks? That means me. Like, what else could I be with my bone-stock WordPress blog? A blogger wannabe? A shill for Trek or some other outfit?   

Chances are he has not.

Chance are I have, ’round about April 5, 2009 – see “Test-Driving the Overweight, Overpriced “Ultra Motor” A2B Electric Moped

If he had ridden an A2B, he would know that it’s quite easy to pedal,

Is a moped easy to pedal? Maybe, but do you ever see people pedaling around on mopeds?

…and the wide tires combined with the full suspension gives the A2B a more comfortable feel and provides much better handling on urban roads.

“More comfortable”? “Better handling”? Compared to what? Is this a sales pitch?  

This blogger…

Ah, no quote marks this time. Hurray!

…should do his readers a favor…

Automatic for the People, baby. I give and give and give, 24-7…

 and properly research something before he writes about it.

Is it possible a multi-thousand-dollar, 73-pound “bike” isn’t for everybody during this particular recession?  

Check your facts Serpico.

“Serpico”? Whoosh! Right over the head with that one. 

O.K. fine. Feel free to test drive the thing, but expect to be harassed by A2B employees if you don’t like it enough to fork over your hard-earned green.

And the prices? Well they’re coming down, both in the shops and on the Craigslist.

Jul 30 – ULTRA MOTORS A2B ELECTRIC BIKES – $1750 - (SACRAMENTO) pic

Jul 28 – Electric Bicycles That Ride Like a Scooter – $1750 - (Arroyo) pic

Maybe if Ultra Motor had built an electric bike instead of an electric scooter, then things would be different…

Oh well.