Posts Tagged ‘rent’

Bay Area Bike Share: Just Two Stars on Yelp? – How Much Do Tourists Pay for Their Leisurely Trips Out to Ocean Beach?

Friday, October 31st, 2014

The thing about Bay Area Bike Share is that the bikes aren’t good and they cost a lot of money to rent. This is by design. (Part of it has to do with the govmint not wanting to get static from all those companies what rent normal bikes to tourists.)

Now, are there any BABS stations anywhere near the west si-iiiide of town? No, not even close.

So these people, who made it all the way Way Out West, to the farthest reaches of SF County, what are they thinking? Are they thinking, “Hey, we’re paying $28 an hour for our bikes – let’s hang out and have a picnic?” Nope. They’re thinking, “We’re paying $18 to rent these bikes all day long.”

7J7C7740 copy

IDK. I’m sure BABS knows, but they’re not saying. Perhaps they go easy on the tourists and give a partial refund when somebody faces a $100 rental bill.

Or maybe the tourists think, “Oh, I got a bike for the next three days and it will cost just $22 – America, What A Country?”

As seen, later on, on the western reaches of JFK Drive, pushing the old ball and chain back up through the miles it will take to get back to the nearest station:

7J7C7743 copy

Poor tourists!

And the workers get paid close to minimum wage? And some out of state company will end up making millions or tens of millions of dollars off of this program? If you approve of BABS, with all its issues, then you’d approve of any possible bike program that could be dreamed up by anybody. I minimize the cost to myself by never ever using it – that way, these people only get my tax money and not any of my after-tax take-home pay.

Why not instead just buy bikes with the same amount of tax money, you know, bikes that are twice as good and ten times cheaper and then simply give them away? I’m srsly.

Oh, you’re happy because more people are riding bikes? Well, walking’s good too, right?

I can understand how this program might benefit a small number of people* on a daily basis, but I don’t think the cost is justified. At all.

This is what I’m talking about:

“Let me start by saying, I had a blast when riding these bikes. We rented 6 bikes and rode them for hours. We were charged $80 per bike, so $160 per credit card as you can only rent 2 bikes per card. They DO NOT explain very clearly that you pay $9 for the day but you have to have it docked every 30 minutes or they charge you more. We called and emailed and explained everything to them (they are used to people complaining about this) they sent us a very mean email telling us that it’s our fault that we didn’t read their deceptive instructions correctly. Then have us 25% back to shut us up. What a Bay Area bike share scam! I give it 1 star as it was a blast of a day but not worth it overall. Will NEVER use again and tell EVERYONE about this horrible experience.”

“Please do yourself a favor and don’t use Bay Area Bike Share. It’s a total rip off. Husband and I paid $68 to ride these heavy, hard to use bikes for 2.5 hours. Also, customer service is a joke. They don’t care one bit, as they are truly scammers. They make it seem like you’re paying $9 for a 24-hour period. NOT TRUE. Completely misleading.”

And here’s a sample from the Yelp posts what got taken down – see if you can get the gist of Yukiko N’s beef against BABS:

“With the help 24 hours , is a place of $9 , to see the credit card debit of after one month and $ 158 in ! Many times , and also contact us by e-mail address , one week Nashinotsubute . When the phone , $ 9 in membership , ridiculous that the use of more than one hour is considered overtime answer ! Absolutely not recommended.” 

Capturedfsffff

That’s just a taste. Read on and on to see why the Yelp rating is so so low….

Oh well.

*People who should prolly just buy a bike and learn how to take care of it and then ride it around.

Sympathy for the Landlord Who Inherited the Apartment You Rent: Writer CW Nevius Cries a River over Rent Control

Thursday, October 30th, 2014

HERE ARE JUST TEN OR SO THINGS WRONG WITH THE LATEST EFFORT FROM CW NEVIUS:

“Real estate attorney Elizabeth Erhardt has an incredibly unpopular outlook. She’s sympathetic to San Francisco landlords. And before being drowned out by a chorus of boos and hisses…”

THIS MIGHT COME AS A SURPRISE TO THE NEVIUS, BUT THIS “OUTLOOK” IS NOT “INCREDIBLY UNPOPULAR.” HOW ABOUT SOMEWHAT UNPOPULAR, YOU KNOW, INSTEAD?  STRIKE ONE

“They inherited a…. It’s her sole source of income.”

