Today’s Headlines

  • In First Month of All-Door Boarding, Muni Fare Revenue Higher Than Last Year (SF Examiner)
  • MTC HQ Move “Likely Legal” But Financially Risky (SF ExaminerCoCo TimesSFGate)
  • Northeast Mission Merchants Rally Against New Business-Boosting Parking Meters (Mission Local)
  • Valet Bike Parking Popular Among America’s Cup Spectators (Change Your Life Ride a Bike)
  • Cyclist Recovers Stolen Wheels in San Leandro Police Sting (Plattyjo)
  • Road Raging Driver Assaults Other Driver With Windshield Wiper in the Mission (Mission Local)
  • Palo Alto Seeks Grant Funding for Bike Bridge Over Hwy 101 (Palo Alto Online)
  • BART to San Jose Extension Receives $40M in Construction Funding (CBS 5)
  • Systemic Failure: New VTA Guidelines for Bicycle Facilities Are a Step Backward
  • BART.gov Goes Behind the Scenes With a Crew Installing New Vinyl Seats
  • Study Shows CAHSR Will be Greener Than Alternatives (East Bay Express)
  • Funds From SF’s Local Carbon Tax Sit Unused (SF Weekly)

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • Mario Tanev

    There is an increase in cash fares collected, so this is not just due to the price increase of the monthly pass. As San Francisco Transit Riders Union has stated before, in a front-door-only boarding world when a scofflaw boards through the rear door they have the peace of mind that they don’t have to pay – they have passed the hurdle and now they are safe with no incentive to pay. In an all-door boarding world, they don’t have that peace of mind. They know that they have not bypassed the fare inspection phase yet. At the very least they have to have a clipper card ready, just in case. And when paranoia sets in, they’ll tag. Sure, not everyone will do this – some know that fare inspection is still extremely rare, but when you apply that psychology on a mass level, in the aggregate you get more people complying as we’ve had for a decade on the light rail vehicles. And it’s the aggregate that matters – let’s face it, enforcing every single fare violation is unrealistic and would be way more expensive than the money it saves.

    With all-door boarding  Muni is creating a culture of respect. Those entering at the rear now need to be more polite, since they are no longer in rush to board before the door closes on them. The passengers distribute more evenly across the bus, and elderly people have more chances to land the spaces in the front dedicated to them. Riders who pay regularly feel more respected because they are not forced into a long boarding ritual, and because the bus is not stopped for as long. Riders who don’t know how to exit (step down? press a bar?), yes you’ve seen them before, now don’t have to be yelled at by other passengers or slow them down, because the driver open all doors anyway.
    Some time from now Muni will release official numbers regarding changes fare evasion rates and speed improvements. I don’t know what those numbers will look like exactly, but I like the new friendlier, more respectful Muni service. I feel more valued as a passenger now.

  • Mario Tanev

    The name of the group that opposes parking meters is called NEMBA. Sounds an awful lot like NIMBY, I wonder if they realized that.

  • Mario Tanev

    In that article, the window salesman states in one breath that his customers need to park close to the store, and in another that any price of parking is too high. Well, if parking is free, there is no way his customer can park close to the store. The point of SFPark is to ensure one open space on every block, and market pricing is the way to ensure that. If he wanted to, he could reimburse his client for it.

  • mikesonn

    The motorcycle guy, really?? Come on. Someone sit him down and talk some sense into him.

  • voltairesmistress

     Mario, I think fare evasion, at least for short trips on out of the way routes, will become very common.  Unlike subway trains where officers can efficiently survey hundreds of passengers in a single run, buses provide fewer people to query and lots of down time between one bus and the next.  Some (many?) people will calculate that it is cheaper not to pay ever and to accept the occasional fine.  If that’s the case, we may be on our way to no-fare transit, paid for in the aggregate by some other form of taxation.

  • mikesonn

    This is pretty awesome. Ordered one. Hoping for SF neighborhood themed ones (I’d love a North Beach card) and the Muni worm, simple orange on brown.

    http://store.goldengate.org/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=309 

  • mikesonn

    Total collection went up, I think fare evasion won’t become common because it hasn’t become common.

