Streetcars Become More Popular Nationwide

August 14th, 2008

Many cities around the US are following the lead of San Francisco and Portland in adding new streetcar systems downtown, according to today’s New York Times. If the experience is anything like San Francisco’s with the F-Market line, they should see big increases in ridership – so long as the streetcars go where riders want to go.

Light Rail Accident Saturday

June 15th, 2008

Accident Muni often gets into fender benders, but this one was worse than usual. On Saturday, one LRV crashed into another on the section of the N/T line near the Caltrain depot and AT&T Park. Fortunately, no injuries were life threatening, but 16 people including both drivers were taken to the hospital.

This crash occurred in an area with a very low speed limit (3 MPH during games), with dedicated, fenced transit lanes and clear visibility of the track area, so we will be very interested in the results of the investigation. Muni safety rules require all vehicles to stop a minimum distance from vehicles ahead – what happened this time? (If you were there, post your experiences in the comments.)

More Commuters Switching To Transit Due to High Gasoline Prices

May 26th, 2008

$4 GasolineThis time in Washington, DC, where ridership is up on all regional systems incluing Metro. Said Metro GM John Catoe this week, “There is a point at which we may see a massive move of commuters from driving to transit because of cost.”

Are Bay Area transit systems ready for big increases in ridership? Muni is working on the Transit Effectiveness Project, and BART and Caltrain are planning on expanded service, but if even 10% of auto drivers switch to transit due to gas prices, will our region be ready?

NYT: Riders Switching to Mass Transit Due To Higher Gas Prices

May 10th, 2008

$4 Gasoline San Franciscans have known for decades that mass transit is the cure to high gas prices, but today’s NY Times reports that commuters nationwide are moving to transit with gasoline reaching $4/gallon in many areas. Of course, transit agencies including Muni are also facing higher fuel prices themselves, with diesel at all time highs, but SF is in better shape than most cities due to the ready source of electric power from Hetch Hetchy.

May Day Muni miscellany

May 1st, 2008

Rider Alert 1Here are some updates that we haven’t blogged yet:

  • Muni data now available on Google Transit. Try it, let us know what you think.
  • MTA urged to audit fare evasion, as part of a project to expand proof of payment systemwide.
  • Demands from some elected officials that the MTA cut the proposed 2009-2010 budget (pdf) instead of increasing meter rates and parking fines. (Notwithstanding SF’s long-standing Transit-First Policy, last approved by the voters in November 2007, of course.)
  • Don’t forget your quarters if you get on at Church Street station. (SFist) New ticket machines badly needed.
  • And a reminder for those reading on RSS feeds or any other means: Join Rescue Muni, and comment on the TEP!