SO NEVIUS, YOU COULDN’T FIND ANY RICH SAN FRANCISCO LANDOWNER WHO DIDN’T INHERIT PROPERTY? EVERYBODY YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT HERE GOT THEIR LAND FOR FREE WITH A STEPPED-UP BASIS, AND AT LEAST ONE IS LANDED GENTRY WITHOUT A J-O-B? WHAT IS THIS, ANOTHER EPISODE OF DOWNTON ABBEY? IT’S HARD OUT HERE FOR A PIMP (LAND)LORD? DON’T YOU SEE THIS AS A PROBLEM FOR YOUR HARD-LUCK LANDLORD STORIES HERE? STRIKE TWO

“Oh come on, you say. Subletting without the landlord’s permission is illegal. Just toss them out.”

FIRST OF ALL NEVIUS, SUBLETTING WITHOUT THE LANDLORD’S PERMISSION ISN’T “ILLEGAL.” STRIKE THREE. AND SECOND OF ALL, WITHOUT REALIZING IT, YOU’RE CALLING INTO QUESTION THE MANAGEMENT SKILLZ OF THE OWNERS. OF COURSE MOST OF THESE ISSUES ARE WORKED OUT AT THE SF RENT BOARD, BUT YOU DON’T WANT TO TALK ABOUT THAT, OK FINE. BUT, FOR THAT, STRIKE FOUR.

“Erhardt says she had a case where the original tenant was paying $19 a month for his apartment because he’d installed sub-leasers to pay most of the way.”

SO FINE, TAKE IT TO THE RENT BOARD – WHAT’S THE PROBLEM HERE? PROVE UP YOUR CASE AND YOU’LL WIN, EASY-PEASY. AWWWW, THAT’S TOO HARD FOR YOU, YOU DON’T HAVE STOMACH TO MAKE MONEY OFF OF LANDLORDING IN SF? WELL, WHO PROMISED YOU, THE INHERITOR, THAT IT WOULD BE EASY, WHO PROMISED YOU A ROSE GARDEN? WHY NOT INSTEAD JUST SELL THE PROPERTY AND ENJOY YOUR UNEARNED INCOME? FOR NOT STATING THE OBVIOUS, THAT’S STRIKE FIVE FOR THE NEVIUS.

Critics say these are just a few anecdotal examples. 

WHO THE FUCK ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT, NEVIUS? WHO ACTUALLY SAID THIS? AND HOW MANY THOUSANDS OF  STRAW DOGS HAVE YOU BIRTHED OVER THE YEARS, YOU LAZY WRITER, CW NEVIUS? STRIKE SIX. (LET’S BRING OUT THE “T”)

“…poperty owners.”

HEY NEVIUS, YOU DON’T HAVE AN EDITOR, HUH? I KNOW THAT BECAUSE OF TEH TYPOS. AND THAT’S NOT A PROBLEM IN ITSELF, BUT AN EDITOR WOULD PREVENT YOU FROM SAYING STUFF LIKE HOW NOT GETTING A LANDLORD’S PERMISSION TO DO SOMETHING IS “ILLEGAL.” WHAT YOU NEED IS SOMEBODY TO GO THROUGH ALL YOUR SENTENCES AND THEN SAY, “NOW IS THIS ACTUALLY TRUE?” SO YEAH, SURE, YOU CAN FIX THE TYPOS, BUT WHAT ABOUT EVERYTHING ELSE, WHAT ABOUT ALL THE ERRORS WHAT _AREN’T_ TYPOS? STRIKE SEVEN

A simple concept, rent-controlled apartments for those who need a financial break, has become as Byzantine as the tax code.

