Posts Tagged ‘transportation’

OMG, the SFMTA-Free “Forum on the Future of Transit in San Francisco” is Coming on August 18th, 2012!

Monday, August 6th, 2012

That’s right, the SFMTA isn’t sponsoring this one-day event next week and it isn’t invited neither.

Check it:

SAVEMUNI.COM FORUM – THE FUTURE OF TRANSIT IN SAN FRANCISCO

SATURDAY, AUGUST 18, 2012, 10:30 AM TO 4:00 PM

Koret Auditorium, Main Library, 100 Larkin Street, S.F.

“SaveMuni.com will be holding a Forum on the Future of Transit in San Francisco at the Koret Auditorium, SF Main Library, on Saturday, August 18. Registration starts 10 am; program begins 10:30 am.

The morning session deals with the current state of transit in San Francisco, and the afternoon session takes up ideas for improvements in Muni service and financing.

Speakers include:

transportation engineer Gerald Cauthen,

disabled rights activist Bob Planthold,

Tom Rubin, CPA who has been the chief financial officer of two of the largest transit agencies in the United States,

public policy consultant Bob Feinbaum,

architect Howard Wong, and

foreperson Linda Clardy of the 2010-11 SF Civil Grand Jury.

Co-sponsors of the Forum include the Coalition for San Francisco Neighborhoods, San Francisco Tomorrow, Sierra Club and TransForm.”

OK then.

See you there the Saturday after next!

A few more deets on what SAVE MUNI has been up to the past month or so:

“Special Announcements

Muni Transportation Forum:

A Muni Transportation Forum, sponsored by SaveMuni and other groups will be held on Saturday, August 18, 2012 at the Koret Auditorium of the San Francisco Main Library, beginning at 10:00 am. The focus of the Forum will be on the general problems that prevent Muni from operating at full effectiveness and on some broad approaches to improving the situation.

Central Subway Litigation News:

August 4, 2012: To our knowledge there are at least three separate lawsuits now in progress or pending against the Central Subway. Any of them could block or significantly alter the project. More revelations to come.

Central Subway Disconnected from Muni:

Current: The Central Subway would be disconnected from the Market Street corridor, Muni Metro, BART, Ferries, Transbay Terminal, High-speed Rail, regional and statewide transit networks. Central Subway riders would have to travel on foot for over 1,200 feet to reach the Powell Muni Metro/BART Station. As part of the Subway project, today’s bus service into northeastern San Francisco would be cut by 50%. Most of today’s Stockton Street Muni users would find their subway trips to be longer than today’s bus trips.

Today’s Stockton Street bus riders can easily transfer to Muni LRV lines J, K, L, N, M, F and T and to Muni east-west bus lines 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 9, 9L, 10, 12, 14, 14L, 14x, 21, 31, 71, 71L and 76. Connections to every one of these 24 east-west lines as well as to all the BART lines would be substantially less convenient from the Central Subway than from today’s Stockton Street bus lines.

Central Subway Milestones:

August 29, 2011: SFMTA’s False Claims: Charts, developed from the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s(SFMTA’s) own data, compare Central Subway ridership, costs and trip times. The charts illustrate how the SFMTA was telling the Feds one thing and San Franciscans another. ChartsTARAugust2911.pdf

San Francisco Corruption Revealed on the Floor of the House – Central Subway to Nowhere – A Short Speech

Friday, July 6th, 2012

The Subway to Nowhere. House Chamber, Washington, D.C. June 27, 2012. Remarks by Congressman Tom McClintock (R-CA).”

“Mr. Chairman:

This amendment forbids further federal expenditures for the Central Subway project in San Francisco.

The project is a 1.7 mile subway that is estimated to cost $1.6 billion –– and those cost estimates continue to rise.  Its baseline budget has more than doubled in nine years and shows no signs of slowing.  The current estimate brings the cost to nearly $1 billion per mile.  That’s five times the cost per lane mile of Boston’s scandalous “Big Dig.”

