Slow start for bus lane cameras?

February 11th, 2008

Bus camerasThe Examiner reports that after one month, only one warning has been issued for double parking in bus lanes (warnings will be issued until March 1, after which tickets will go out).

However, the claim in the article that the program “has yet to produce results” is not really fair, because the correct measure of the program is whether buses get through traffic faster. To make this happen, Muni needs to implement the program in full, and publicize it so drivers know that if they block the bus lane they will get ticketed. Rescue Muni strongly supports bus lane cameras and urges the MTA to get these signs up asap!

Ford: Combine MTA and SFCTA?

February 8th, 2008

SFCTAMTA Director Nat Ford proposed a new round of Muni reform to the Chronicle this week, suggesting that the SF County Transportation Authority, which administers the half cent sales tax most recently approved by voters in 2003 as well as doing countywide transportation planning, be merged into the Municipal Transportation Agency, to create a single entity that would oversee all transportation funding and operations in SF. This is the structure of the Valley Transportation Authority in Santa Clara County.

This is an interesting idea, not least because SFCTA and MTA have often found themselves conducting related but sometimes competing planning exercises (e.g. Geary and Van Ness BRT, Transit Effectiveness Project). However, it was considered and rejected by the authors of Proposition E, including current Supervisor Tom Ammiano and Mayor Newsom, in part because the state requires elected officials to serve on the board for a congestion management agency, and in part because of a desire to keep the Supervisors in charge of allocating tax revenue.

If this gains momentum we will certainly have specific recommendations. However, the SF voters just passed Muni re-reform last fall, so it’s not likely that another charter amendment (with associated State law changes) will get six votes at the Board so soon after. We’ll keep an eye on this.

Big Changes Proposed for Mission Corridor

February 3rd, 2008

The SFTEP has been working on proposed changes for the entire Muni system, but one corridor in particular that has gotten a lot of attention is Mission Street, where the 14-Mission local bus currently averages only 8.2 miles per hour end to end. Muni will soon propose major changes including a big expansion in limited stop service, some stop consolidation, transit only lanes, and signal pre-empts, in an attempt to speed up this service and make it more competitive to driving. (Several Rescue Muni board members are on the SFTEP citizens’ advisory committee – meetings are open to the public and well worth a visit.)

For the serious transit geek, very extensive data on all Muni lines (used to come up with these service proposals) are available at the SFMTA’s website.