This Sunday, Muni’s all door boarding policy officially starts. Muni will have more inspectors to check for those who don’t pay, increasing from 42 to 52 officers. With 30% of Muni’s time spent boarding passengers, boarding through any door on buses could save the agency as much as $76m per year by speeding up average service by 1mph.
That was fast! On August 4 (Thursday), SFMTA is reconfiguring McAllister and Seventh Street North to two-way, in order to make the inbound 5-Fulton more direct, removing the current detour via Hyde Street. Assuming overhead wire testing is successful, the new, faster route for the 5 will begin after overhead wire testing is completed. This is an easy fix that we have recommended for a while, and that was endorsed by the SF Transit Effectiveness Project.
An independent arbitrator has ruled that the contract agreed to by the SFMTA and the TWU Local 250A leadership, but rejected by the membership, must stand. There have been some veiled threats of a strike or shutdown as a result, but so far no explicit action.
An arbitrator will now decide what the contract terms will be between the SFMTA and the Transport Workers Union Local 250A (transit operators), now that the TWU membership has rejected the proposed memorandum of understanding arrived at last week with the SFMTA. The SF Appeal and SF Weekly also have coverage.
We look forward to hearing the arbitrator’s decision. Under Prop G, the arbitrator must consider the impact of any decisions on the quality of service – a provision the union has bitterly fought. In addition to cost savings, the proposed contract contained provisions that should help service, specifically the option to add part-time operators to cover rush hour service; we shall see if the arbitrator agrees that these provisions are needed for more reliable transportation in SF.
After years of community involvement, the SFMTA is about to review proposed changes to the street design for Masonic Avenue. This would create a boulevard-style street with zero parking, raised cycle tracks, and bus bulb-outs at major intersections, and also would reduce the current six and seven lanes of traffic to four from Geary all the way to Fell. (See pdf, beginning at page 41.)
This design looks beautiful in the slides, but as with the equally “beautiful” Octavia Boulevard, there are some major concerns. In particular, the reduction in street capacity is almost certain to cause congestion during peak hours, as is the case now with Octavia and Divisadero. Will this mean big delays for the 43-Masonic, which uses this corridor? The proposal does not include any discussion of the likely impact to traffic or transit speed, particularly at peak hours when ridership is highest and during the hours that left turns are allowed.
If you have thoughts about the proposal, please attend the hearing at City Hall, Room 416, on Friday, May 13, at 10 am. Unfortunately the SFMTA has again chosen to hold the meeting during regular business hours, when many commuters cannot attend – so you can also submit your comments to the project manager or the Board secretary.