It was supposed to link local light rail and bus lines with CalTrain and Bay Area Rapid Transit, but it’s so badly designed that it bypasses 25 of the 30 light rail and bus lines that it crosses.  To add insult to insanity, it dismantles the seamless light-rail to BART connection currently available to passengers at Market Street, requiring them instead to walk nearly a quarter mile to make the new connection.  Experts estimate it will cost commuters between five and ten minutes of additional commuting time on every segment of the route.

The Wall Street Journal calls ita case study in government incompetence and wasted taxpayer money.”

They’re not alone.  The Civil Grand Jury in San Francisco has vigorously recommended the project be scrapped, warning that maintenance alone could ultimately bankrupt San Francisco’s Muni.  The former Chairman of the San Francisco Transportation Agency has called it, “one of the costliest mistakes in the city’s history.

Even the sponsors estimate that it will increase ridership by less than one percent, and there is vigorous debate that this projection is far too optimistic.

I think Margaret Okuzumi, the Executive Director of the Bay Rail Alliance put it best when she said,

Too many times, we’ve seen money for public transit used to primarily benefit people who would profit financially, while making transit less convenient for actual transit riders.  Voters approve money for public transit because they want transit to be more convenient and available…it would be tragic if billions of dollars were spent on something that made Muni more time consuming, costly and unable to sustain its overall transit service.”

This administration is attempting to put federal taxpayers – our constituents — on the hook for nearly a billion dollars of the cost of this folly through the “New Starts” program – or more than 60 percent.  We have already squandered $123 million on it.  This amendment forbids another dime of our constituents’ money being wasted on this boondoggle.

Now here is an important question that members may wish to ponder:  “Why should your constituents pay nearly a billion dollars for a purely local transportation project in San Francisco that is opposed by a broad, bi-partisan coalition of San Franciscans, including the Sierra Club, Save Muni (a grassroots organization of Muni Riders), the Coalition of San Francisco Neighborhoods, and three of the four local newspapers serving San Francisco?

Why, indeed.

I’m sorry, I don’t have a good answer to that question.  But those who vote against this amendment had better have one when their constituents ask, “What in the world were you thinking?”

# # #

This amendment to the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Act (HR 5972) was approved by the House on June 29th.  The legislation next goes to the Senate.

Riding Your Bike on the Freeway in California: It’s Not as Illegal as You Might Think – As Here, on the 101 in Marin County

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

Now, we’re not talking about temporarily closing down a freeway to cars on Father’s Day like they did in Pasadena a while back.

And we’re not talking about an illegal bicycle romp in traffic the way the “Crimanimalz” do it on the 405.

We’re talking about you legally riding your bike on the right side of some of California’s 4000 miles of freeway.

Well, according to the California Department of Transportation, maker of melty orange and blue cupcakes, si, se puede! Yes, you can ride your bike on about 1000 miles of California freeway.

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For proof, check out this white sign in Marin County on the 101 South. You see? It says “BICYCLES MUST EXIT” so that means, assuming you didn’t ignore any “Bicycles Prohibited” sign, it’s all good for you to be on this stretch of freeway. Q.E.D. Res Ipsa Loquitur.

Here’s the opinion from  CalTrans:

Of the more than 4,000 miles of freeways in California, about 1,000 miles are open to bicyclists. These open sections are usually in rural areas where there is no alternate route. California Vehicle Code Section 21960 says Caltrans and local agencies may prohibit bicyclists from traveling on freeways under their jurisdiction and that they must erect signs stating the prohibition. There are no signs permitting bicyclists on freeways. When a bicyclist is legally traveling on a freeway, he/she may be directed off the freeway at the next off-ramp by a sign that says “Bicycles Must Exit.” The freeway will be posted at the next on-ramp with a sign that says “Bicycles Prohibited.”

