Renowned disability advocate and attorney Cristina Rubke was confirmed by the Board of Supervisors today as the newest member of the SFMTA Board of Directors.
Rubke was nominated by Mayor Ed Lee to replace outgoing member Bruce Oka. She was roundly praised by colleagues at a recent Board of Supervisors Rules Committee hearing for her willingness to collaborate and seek an in-depth understanding of various issues, as well as her experience serving on city committees.
Preceding today’s unanimous approval by the full board, Supervisor Scott Wiener said “listening to her experiences as a regular rider on the [Muni] system was very compelling.”
“I think she understands the importance of continuing to reform our transportation function in San Francisco and make it run better and serve everybody,” said Wiener.
Although Rubke “doesn’t necessarily have professional expertise in the area of transportation,” said Supervisor David Campos at the Rules Committee hearing, “the reality is that we want someone who has firsthand experience of what it means to be a rider of public transportation.”
Rubke, a SoMa resident, told the committee she’s ready to delve into the complex issues she would face on the board, including reducing the agency’s work order and overtime costs and improving pedestrian safety, while aiming to represent a range of underserved communities.
“As a person in a wheelchair, I am truly dependent on public transit, and welcome the chance to improve it,” said Rubke. ”Accessibility means more than just a wheelchair ramp, although that’s a good start. It means that my grandmother knows she can walk safely through our streets, understand how to buy a transit ticket, she can afford that ticket, and she can figure out how to take different modes of transportation safely.”