WELL, LET’S SEE HERE. NUMBER ONE, SF RENT CONTROL IS NOT “AS BYZANTINE AS OUR TAX CODE,” NOT BY A LONG SHOT. FOUL TIP. NUMBER TWO, RENT CONTROL WAS MEANT FOR EVERYONE, NOT JUST “THOSE WHO NEED A FINANCIAL BREAK.” RIGHT? ‘CAUSE OTHERWISE IT WOULD HAVE BEEN MEANS-TESTED, RIGHT? IN THAT WAY, IT’S SIMILAR TO PROP 13, RIGHT? HEY NEVIUS, DO YOU PROPOSE MEANS-TESTING PROP  13? OH YOU DON’T? MMMM… AND HEY, AREN’T YOU A SAN FRANCISCO NEWCOMER WHOSE SOMA CONDO IS UP IN VALUE BIG-TIME SINCE YOU BOUGHT JUST A FEW YEARS AGO? HEY, DON’T YOU BENEFIT FROM PROP 13? DO YOU REALLY NEED IT, NEVIUS? HEY, WHY DON’T WE MEANS-TEST YOUR PROP 13 BENEFITS, NEVIUS? STRIKE EIGHT

“Rent control was enacted in 1979,” said New. “The law has been changed, like, 72 times since then.”

AND SOME OF THOSE CHANGES WERE, LIKE, AT THE BEHEST OF … THE SFAA, RIGHT? IS JANAN NEW COMPLAINING ABOUT THE NUMBER OF CHANGES HER ORG INSTIGATED? WHY DIDN’T YOU ASK HER THAT, MR. EVERYMAN? STRIKE NINE 

“It’s the haves against the have-nots,” Erhardt said, “and every tenant attorney thinks they are Robin Hood.”

AND DOES EVERY TENANT ATTORNEY THINK THEY ARE ROBIN HOOD, IRL? NOPE. STRIKE TEN, AND YOU, CW NEVIUS, THE MIGHTY CASEY, ARE OUT.

AUDI 5000…

How Mercy High School Makes a Few Extra Bucks: Hosting Lots of Cell Phone Tower Antennas on the Roof

Thursday, September 11th, 2014

See?

7J7C6674 copy

MERCY HIGH SCHOOL (Students: 500; Location: 3250 19TH AVE; Grades: 9 – 12; Girls only)

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…

Fillmore the VW Transporter Goes Solar with Photovoltaic Panels – Plus a Bike When You Actually Need to Go Someplace

Monday, August 25th, 2014

Note electrical cables coming down from the roof.

7J7C6019 copy

Park this rig near free WiFi and you’ll have all the comforts of home while saving thousands on rent each month:

Will This Fall’s Half-Billion Transit Bond Allow Your Landlord to Raise Your Rent, Costing You Thousands? – “Pass-Throughs”

Friday, August 1st, 2014

I don’t know.

But check this out:

“Ordinance calling and providing for a special election to be held in the City and County of San Francisco on Tuesday, November 4, 2014, for the purpose of submitting to San Francisco voters a proposition to incur the following bonded debt of the City and County: $500,000,000 to finance the construction, acquisition, and improvement of certain transportation and transit related improvements, and related costs necessary or convenient for the foregoing purposes; authorizing landlords to pass-through 50% of  the resulting property tax increase to residential tenants under Administrative Code Chapter 37…”

All right kids – you do the math. Start with $850,000,000 and divide that up among the denizens of the 415 / 628.

I don’t know how to do that but when I tried, I came up with a $30 a month rent increase for you, Gentle Reader, for the next 7-10 years.

Would the average landlord take the trouble to do a pass-through? IDK. I’m thinking the typical rent-controlled renter in SF doesn’t have to deal with pass-throughs currently. But maybe this big old honking bond would be the trigger for a wave of passthroughs?

Here’s what former SFGov employee Howard Wong has to say:

Arguments against MUNI infrastructure improvement bond

What does the ballot measure do:

Raises property taxes and rents (50% pass-through) to pay for General Obligation Bonds of $500 million, with $350 million in interest payments, for a total debt load of $850 million.

Funds “may be allocated” for transit and roads—carte blanche authority for unspecific projects.

If the Bond is rejected by voters, property taxes and rents would be reduced for everyone—not just for rich companies and the wealthy.