And here’s the Vehicle Code:

21960.  (a) The Department of Transportation and local authorities,
by order, ordinance, or resolution, with respect to freeways,
expressways, or designated portions thereof under their respective
jurisdictions, to which vehicle access is completely or partially
controlled, may prohibit or restrict the use of the freeways,
expressways, or any portion thereof by pedestrians, bicycles or other
nonmotorized traffic or by any person operating a motor-driven
cycle, motorized bicycle, or motorized scooter.  A prohibition or
restriction pertaining to bicycles, motor-driven cycles, or motorized
scooters shall be deemed to include motorized bicycles; and no
person may operate a motorized bicycle wherever that prohibition or
restriction is in force.  Notwithstanding any provisions of any
order, ordinance, or resolution to the contrary, the driver or
passengers of a disabled vehicle stopped on a freeway or expressway
may walk to the nearest exit, in either direction, on that side of
the freeway or expressway upon which the vehicle is disabled, from
which telephone or motor vehicle repair services are available.
(b) The prohibitory regulation authorized by subdivision (a) shall
be effective when appropriate signs giving notice thereof are
erected upon any freeway or expressway and the approaches thereto.
If any portion of a county freeway or expressway is contained within
the limits of a city within the county, the county may erect signs on
that portion as required under this subdivision if the ordinance has
been approved by the city pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section
1730 of the Streets and Highways Code.
(c) No ordinance or resolution of local authorities shall apply to
any state highway until the proposed ordinance or resolution has
been presented to, and approved in writing by, the Department of
Transportation.
(d) An ordinance or resolution adopted under this section on or
after January 1, 2005, to prohibit pedestrian access to a county
freeway or expressway shall not be effective unless it is supported
by a finding by the local authority that the freeway or expressway
does not have pedestrian facilities and pedestrian use would pose a
safety risk to the pedestrian.

See you out there. Stay safe!

Incredible Teatro ZinZanni (and Pathetic Bauer’s Limousine) Find New Homes After America’s Cup Eviction

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

Our Teatro ZinZanni has a new home, but Sarah Duxbury says that some heavy lifting still needs to be done.

No matter, TZ’s cabaret performers were on hand all smiles yesterday at the news conference* in the “50 Broadway” parking lot near the Embarcadero. This location will be ZinZanni’s new home, if everything works out.

(I’ll tell you, I can’t tell the difference betwixt Gavin Newsom running the Newsom Administration and Ed Lee running the Newsom Adminstration, fundamentally. I mean, Ed Lee is not an impetuous asshole, so that means he behaves better, he tends to show up at these kinds of functions with a smaller entourage and less drama. That’s good, I s’pose…)

Oh, there he is, to the right of the gorgeous Martian(?) lady: 

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See how this will work? The famous European tent they use will go behind the new building:

All the deets after the jump.

And get over to highly-rated ZinZanni (if you can still get tickets, perhaps on a Wednesday or Thursday) before they shut down on the night of December 31, 2011. It really is quite an experience.

* I didn’t stick around for the Bauer’s “Intelligent” Transportation part of the presser. You know, you really need to work hard at sucking to get a Yelp rating this low.** But Bauer’s is well-connected to SFGov, so there you go, there’s your bidness model.

**Even with the work of shill reviewers avec their bogus five-star ratings…

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Meet Your MUNI #38 Geary Bus Pickpocket Team – Busted By SFPD on November 29th in Union Square

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

Well, look what the SFPD is crowing about today:

SFPD Arrest MUNI Pickpocket Trio
11-132

San Francisco police officers arrested three men acting together to pickpocket Muni patrons. Taken into custody November 29 were Miguel Lucana, 42, of San Francisco; Antonio Martinez, 34, also of San Francisco; and Juan Gonzales, 38, of Oakland.

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“On November 29, shortly after 3:00 P.M., two plain clothes SFPD officers assigned to the Muni Task Force were at the bus stop at Geary and Powell streets preparing to board a bus as part of ongoing efforts to help prevent pickpocket thefts on buses. One of the officers recognized Lucana, who has prior police contacts, standing at the bus stop with a t-shirt draped over his shoulder. Typically, a pickpocket will conceal his arm and hand during the theft attempt.

Standing next to Lucana on the crowded 38 Muni, one of the officers saw him attempt unsuccessfully to furtively open the purse of a woman standing next to him. Lucana then moved to another part of the bus, where he spoke with suspects Martinez and Gonzales. Pickpockets often work in pairs or more. One passenger on the bus reported that his wallet was missing

All three suspects were detained in the vicinity of Post and Fillmore streets. Police recovered the victim’s wallet, which had been in Lucana’s possession.

All three suspects were charged with theft and conspiracy and remain in custody.

