TransLink: More Delays?

August 14th, 2007

TranslinkThe Metropolitan Transportation Commission has been working on implementing a region-wide electronic farecard, called TransLink, for some years now. The current plan is to expand it to Muni, BART, and Caltrain by the end of 2007 (hence the readers you see on streetcars, and the apparently non-functional metal boxes with TransLink logo you see on many buses). But there are likely to be more delays, according to a report in today’s Chronicle. The Examiner also reports.

(Many other transit systems have used cards like this for years – e.g. Oyster, Octopus, SmarTrip, Suica. However these have generally been slower to be adopted in the US than in Europe and Asia.)

Take the J-Church Survey

August 13th, 2007

J ChurchMuni and SF Transit Effectiveness Project are reviving the J-Church study that was put on hold when the T-Third had so much trouble. If you ride the J, contact the SFTEP and sign up to provide information on your commute.

Comment On Regional Rail Plan – In Oakland

August 13th, 2007

BARTThe Metropolitan Transportation Commission and various regional rail agencies are updating the Regional Rail Plan, which covers proposed expansions to BART, Caltrain, Amtrak, and other passenger rail systems in the Bay Area. As part of this project, public workshops are being held – but despite San Francisco being the second largest city in the region (after San Jose) with the most transit boardings, there is no workshop here. Transit riders looking to promote expanded rail service should attend the workshop in Oakland on Wednesday, August 15 (there are two sessions, one at 3 pm and one at 6 pm). Nearest BART station is Lake Merritt.

Rescue Muni supports expanding High Speed Rail and Caltrain to the Transbay Terminal in San Francisco (so it’s not just a billion dollar bus station). And we support Geary Light Rail which should be part of any regional plan. BayRail Alliance also has detailed recommendations for better regional rail service.

Update: The Chronicle reports on the proposals discussed.

“Sensible” Parking Initiative Coming In February; No Campaign Against Muni Reform Now?

August 10th, 2007

Don’t even think of parking hereThe Examiner reports today a compromise between the campaign for the so-called “Parking for Neighborhoods” initiative and Supervisor Aaron Peskin, sponsor of the Muni re-reform measure that recently was approved for the November ballot. In exchange for the anti-transit, anti-rider parking campaign suspending work now, the supervisors will put a new “Sensible Parking Initiative” on the ballot in February. We’ll see how bad it is for riders, but it’s good news anyway that there will not be a six-figure campaign against Muni reform this fall.

Meanwhile, Matt Smith of the SF Weekly wonders why Mayor Newsom didn’t take a stand for transit riders against the downtown interests (notably Gap founder Don Fisher) who sponsored the anti-rider Parking for Neighborhoods plan. And the Bay Guardian has a comment as well.

Examiner Slams Parking Initiative

August 2nd, 2007

Don’t even think of parking hereThe Examiner profiled the so-called “Parking for Neighborhoods” initiative today. The initiative, opposed by Rescue Muni and many others, is “a veritable minefield of unintended consequences. … Incredibly, the initiative specifies that new residential driveways have priority over lesser civic niceties such as bus stops or trees. Bus riders could be forced to walk farther and trees could be cut down to accommodate a private driveway. … Since virtually every passenger car and truck sold in America as of 2008 will qualify as low emission, this means there essentially would be no limits on how big new garages could be.”

The Muni Reform amendment passed by the Supervisors will override this initiative if passed, so voters should support it. But the Examiner is only the latest editorial page to point out that the parking measure will be a disaster on the merits.

(See also Marisa Lagos’ blog entry at the Chronicle. Also the Planning Department has a report on likely impacts.)