To read the Ordinance’s legal language is to oppose the Bond Measure.

http://www.sfgov2.org/ftp/uploadedfiles/elections/ElectionsArchives/Meeting_Information/BSC/agendas/2014/November/1-B%20Transportation%20Road%20Improvement%20GO.pdf

The SFMTA wants more money, certainly. But the question is what will the SFMTA do for us in order to get the money, right? Otherwise, we’re just shoveling more coal into a broken-down machine. Why not use the bond as a carrot to get the SFMTA to reform?

Perhaps our SFMTA doesn’t deserve this bond?

Anyway, if I were promoting this bond, I’d figure out what the odds are that landlords would pass through 50% of the burden and also how much rents would be increased, on average, and for how long. And then I’d say, well this is what the SFMTA is going to do with your money and this is how much it will cost you, the renter, or you, the owner.

Is this massive transit bond a good idea?

I don’t know.

Is the Avis Subsidiary “Zipcar” Operating in San Francisco Using Vehicles with Arizona License Plates? Take a Look

Monday, July 21st, 2014

Man, I’d hate to be renting a car by the hour whilst driving from Arizona to the Bay Area.

Anyway, as seen in the 94117:

Click to expand

Anything to save a buck, huh Zipcar?

New “Upshift” Company Delivers a Rental Car to You – It’s the “Uber of Carshare” – It’s Bicycle-Assisted Car Rentals

Friday, July 4th, 2014

Upshift is here, or at least it’s here in the Russian Hill and Nob Hill areas.

Here’s how it works:

“1. TAP A BUTTON – Anywhere in San Francisco. Get a car for the day with one tap. It’s that easy.

2. GET A CAR DELIVERED – Get a Small, Medium, Large, or Luxury vehicle delivered in 60 minutes. You drive it for the day & our driver rides off on a bike! Introductory rates from $49/day.

3. LEAVE IT ANYWHERE – Drop it off wherever you like in the city. We’ll come pick it up. That’s it. You’re done.”

So your rent-a-car will arrive double-parked at your front door with a green Bianchi or whatever on top and an inner-city sweathog inside. The Upshifter will simply hand you the keys and then pedal away.

Thusly:

(I’ll note that bicycle theft is an issue in San Francisco, just saying. Who’ll be the first Upshifter to lose his/her ride?)

All right, all the deets:

“Upshift is an exclusive, members only car club. Get the freedom of owning a private car with the luxury and convenience of a car service. Push a button, get a hybrid, SUV, or luxury car delivered. You drive it for a day. We pick it up when you’re done. No need to return to the same location as long as it’s in our zone (includes all of the core areas of San Francisco). We professionally operate a fleet of cars out of a single garage. Cars can only be taken out by the day only to start. Subscription pricing and recurrent bookings (eg, deliver a car every Tuesday at 7 am) for regular usage needs. The main limitation of carshare today is parking, not vehicle cost.”

Founded by Ezra Goldman. Who’s that?

“MCP, @MIT & PhD dropout. Co-founded a bikeshare in 1999. Piaggio shared EV scooters at MIT Media Lab in 2006. 2 years managing a startup in Copenhagen”

Upshift is the Uber of Carshare

Upshift makes getting out of town easy. Just push a button on your phone, get a car for the day delivered to your door, and get out of town. We’ll pick it up again anywhere in the city when you’re done, even at a different location from where we delivered, enabling a “one way” service. Payment is all done through your Upshift account, with no cash or card transactions and no paperwork.

Your next car fits in your pocket. And someday, it will drive itself to your door.

Upshift provides club members great cars on demand at the push of a button. We’ll pick up and drop off anywhere in the city- even in two different locations for one way service. Upshift provides more convenience and flexibility than car leasing with less cost, commitment and hassle.

We have spent over 2 years developing the model and getting backing from the world’s best carshare, autotech, and insurance experts around the world. Carsharing takes 9-13 cars off the road for each car we put on the road, unlocking new park space for more livable cities. We enable a transition to a car-free urban lifestyle, taking 1M cars off the streets, to save 10B pounds of CO2 per year by disrupting the car leasing market.

Upshift Twitter

Upshift FaceBook

Well, welcome to town, Upshift.

OMG, It’s Carmageddon! Forget About Parking In Front of Your House Anymore If the SFMTA’s “Car Share Vehicle” Program Comes to Your Block

Monday, June 30th, 2014

It’s a mere formality now, this plan from July 11th, 2014 to give a metric ton of street parking spaces over to ZipCar and the like.