“I am extremely proud of our Muni Task Force for everything they do to help keep this system safe,” said Ed Reiskin, SFMTA Director of Transportation. “Their dedication and hard work further ensure that those who commit crimes on Muni will be brought to justice.”

The San Francisco Police Department reminds the public to be vigilant of their belongings and surroundings in crowded public spaces, and especially on public transportation. Keep wallets in a front pocket and purses within sight at all times. Be wary of any abrupt physical contact or suspicious behavior. Citizens are also advised to use electronic devices sparingly in public, as criminal opportunists take advantage of citizens distracted while using these devices.”

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi Graces the New Richardson Apartments in Hayes Valley – HUD’s $5 Million Grant

Monday, November 28th, 2011

[UPDATE: Barbara Taylor has the deets.]

[UPDATE II: And it should be noted that Andrea Cochran Landscape Architecture designed the landscape for this project.]

Well here’s the news from last week:

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan today announced the recipients of the 2011 Sustainable Communities Grants, totaling nearly $96 million. Twenty-seven communities and organizations will receive Community Challenge grants and 29 regional areas will receive Regional Planning grants. The goal of HUD’s Sustainable Communities grants is to help communities and regions improve their economic competitiveness by connecting housing with good jobs, quality schools and transportation.”

Our San Francisco Bay Area Metropolitan Transportation Commission scored $5,000,000 worth of these grants, so some feds dropped by to celebrate this afternoon.

San Francisco Mayor with House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi greeting people at the brand new Drs. Julian and Raye Richardson Apartments for the formerly homeless on Fulton near Gough:

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Oh, here they are up at the Richardson’s awesome-looking rooftop garden:

Via MayorEdLee

And here’s Supervisor and MTC Commissioner David Campos. (To him, Nancy Pelosi “will always be Speaker Nancy Pelosi.”)

Remember this mural? I haven’t seen it in a while. Anyway, here’s where’s your Central Freeway used to be. Parcel G., specifically, per the Socketsite.

All the deets, after the jump

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Phil Ting’s MUNI Town Hall Meetings Continue: L Taraval, 30 Stockton, K Ingleside, 5 Fulton, M Ocean, 1 California

Saturday, October 1st, 2011

This is what today’s N Judah meeting, brought to you by Phil Ting and Reset San Francisco, looked like.

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Get all the deets on these Town Halls right here.

These are the upcoming events:

L Taraval
Tuesday, October 4, 5:30pm
Taraval Police Station, 2345 24th Ave.

30 Stockton
Saturday, October 8, 2:30pm
Bin 38, 3232 Scott St.

K Ingleside
Thursday, October 13, 6:30pm
Ingleside Police Station, 1 Sgt. John V Young Ln.

5 Fulton
Saturday, October 15, 10:30am
Richmond Police Station, 461 6th Ave.

M Ocean View
Thursday, October 20, 7pm
West Portal Playground, 131 Lenox Way

1 California
Saturday, October 22, 2:30pm
San Francisco Public Library (Richmond), 351 9th Ave.

Mayoral Candidate and Reset San Francisco Founder Phil Ting To Hold Muni Town Halls Starting Today

Thursday, September 29th, 2011

From today to October 22, 2011, City Assessor Phil Ting will hold eight Muni town halls.

All the deets, below:

Via Beck Justin

All the deets:

“Mayoral candidate, and Reset San Francisco Founder, Phil Ting will hold eight Muni town halls in four weeks to engage residents around the vital issue of making public transportation faster and more reliable.

“If the politicians and the policy makers could do it alone, Muni would already work. The people need to be engaged at every level to help find the best ideas and to hold the city accountable for change,” Ting said.

Ting’s first Muni Town Hall will be Thursday, September 29 at 6:30pm focused on improving the 38 Geary.

Ting will review the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s Transit Effectiveness Project (TEP) and discuss how to implement it faster.

“The Transit Effectiveness Project is a good start to reducing our travel times and making Muni work better. But all San Franciscans need to be part of this conversation,” Phil Ting said. “The City doesn’t have the resources or budget for extensive community outreach, so Reset San Francisco is taking the first steps to engage residents to get involved and to participate in the discussion.”

