John King: Study extending subway to North Beach

December 10th, 2012

John King of the Chronicle reports favorably on the option to extend the Central Subway to North Beach, perhaps using the Pagoda Theater site as the entrance. We agree! Let’s at least find out what it would cost and how quickly it could be built without spending decades debating alternatives.

On time rate, service rate improve after half year slide

October 19th, 2012

Muni’s on-time rate is finally on the move upward again, at least compared to last month, to 58.4%, but that’s a large slide from March’s 63.2%. Muni’s voter mandated on time rate is 85%.

Hours of service are also up, 95.7%, compared to 93.9% 6 months ago. Muni’s voter mandated hours of deployed service is 98.5%.

Contributing factors to service improvements include reduced driver unscheduled leave, currently at 9.4%, and a newly graduated batch of bus drivers.

Free youth fare idea back from the dead

October 16th, 2012

The SFMTA might receive $6.7m out of $15m allocated by the MTC for introducing new riders to the system. Those funds could be allocated to the defunct free youth ride program, which would create a 22-month pilot program to give free passes to 40,000 of the city’s low income youth. The SFMTA would still need to put in $4.4m of the $9m plan.

“With the funds specifically available for the program, it could be up and running by early next year”, said Supervisor David Campos. SFMTA board Chairman Tom Nolan says that the money could be better spent elsewhere in the system, and SFMTA spokesman Paul Rose said the agency won’t make a decision until after the Oct 24th vote.

Debate in Delhi over BRT

October 15th, 2012

In India, a new bus rapid transit system has been successful in speeding up service for some of the 33% of commuters who ride mass transit, but has led to opposition among auto drivers. The BBC interviews bus riders who support faster service, and also has a surprisingly honest comment from an auto driver opponent: “You cannot keep a commander-in-chief waiting in traffic while his army is waiting for his orders.”

The Delhi high court will soon rule on whether the project can continue.

No Clipper card on AirBART

October 4th, 2012

Today’s Chronicle highlights a major annoyance for Oakland airport commuters: you can’t use your Clipper card on the AirBART shuttle. Officials in charge say it would cost too much to add a few readers to the buses, despite the fact that BART is spending almost half a billion dollars on an elevated shuttle to the airport to replace them in a couple of years. So riders have to buy paper tickets or pay cash.