Curbed SF on Geary BRT

August 12th, 2009

Go GearyThe always useful Curbed SF blog has a detailed discussion up today on the Geary Bus Rapid Transit project, which we have supported since time immemorial (well, almost). As the progress proceeds at a glacial pace, Matt of Curbed points out that the concerns about higher density and transit oriented development were much less of a problem when actual transit oriented development was happening, almost a century ago when the Municipal Railway first opened the A and B lines up Geary in 1912. So it really does not make sense to oppose restoring a small subset of the service that was available a century ago on the grounds that it will somehow make Geary less livable.

One concern, however – in the design of the BRT project, why are high quality shelters with NextBus proposed for “most” stops? The whole point of BRT is to upgrade the service at ALL stops.

BOS Hearing on MTA Safety Monday

August 7th, 2009

Think SafetyThis should be interesting: Supervisors Dufty and Elsbernd have called a hearing before the City Operations and Neighborhood Services committee on Monday, August 10 to discuss Muni’s recent safety and reliability problems, notably the Muni Metro and F-Market crashes. The meeting is in the Board Chambers at 10:30 am.

Meanwhile, some riders were stuck on an inbound M-Ocean View car for 19 minutes in the subway yesterday before being taken to the wrong stop. This sort of thing happened during the “Meltdown” of 1998, and it’s very disappointing to see that it’s happening again.

Updates are available from during and after the hearing.

To insure or self-insure Muni

August 6th, 2009

The SFMTA purchased insurance at the cost of $2.4M, which covers claims from $5M to $25M. The policy went into effect July 1, which means that the July 18th crash between two Muni LRVs at West Portal Station, which injured over 40 people, maybe covered. So far, the only claim that has come forward is a $193 claim from a passenger who had some personal belongings damaged, plus her medical costs from hitting her head.

The largest Muni payout was in 2003, where a Muni maintenance truck jumped the curb and crushed a little girl to death. That payout was $5M, which would have just have been within range of Muni’s new insurance policy.

San Francisco’s new parking meters easily defrauded

August 1st, 2009

In 2003, San Francisco started a $35m pilot to test out 23,000 smart parking meters, representing $30m of revenue which the SFMTA uses to fund services such as Muni’s bus and light rail service.

According to security research published today, the brand of meter that San Francisco uses, along with other major cities, can be defrauded to allow unlimited free parking, among other security issues. See the paper on how this works as well as the news story.