“We want to work with the City to engage San Franciscans on this important issue,” Ting said. “The TEP will take 5 more years to implement, and at Reset San Francisco, we think we can tap into the community to maybe help speed up this process.”

“If we speed up our buses and streetcars by just 1 minute, the SFMTA would save over $20 million a year. And those funds could be spent on ways to ensure that our world-class city has world-class public transportation.”

Last August, Phil Ting hosted a Muni town hall with the Reset San Francisco community and transportation experts Tim Papandreou, Joel Ramos and Greg Dewar. Nearly 300 San Franciscans came to share their ideas and their priorities for Muni with the panelists and each other.

Learn more about these Muni Town Halls at: http://bit.ly/resetsf-muni-events

Below is the list of scheduled Muni Town Halls this fall:

38 Geary
Thursday, September 29, 6:30pm
San Francisco Public Library (Richmond), 351 9th Ave.

N Judah
Saturday, October 1, 1:00pm
Villa Romana, 731 Irving St.

L Taraval
Tuesday, October 4, 5:30pm
Taraval Police Station, 2345 24th Ave.

30 Stockton
Saturday, October 8, 2:30pm
Bin 38, 3232 Scott St.

K Ingleside
Thursday, October 13, 6:30pm
Ingleside Police Station, 1 Sgt. John V Young Ln.

5 Fulton
Saturday, October 15, 10:30am
Richmond Police Station, 461 6th Ave.

M Ocean View
Thursday, October 20, 7pm
West Portal Playground, 131 Lenox Way

1 California
Saturday, October 22, 2:30pm
San Francisco Public Library (Richmond), 351 9th Ave.

ABOUT RESET SAN FRANCISCO: Reset San Francisco is an offline and online community founded by San Francisco Assessor-Recorder and candidate for mayor Phil Ting. The community has already united more than 10,000 San Franciscans and given them the tools to learn about policy, debate ideas and make their voices heard at City Hall. The ResetSanFrancisco.org community uses web-based Government 2.0 tools to help its members connect with government, and it also organizes in-person forums to connect San Franciscans to each other and to help the community unite around solutions.”

Crappy “Bauer’s ‘Intelligent’ Transportation” Update: “Upgrades” Wedding Limo to Corporate Van – Gets Sued by S.F. Bride

Thursday, December 9th, 2010

Let’s just say that long-time Yelper Rosie S is not a fan of Bauer’s Limousine / Bauer’s Transportation / Bauer’s Intelligent Transportation. Why? Well, ’cause they sent a tacky van instead of a proper limo to her wedding a few months back. Check the excerpts:

The 10 passenger limo I ordered did NOT arrive. Instead, they sent us a VAN! The morning of my wedding. Not what I ordered.

I contacted the company when I returned from my honeymoon–note: they NEVER contacted me to explain the situation nor to apologize–and they said:

“I have checked with our operations department as to what happened this day and it appears there had been a mechanical issue with a regular stretch limo so they made the last minute decision to upgrade the vehicle to a limousine van.  This was our next best option at the moment.  I sincerely apologize that a regular stretch did not appear, but this was viewed as a free upgrade to the original vehicle reserved.”

Horrendous company, terrible service, awful fleet of cars if they have seemingly frequent “mechanical issues.”  Do yourself a favor and STAY AWAY FROM BAUER’S unless you want to get ripped off and disappointed!  Especially on your wedding day….

Can you believe that? Now, if I were running a crappy limo / transportation / “intelligent” transportation company, I’d feel bad about my fail whale exploding all over a wedding and I’d apologize and then I’d give a full refund, but that’s just me.

Now, speaking of crappy, how about them Bauer limousine van / bus / whatever drivers on the 101?

Speeding? Sure, we’ve got to get you to the church (or wherever) on time! But signaling? Not so much. You see, there’s no money in signaling:

Click to expand

Rosie says that the Bauer people didn’t respond to her until after she filed suit in San Francisco Superior Court, Small Claims Division. Oh well.

Now, judges might be sympathetic to plaintiffs in a situation like this, but you never know how they’d rule. Sometimes what’s in the contract is what matters and sometimes not so much. Oh well.

