Posts Tagged ‘nat ford’

Consider This Your Invitation to the Bay to Breakers Street Party in the Panhandle on May 20th – It’s Free! – It’s Fun!

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

Hey, it’s time to start organizing your trip to San Francisco for the Bay to Breakers street party on May 20th, 2012. Do you have your costume ready yet?

Here’s just one house on Fell Street, from last year:

Click to expand

Here’s your official guide.

Now I’ll tell you, in years past, there were all kinds of controversies regarding this annual tradition. But so far in 2012 I haven’t heard word one in the media about this event. That’s a big green light for you and your friends to come on down this year. The thing that’s changed lately is that you can’t have parade floats to push around anymore. That’s it.

But whatever you do, don’t register. All that does is send money to some hard-core right winger Prop 8 supporting billionaire fitness nut who “bought” this event because he liked participating in it. No, just show up ready to par-TAY.

Oh, and remember, don’t let anybody in some T-shirt push you around. The only people who you need to listen to are in the SFPD, pretty much.

And me – I’ve lived on Fell Street for donkey’s years and I, personally, am inviting you and your cousins and your frat and/or sorority to come on down.

See you soon!

 

 

The Secret of the N-Judah Express “Success” – Three Drivers and Two Starters Just Waiting to Serve You

Friday, September 23rd, 2011

So, I know passengers like and appreciate the N Judah Express, but why is MUNI putting so much effort into this new line?

See? There’s the 5:00 PM bus, and the 5:10 PM, and the 5:20PM, and guess what’ll be coming around the corner soon? That’s right, it must be the 5:30 PM:

Click to expand

Camera right shows one of the two starters used by MUNI to make sure the 5:00 PM leaves at exactly 5:00 PM. (Count how many MUNI workers are hanging out at your bus stop today – I’ll bet it’s less than five. Probably it’s zero.)

OK.

I mean, is MUNI going to start following timetables religiously, like Japanese-style, for all its lines now?

The SFMTA has been itching to charge $3 for express rides, right? Does that mean that MUNI loses more on this line than others?

So, yes MUNI, you are trying hard here, but I don’t think you can afford it.

I think, for some reason, you are taking resources from other lines and putting them right here.

For some reason.

Sisters Doing it for Themselves: Trying to Remember Bay to Breakers Before the NIMBYs’ Ban on Nudity

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

[UPDATE: Here’s the other shot of these two in action.]

You kids might be too young to remember, but the annual Bay to Breakers footrace used to run wild on the streets.

As here, from back in The Aughts.

At this point, race-leader Caroline Rotich (#2) must have been thinking how different things are here compared with Kenya:

Click to expand – this one gets extra big

Ah memories…

Internal SFMTA Emails Reveal a “Very Messy Situation” – Why They Want Ad Money From Taxi Drivers

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011

Remember that whole deal about how taxi drivers were fighting the sainted SFMTA, the worst-run agency in town, over those 5% credit card fees and rear seat Passenger Information Monitors (PIMs) and electronic waybills and whatnot?

Well, some people at the SFMTA thinks that the SFMTA should get a piece of the ad revenue pie.

See? 

Read all about this from driver John Han at Taxi Town SF:

“The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (MTA) may explore ways to get a share of taxi advertising revenues in the future.

Recently, the United Taxi Workers (UTW) filed a public information request, and obtained materials regarding the City’s regulation on 5% credit card fees, rear seat Passenger Information Monitors (PIMs), and electronic waybills.

Included in the material was a copy of an email sent by MTA Deputy Director of Taxi Services Christiane Hayashi dated March 25th, 2011, and addressed to Sonali Bose, the agency’s chief financial officer, and other recipients.

In that email, Hayashi responds to two questions being posed at her by Nathaniel Ford, who was the MTA chief at the time, and backed up by Sonali Bose, regarding the distribution of ad revenues generated by rear seat PIMs.

Bose’s first question to Hayashi was, “Who negotiated the 90%-10% split and under what authority?” Her second question was, “Why isn’t the MTA getting a portion of the ad revenue?”

The following is an excerpt from the email in which Hayashi answers Bose’s two questions…

“As to the question of ‘who negotiated the deal,’ I guess my response is that it’s not a deal so much as a regulation – while I did my due diligence and circulated a draft memo to the TAC, it comes from a place of regulatory authority, not negotiation. The SFMTA has no privity of contract with the equipment providers – Veriphone, Wireless Edge and CMT have contracts with the taxi companies.

