Caltrain proposes deep service cuts including canceling weekend service

May 8th, 2009

Muni’s not the only regional transit system facing a fiscal emergency due to the economy. Caltrain (run by the Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board) is also facing deep cuts in funding and is considering various options to address its $10M deficit, including possibly cancelling service on weekends. This isn’t likely to be approved, nor should it be – thousands of SF and regional riders count on Caltrain during “non-commute” hours to get to work, shopping, and entertainment, and the loss of weekend service would mean a huge inconvenience for these riders. (The Giants might have something to say about this too.) Fare increases are also on the table, as is a proposed $1 fee for bike commuters.

Public hearings are scheduled for Wednesday, June 4, at 10 am, at Caltrain headquarters, 1250 San Carlos Ave, San Carlos (near the San Carlos train station).

Supervisors likely to reject MTA budget

May 7th, 2009

SFMTAAfter a long public hearing yesterday, Supervisor Chiu signed up six co-sponsors for his resolution to reject the proposed MTA budget, something that requires 7 votes under Proposition A (2007). This was in response to the very high cost of “work orders” from the MTA to other city departments, which is contributing to major cuts in service and a proposed $2 cash fare, as well as increased parking fees citywide.

If the BoS rejects the budget, we urge the MTA to follow our recommendations for a revised version that spends less on wasteful work orders and also minimizes service cuts. In particular, consolidating stops (often two to a block today!) citywide and converting Locals to Limiteds will allow MTA to provide faster service to more riders for a lower cost.

J-Church dead last among LRV lines (again)

May 6th, 2009

J ChurchThe service standards reports (pdf) are out, and once again the J-Church has the lowest on-time performance of any rail line in San Francisco (64.9% in FY 2009). Supervisor Bevan Dufty, who represents the area served by the J, has requested a Controller’s audit.

Overall on-time performance was up the last quarter, to 72.7% (page 4 of pdf). Muni has never come close to the 85% on-time service mandated by Proposition E in 1999.

SFCTA: Geary BRT Needs Center Bus Lanes

May 5th, 2009

Go GearySFist had an excellent blog post yesterday about the SFCTA’s study of the proposed Geary Bus Rapid Transit project. In brief, the project team agrees with us that the dedicated bus lanes should run down the center of the street, in dedicated right of way, as most of SF’s light rail lines do (e.g. T-Third). The SFCTA also backed our call for a “rail ready” project that can be easily upgraded to light rail in the future, as funds become available.