The SF Board of Supervisors Rules Committee approved the nomination of transit advocate Joél Ramos to the SFMTA Board of Directors today without deliberation, and his final confirmation is expected by the full board on Tuesday.
“Joél is the real deal,” said Andy Thornley, the policy director of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, who turned out with fellow advocates in uniform support of Ramos’ confirmation. “He is a transit advocate, a transit lover, and a champion for equity and social justice. He’s very qualified to join this important body and lend his intelligence and energy to it.”
Advocates roundly praised the Mayor’s nomination of the TransForm community planner to the board in April after a seat was left vacant by the passing of Cameron Beach, a veteran transportation professional who was being considered for reappointment.
“The appointment of Joél Ramos to this board could be a step forward in actually making the real change we need on our streets,” said Walk SF Executive Director Elizabeth Stampe. “Joél Ramos will speak up for sustainable streets, and we also know that he will speak up for the underserved communities who face a disproportionate risk of being hit by cars on our streets while walking and who depend the most on public transportation.”
Chinatown Community Development Center Community Planning Manager Cindy Wu praised the nomination for Ramos’ ability to reach out to underrepresented communities.
Among his goals as a member of the board, Ramos stressed the need to keep Muni fares affordable.
“Frankly, I think transit riders are paying too much as it is,” he said. “I’ll be doing everything that I possibly can as a member of the board to make sure we avoid [raising fares] at all possible costs.”
He also pointed out the need for simple measures to make streets safer, such as his own street in the Inner Sunset.
“Frequently, car accidents happen that could’ve been easily prevented with a few traffic calming measures, better left-hand turns, just better regulations that would actually make the street safer for drivers as well,” he said.
“A street that’s safe enough for a senior or a child that’s eight years old is safe enough for everyone.”
If confirmed, Ramos would serve a four-year term as a member.