Why 10% to the Driver Fund? Because, like the medallion sales program, I felt it important to be able to point to some benefit to drivers in order to make the very unpopular change go down more smoothly.

If he question is why not a share to the SFMTA, I guess my answer is that this is equipment that is owned by third party vendors and being installed at no cost in privately-owned vehicles driven by independent contractors. We come at it as a regulator, and the permit fees we receive are supposed to cover the cost of administrating our program. I think that I would have gotten tremendous resistance from both companies and equipment vendors if I tried to demand a slice of advertising revenues for the SFMTA as part of the price for a company to get a waiver from the regulator. It would be like granting a building permit on the condition that the Planning Department could have a share of the advertising revenues from the building.

Of course, as we have discussed previously, there may be a place for bringing taxi advertising generally into the SFMTA, but if we do it would have to be a cooperative situation with the companies, where we agree to bear the administrative burden and use our greater negotiating power to increase their revenues in exchange for a share. That is a distinct possibility that we can continue to explore. I think the companies would embrace it if we can improve their advertising yield and reduce their administrative costs. I think I mentioned to you that the good time to broach this would be when we propose uniform top lights for all taxis with uniform advertising space that we could manage on behalf of the companies. That is something we accomplish during the next fiscal year if that is the policy direction.

I hope I have explained a very messy situation. Let me know if you have further questions.”

A scanned version of the emails text (sometimes hard to read because it’s scanned) is available and can be viewed by CLICKING HERE

Well well.

A messy situation indeed.

OMG, McAllister Street to Become a Two-Way August 4th – All the Way to Market for Bikes, MUNI, and Taxis

Monday, August 1st, 2011

Well, here you go – in four short days, McAllister will become a fully two-way street.

This should speed up the #5 Fulton inbound, huh?

And now there’s even less excuse to use the Wiggle bike route (as McAllister and Divisadero make up a superior route to and from the Panhandle, sorry for saying that over again but it’s totally true.)

The News of the Day: 

“The SFMTA Announces Reconfiguration of McAllister Street

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), which oversees all surface transportation in the City, including the Municipal Railway (Muni), today announced that, effective Thursday, Aug. 4, McAllister Street east of Hyde Street will be reconfigured. Also, Charles J. Brenham Place (7th Street north of Market) will be converted to two-way. The traffic reconfiguration and correlated completion of the overhead contact system (OCS) rehabilitation in this area mean that the nearly 16,000 annual 5 Fulton Muni trolley bus customers will now have a more direct trip downtown. The change will save the Agency more than $200,000 a year in operating expenses.

Effective Aug. 4, the new configuration will allow Muni, commercial vehicles and bicycles to travel eastbound on McAllister Street between Hyde Street and Charles J. Brenham Place. All other eastbound McAllister traffic will continue to turn right at Hyde Street. Only bicycles, taxis and Muni vehicles will be allowed to turn east on Market Street from McAllister Street. All other traffic will be required to turn right onto Market Street. All traffic will be able to make a right turn from northbound Charles J. Brenham Place (7th Street north of Market Street) onto eastbound McAllister Street to access the block between Charles J. Brenham Place and Jones Street. The attached maps show the changes in the traffic configuration.

The current 5 Fulton route requires inbound vehicles heading downtown to make a right on Hyde Street and then a left on Market Street. The new route, made possible by new overhead wires in the eastbound direction, will allow buses on this route to go straight to Market Street, saving up to three minutes per trip. The changes to the 5 Fulton route will take effect after the testing of the new OCS in August.

The SFMTA’s Capital Investment Program includes the rehabilitation of the aging trolley bus OCS in various parts of the City. This vital work includes replacing existing poles and overhead wires. Rehabilitation of the OCS improves safety and service reliability and helps keeps Muni in a state of good repair. The OCS construction began last summer and was part of the 21 Hayes Pole Replacement project.”

Hurray?

Hurray!

NoPA Grandmother Tries to End Bay to Breakers Street Party 2011 All By Herself – Gets Ignored – Gets High-Fived

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

This semi-official “Neighborhood Ambassador” of the 100th running of the Bay to Breakers event somehow got the idea that she should  start shutting down the annual after-party on Fell Street all by herself.

She spent a while hectoring these street youth until one of them proffered his hand for a high-five good-bye. (You see, he was too polite just to walk away during the haranguing session.) She left him hanging for a bit with his hand fixed in the air but eventually she responded in kind and then the kids, the Future of America, the people who were doing nothing wrong, felt free to walk away without appearing to be too disrespectful.