  •  Fare evasion cops only keep honest people from fare evading. If someone wants to fare evade, they will. A token effort is enough to make sure that the general understanding is “you should pay your fare” and the vast majority of people who are honest and believe they should pay their fare, will pay.

    The majority of actual fare evaders – people who are actively trying to get a free ride, as opposed to screwing up in some manner – would simply not take the bus if fare collection were an exact science. Trying to sop up the last few bucks from someone who isn’t planning on paying no matter what is just a waste of effort.

  • voltairesmistress

     On the issue of the opposition to parking meters in the Northeast Mission District:

    Business daytime parking is so difficult around 18th and Bryant that I routinely swing in and then out of the area without stopping for that sandwich or coffee or picture framing project.  The lack of short term, paid, business-related parking is directly related to workers commuting by car to jobs there and parking all day on the street without any limit.  The problem evaporates at night when the relatively few residents are the primary people parking there.

    Business owners should note that they can’t see the business they are losing when customers are turned away by a lack of parking.  Unless there is a one-of-a-kind business, we drivers simply drive to a commercial district with meters or garages where we can pay to park for 20 minutes or two+ hours on street or cheaply off-street.  Or we wait until we get home and walk to the nearest comparable place in our neighborhood.  We don’t put off the errand, take a 40+ minute bus ride to the Northeast Mission, transact business, then take a bus home.  The Mission loses a lot of business for lack of paid parking alternatives.

  • voltairesmistress

     Mike, I hope you are right that the first month of back-door boarding will be the template for all future years.  Certainly if MUNI starts providing efficient, swift transit, that would make users feel they were actually paying for a valuable service.  Right now, I sometimes rue the $2 spent on a terrible ride. Then I go a month or more before giving it another try.

  • mikesonn

    Maybe you should email NEMBA, they need to hear from people like you.

  • voltairesmistress

     Mike, NEMBA has no email, but per your suggestion, I did post the same comment on Mission Local where the article first ran.

  • Fran Taylor

    From the Mission Local story, citing the owner of a car repair shop at 17th and Folsom:

    “Art provides off-street parking for his employees but can’t accommodate all of their cars. If new meters go in, his staff will have to pay to come to work.”

    Unlike all those workers who commute on Muni and BART, which will remain free.

  • Anonymous

    Lots of ridiculous quotes in the article ….

    “During business hours, O’Hanlon uses one street parking space and his
    shop’s driveway to park motorcycles awaiting repairs. His shop is too
    cramped to keep them all indoors.”

    Don’t have enough space, Mr. O’Hanlon? Buy/lease more! Don’t expect the city to give you *free* space because your business is too small. I mean, let’s see where we can take this … hey, MTA: I don’t have enough storage space in my closet in my apartment, so I’m going to set up a little storage shed in the parking space in front of my unit for all my stuff. Now don’t you dare try to tell me I need to pay some ridiculously under-market price for it. Not only am I entitled to that public space, but I want it for *free*! And I will raise hell if I don’t get what I want!

    “When the school calls and something’s up with your kids, you’ve got to go. Waiting for a BART train just doesn’t work.”

    Wait, what? When “something’s up” with your kids? What exactly is he talking about that is so urgent? A medical emergency? If so, they can handle that with an ambulance and don’t have time for you to get there even if you drive. Never in all my years of primary school, nor that of my 3 brothers, did my parents ever have to race into school. If he really is so worried about this that it dictates how we gets to work, it’s time to rethink where he is working and/or where his kids are going to school. Add into the mix the fact that meters would make sure those that really need to drive (because “something’s up” with their kids, you know) will always have open spaces available.

    “[The meters] will eventually make me either change my business or leave this city,” he said.”

    As has been proven over and over and over in this city where the number of people who want to live here keeps growing and growing, there will be 10 businesses who want to take your space and are okay (even supportive) of meters, and maybe even see discouraging driving as a business opportunity. As a member of the community, I feel no allegiance to your business if you can’t support sustainable growth. And when you move somewhere else that does want to encourage such an anachronistic business model, you will keep finding the walls close in around you as more and more cities and communities realize that giving away precious real estate for free makes *zero* sense. As a businessperson, you should know that.

  • Anonymous

    I get the impression that their preferred solution to a parking shortage is for the city to forbid new businesses and housing, so that they can keep using the existing parking for free without anybody else coming in and using it.

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