Here’s where some public parking spaces will soon be privatized

Click to expand

Hey look, even spaces on the side of the block where I live.

Like, I don’t care, but man the NIMBY’s are not going to be happy with this, NOT ONE BIT! If the spaces get used too much, it’ll piss off the NIMBYs. But if the spaces get used not that much, it will also piss off the NIMBYs.

What’s next, spaces reserved for Avis and Hertz cars? Perhaps. Why not?

If you stop in one of these spaces in your private car, you risk a ticket. If you go and actually park in one of these spaces, you know, like you’ve been doing the past two decades, well, you’re going to get towed, with extreme prejudice. And that will run you $500-$1000. So, respect!

As with every other program SFGov does, some of us will win and some of us will lose.

Oh well.

Oh, hey, what about street cleaning? Is ZipCar going to get a pass on this or will they send somebody out to move the cars for two hours (ala Kramer in Seinfeld) or will something else occur? I know not.

[UPDATE: Oh, here we go:

"Anytime we change [Jay Primus means take away when he says change but oh well] parking, there is opposition,” he said. “The challenge for the MTA and the car-sharing [he means car rental, cause you know they are rental car cos.] companies is to get awareness of the benefits of car sharing. Academic research shows that … [yada yada yada.] But we know that communicating that will be a challenge.”

Oh Jay Primus, you are a Golden God! But we, the unwashed masses are so, so ignorant! Oh Dr. Primus, please make us “aware.” Oh Dr. Primus, please educate us! And keep up the great work with MUNI – no changes please, it’s already perfect!]

Wow, a Master Tenant Tells KQED He Rents Out Room for More Than Allowed by Rent Control – WTF? Plus, a Simple Solution

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

All right here we go:

In San Francisco, Rooms for $1,000/Month Are Now Scarce - Sam Harnett | April 2, 2014

“Brian Harrigan is on the other side of the equation. He is on the lease of an iconic four-bedroom Victorian in the Lower Haight. He could probably rent the rooms out for as much as $1,500 each, but he doesn’t want to be greedy. At the same time, he said, ‘If I was to rent it out at like $500 I would have hundreds of emails. You would get everyone applying for it, and it wouldn’t be manageable.’ Harrigan recently had a room open up in the apartment and he decided to put it up at $1,000 — about double the rent-controlled rate and $500 below what he could have charged. Even with the inflated price, he received about 50 applications for the one room.”

What what what – the rent for the room is “about double the rent-controlled rate?”

Non non non! You can’t do it that way in SF.

Here are the three rules, IIRC:

1. Total rent paid by the subtenants may not exceed the rent paid by the master tenant to the landlord.

2. Rent paid by subtenants to the master must be proportional to the total rent – so if the rent controlled rate is for a two-bedroom is $1000 per month to the landlord and the master and sub each share 50-50 (like the rooms and everything else are identical) then the rent charged to the sub should be $500, or close enough to $500.

3. The rent paid by the master to the landlord shall be disclosed in writing to the sub before the sub moves in in the first place.

Those are the rules – live it love it learn it.

Now, can a subtenant get back money from the master if the rent charged is deemed to be disproportionate? Hell yes, going back years.

So is it wise to tell KQED how you set the rate for a room in rent-controlled San Francisco if you’re not sure you’re doin it right? No.

So what should master tenants do then? ‘Cause if you advertise a room for $400 a month on craigslist the world will beat a path to your door, right?

Here’s what you do, you figure what the rent should be for a room but you keep it a secret at first. Then you advertise the room at a market rate, $1400, whatever – and that will cut down on the riff-raff, that will avoid a 50-person beauty contest from every state in the nation, right? And then after you pick somebody to be your new roomie, then comes The Reveal, which is actually the rent is only $400 a month are you cool with that. And it will be, I guarantee it.

What’s that, this strategy isn’t for you because ____? Well all right, have it your way. But just make sure* you split the rent proportionally, that’s what I’m saying.

*Heavy is the head what wears the master tenant crown, right? Of course, there are pros and cons to being a master tenant in rent controlled SF – it’s not for everyone.