The scene on Fell – what happens when you try to end an afternoon party at lunchtime:

Click to expand

Some of the “Ambassadors” felt it was their job to prevent people from walking across the Panhandle to get to the other side, you know, the same way residents of Fell Street do the other 364 days of the year, However, the citizens of SF mostly managed to ignore these brownshirts.

Good times.

See you next year in 2012, Bay to Breakers!

The Streets of San Francisco: SFMTA Rips Off Famous MUNI Critic Greg Dewar and His N Judah Chronicles

Friday, July 1st, 2011

This bus ad doesn’t say The Streets of San Francisco, oh no, it says The Treats of San Francisco.

See? (The fine print in the ad says that MUNI has permission from CBS to run to use the SoSF logo, so everything’s nice and legal.)

Click to expand.

Isn’t this ad kind of a rip-off of Greg Dewar’s N Judah Chronicles?

Signs point to yes.

Speaking of whom, here’s MUNI’s Death Spiral from Greg Dewar and Joe Eskenazi. (Boy, the head of MUNI at the time just flipped out, I mean, really flipped out over this bit in the SF Weekly from last year. He hosted a big meeting in response to this one article. It was epic, I’ve been told.)

Anyway, do you know what that “treat” is, the one referenced in the MUNI ad?

It’s the price increase what starts today.

Hurray!

The Riding Public Has Discovered the Nx Judah Express – It’s Like a Bus Bridge Shuttle that Runs All the Time

Friday, June 17th, 2011

These days, there’s no need to wonder when the next Nx Judah Express is coming, as you can see them queuing up betwixt First and Second streets on Market.

Anyway, MUNI has a starter directing bus traffic on the evening drive starting at 4:00 PM, so the drivers are keeping schedule down to the minute.

Click to expand

Yesterday’s Nx’es appeared to be rather full with riders, so that means that this program is more successful than the CultureBus already.

That’s the update for now…

Hell Yes: Senator Leland Yee Goes After the SFMTA for Approving Nat Ford’s $400k “Golden Parachute”

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

Here’s the news from Your Senator Leland Yee, the current front-runner in the race to become Your Next Mayor:

“SAN FRANCISCO – Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) issued the following statement in response to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency approving a $384,000 severance package for their outgoing executive director:

I am deeply disappointed that MTA would approve a nearly $400,000 golden parachute for an outgoing city executive. At a time when our budget is cutting critical social services for our kids and the most vulnerable in our city, we can ill-afford to be paying excessive payouts to administrators who are no longer working for the public. I have fought these exorbitant sweetheart deals at UC and CSU, and as mayor I will reform these practices.”

OK then.

WWMD with the SFMTA?

This was the one I was thinking of originally:

Laughing Squid

 

Know Your Nx Judah Express Bus – Photos of the Debut – But Mostly Empty, By Design – Getting a CultureBus Vibe

Tuesday, June 14th, 2011

Well here it is, the debut of the Nx Judah Express, designed to whisk people to the fog-enshrouded West Bay, you know, to give a little more elbow room for the denizens of San Francisco Proper – the Inner Sunset and Cole Valley.

All right, Chapter I: Know Your Nx.

Anterior. Rather a bright bleu, non? Redolent of the bright orange-wrapped CultureBus one might think:

Click to expand

Lateral. Rather patriotic, redolent of the 1976-era bicentennial scheme:

Posterior. Rather less blue, but that solid-colored rectangle is your visual cue to start running for the Nx before the driver takes off.

I don’t see a bunch of people clamoring to get into these things just yet. We’ll see.

All right Chapter II: Empty by Design.

After the drivers drop off passengers way out there near La Playa or 47th Aveneue or whatever, they turn around and head back to the Financh empty.

What? Really. The plan is for the drivers to “dead-head” on back downtown sans passengers.

(Wonder if you could get on at the last stop outbound with the intent of coming into the Financial without any stops at all? That would be the Nx Judah Express to the Second Power, or something. But, they’d probably kick you off, so oh well.)

Like I say, this program reminds me of the failed CultureBus, which Nat Ford still hails as a success.

Obviously, you can’t have an N Judah streetcar run an express route on the same tracks as regular N Judah service. And obviously, the SFMTA just can’t add more N’s, for whatever reason. Oh well.

And in mitigation, MUNI’s not out there cheerleading for this saying how great an idea it is, you know, the way it happened with Gavin Newsom’s CultureBus. And, when I checked the Next MUNI today, those Nx’es looked verily like rabbits, easily outpacing the N Judahs that started at about the same time.

On Time Will Tell how bad this latest SFMTA program is…