But I believe the gist of Rosie’s story – I don’t think that she’s committing Yelp fraud, I don’t think that she owns a rival cheesy “intelligent” transportation company or that she’s sponsored by one.

Speaking of which, there’s somebody on Yelp saying how great Bauer’s is but he neglected to add in or update the little tidbit that Bauer’s is a “sponsor” of his. Oh well. I’ll give you one guess how many Yelp stars he gives to Bauer’s IT.

Did you guess cinco?

You’re right, mi amiga/o. (And actually, it appears that purported “Luminary” and “City Bright” writer at the San Francsico Chronicle’s SFGate.com Zenophon / Zennie62 is incapable of ever giving anything less than five stars on Yelp. How sporting!)

Anyway, good luck Rosie!

Who the Hell is Zennie62 and What Makes Him So Special? Will Gary Bauer’s Mouthpiece Get Snubbed by the Oscars Again?

Friday, December 3rd, 2010

[Yeah, mouthpiece, that’s the ticket, I’ll change it to mouthpiece and keep out of trouble.]

I don’t know, saw some bit about “solar” buses on SFGate and I clicked on it thinking, “oh, so we have solar buses now, to go along with science-project solar cars and NASA-funded solar airplanes?” Well, turns out that it’s  San Francisco Chronicle “City Bright” (and also a Seattle Post Intelligencer “City Bright” as well!) Zennie62. And he has a “sponsor.” See?

Bauer’s Transportation is a Zennie62.com sponsor.”

So that explains why Zennie would prattle on about that cheesy one-star-rated Bauer’s Limousine company. Anyway, here’s the bit that grabbed my attention:

“What Is The Solar Bus?”

But, work with me here, it’s a diesel bus he’s talking about. That’s the big fuss.

Here’s his latest:

“Are you stupid? No one – especially me – has said the buses had Solar Engines! Where the hell did you get your education? A San Francisco Bar? Learn to read — for you own good.”

Well, I don’t know about the nonsensical term “Solar Engines” (oddly capitalized, non?)* but I do know he called a diesel bus a “solar bus” so I called him on it. (Then he started calling it a conversion to an “electric bus”, but of course the rig in question started out life as a big old heavy, smelly diesel bus and it will end its life as a big old heavy, smelly, diesel bus, end of story.)

And he does it again here, in his “original creation” blog post:

“The solar bus has been in operation on our fleet since January 2010 and the results have been outstanding.”

Or maybe the Bauer people wrote that part? But didn’t they write the other part too? So which part is Zennie’s “original creation?”

Now check it, here’s a Google on the phrase he used. Note that a good lot of those hits are his.

And yet, this simpleton is on the SFGate claiming how many millions he’s “driving” to SFGate (but isn’t that the other way ’round?) and boasting of 19 million views on YouTube, or something:

That prompted his two loyal fans to give him the business:

And BTW, is that lot of claimed views on YouTube? I mean, doesn’t a typical 16-year-old girl unpacking her mall purchases have a lot more views?

I mean, even Fighting Trousers has a quarter million views at this point, and that’s about 25 times as much as a typical effort from Z62, it would seem.

Now, speaking of metrics, I could have sworn that this search only got like 900-something results just yesterday, and now it’s over 1000. See?

(Does Gary Bauer pay Zennie for every mention Zennie puts on SFGate? Mmmm.)

Now, poor Zennie is still smarting from not being able to go to the Academy Awards last year. Oh, the oppression. Oh well.

But maybe all his yammering will get him an invite for 2011, who knows. And then maybe he won’t be whinging all the time.

So, c’mon Academy, kick somebody out of your show to make room for Zennie. Somehow, that could result in Zennie62 “advancing women in business and politics.” (I mean, the best woman for that job is a man, right girlfriends?)

All right, now I’m begging. Please, Academy, give him his ticket or voucher or whatever he wants. If anyone deserves to yammer his way to the Academy Awards, it’s Zennie62.

D’accord?

D’accord!

*This is called a negative pregnant, a device typically employed by con men, criminals and lawyers. Not sure what a “solar engine” is but Zennie called a diesel bus a solar bus (and then later an electric bus) – that’s the issue at hand.