NEVER DO THIS: Woman hurt trying to squeeze between N cars

February 24th, 2012

The individual who caused massive N-Judah delays yesterday was a woman, as yet unidentified, who tried to cross Irving Street by climbing between coupled LRV cars with her dog. She was trapped under the streetcar and suffered minor injuries – but she could have easily been killed had the operator not immediately stopped the vehicle. (This has happened in the recent past.)

This kind of reckless behavior must never be tolerated. SFMTA should at a minimum sue this woman for the full cost of the rescue and the delays to service, and possibly pursue criminal charges as well.

Fortunately the dog she was walking was unhurt.

Possible fast track for high-speed Caltrain?

February 13th, 2012

The Chronicle reports today that Caltrain is working with the California High Speed Rail Authority on possible plans to speed up Caltrain electrification and improvements that would allow both faster commuter service and high speed service to run on the same line – possibly in just a few years’ time. (The article claims 2016.) If this happens it could be very good news for commuters, who have faced years of delays for the most basic of improvements to rail service.

Free Muni for kids? SFMTA, supervisors negotiate possible pilot program

February 12th, 2012

A pilot program to offer free Muni service to San Francisco youth under 17 is being considered by SFMTA. The program would issue free Clipper cards for students. Most of the cost would be covered by regional and city sales tax money, but SFMTA would have to cover $1.7 million in lost revenue.

The proposed budget also does not include any additional security cost. As noted in the article, “Campos said what’s still to be determined is whether participants could be kicked out of the program if they misbehave on the city’s buses and trains.” As all commuters know, this is a real issue and SFMTA should not approve any free-rides program without a plan to address it.

Another concern is that the proposal would use Prop K sales tax money from the SF County Transportation Authority, which was approved by the voters to cover capital expenses such as the long-delayed Geary and Van Ness BRT projects.

Free Muni for kids is a nice idea, but SFMTA should take these concerns seriously before approving it.

N-Judah rail service offline for 6 weekends

February 10th, 2012

Starting Feb 24th, the N-Judah line will have bus service substitution for 6 weekends while rail and rail beds are replaced and upgraded along Carl Street and at Church and Duboce streets. J service will also be impacted. This is part of a long list of rail improvements that the SFMTA has been working on. A few weeks ago, the cross rails at Church and Market were replaced.