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    Lee Ross

    No matter when the Street Closure occurs some constituency is going to be disadvantaged. Just Wait until this Edifice is Up and Running. You think Van Ness is Impossible TODAY .. Just Wait. San Francisco is rapidly becoming a Dystopian view of the Future.






    Band-aid tactics? What do you suggest they do then, given the very limited amount of extra money they have?


    Dexter Wong

    If Muni Forward will not work, in your opinion, why aren’t you moving to some other burg with better transit?




    Michael Pappas, the Executive Director of the Interfaith Council, is also a former investment banker who was defrocked by the church for having an extramarital affair with other men and women.

    The city should not be giving into the wishes of a bully with no morals.



    ‘…the City is greatly indebted to those houses of worship for the annual sacrifice each make in providing critical space in their facilities to host between 60-100 homeless men nightly at the “Interfaith Winter Shelter.”’

    I’m just going to leave this here:



    this is a good thing. having as many people be able to celebrate easter is much more important than the speed of this development



    This weekend is going to be a mess. I’m curious if Muni will have enough buses to handle this construction, as well as the Cherry Blossom Festival (the parade is next week) and the N-Judah construction.



    Yeesh. Heaven forbid the City stand up to Ayatollah Pappas.


    Andy Chow

    During the rush hours the Palm Drive/El Camino area becomes a traffic mess (with poor design and large traffic volume) that it would be faster to bike through the area rather than waiting 2 to 3 traffic light cycles to get to the train station.



    I agree. They can keep the 5-10am and 3-7pm pricing but add a higher toll price from 8-9am and 5-6pm to reduce congestion at its peak.


    Kevin Wenderoth

    Hopefully purchasing more train cars, modernizing the tracks for 24 hour service, and modifying the most intensely used stations for greater safety & greater capacity. Pretty much anything other than extending the line to Livermore.



    Depends on the project. Is it buying more train cars, infill stations, or extending the train to Livermore?



    That being said, I think the current timespans (5-10a and 3-7p) are too long to successfully shift enough commuters to off-peak commutes. The bridge authority should switch to electronic tolling, not just to reduce toll-taking costs, but to create more dynamic pricing schemes like those currently used by HOT lanes.



    “‘The real hazard is pedestrians who can’t get off their phones while they’re crossing the street,’ he said. ‘Why don’t they pass a law about that?'”

    The tour bus driver feels threatened by pedestrians?!



    Variable pricing on the Bay Bridge was a great idea. Let’s raise the rush hour toll to reduce congestion and help fund other improvements that will help take the pressure off the bridge and freeways.


    Kevin Wenderoth

    Considering Londoners have been paying congestion pricing of $15 since 2000 to get into the center city, I think it’s high time the Bay Area increases it’s $6 charge during rush hour to something more like $10. That revenue should be the driving force behind capital improvement projects for BART as opposed to fare increases.


    San Franciscia

    The article above repeatedly and erroneously refers to a contract. There is no contract, only a “proposed term sheet used to facilitate discussions between MTC and Motivate” The contract will be hundreds of pages long and actual contract negotiations have not even started.


    Karen Lynn Allen

    The Marguerite goes around Campus Drive. It can’t get to locations in the center of campus (just as cars can’t.) It is also much slower than biking. (Even driving a private car is slower than biking.) It also operates on an extremely reduced schedule on weekends.

    When I go to Stanford, I lug my bike up and down the stairs on Caltrain (not easy for me) because it is *so* convenient to have a bicycle with me when I get there. Every time I bike up Palm Drive I am struck anew by what a bicycling paradise the Stanford campus is. So flat, such beautiful bike paths, so much car-free space.



    Are there any examples of bike share being successful in other suburban areas?



    Maybe, but bikeshare is always meant to complement standard public transportation, for people who aren’t going exactly on the bus routes, or don’t want to wait for the bus, or just enjoy biking. Getting on Caltrain with a bike in SF to commute to P.A. (or elsewhere in the South Bay) can be a hassle, and I could see people using bikeshare at both ends.



    Though the Stanford Marguerite Shuttle already serves most Stanford trips and is free. Stiff competition for bikeshare.


    Andy B from Jersey

    Dude! Apple perhaps? iBike?


    Daimeon Pilcher

    One way streets prevent prostitution allegedly. But, there’s no police enforcement of said prostitution. Just parking enforcement. Lots and lots of parking enforcement. If it’s parking you’re looking for you’re out of luck. If it’s crack, meth, oxycontin, coke or weed, the TL has ya covered. I wonder how many Twitter employees would be arrested during their paid “community service” hours for buying cocaine from undercover cops (if they ever did that here?).



    Stanford would be a great spot to put in a few bike share locations. The Caltrain station is far enough from the center of campus that it’s not a convenient walk but a quick and easy bike ride.



    Since this story is about Polk, why are you talking about commuters?


    Kevin M

    I don’t think it will go anywhere, but if it does, Pronto in Seattle is probably a better model than Melbourne.



    How much would it cost each of the peninsula cities to buy into the system and increase the number of stations 10-fold? Everyone agrees that the existing bike share system on the peninsula is worthless because of sparse stations, but how much would it cost to make it useful? Are any of the cities willing to foot the bill (or find corporate sponsors to foot the bill)?



    Cyclists should stay on the sidewalk where they belong. Here’s SFPD to show you how:


    Chris Weeks

    You are not dreaming. SoBi uses a standard bike rack with two sides $125 = 2 bikes = $62.50 per spot.

    My stance on Motivate style systems is the same one I have on BART. Stop building now. Maintain what you have then for expansions there are better, cheaper, nicer, more reliable and versatile alternatives. Sobi technology can be outfitted on any bike including Motivate. Motivate in the urban core SoBi everywhere else. Reciprocal memberships are not a problem for SoBi.


    Jamison Wieser

    The three-car shuttles were launched as a six-month trial, but I never saw any results other than everyone liking them.

    Any shuttle though takes trains away from the surface sections of the lines and having proved they work it might just be a matter of having enough trains once the new ones start arriving.

    By ridership alone the N-Judah does make sense for three-car service, but there’s a unique opportunity open right now with the M-line: The city, CalTrans, SF State, the developers or Parkmerced and Stonestown are all lined up to share the costs of undergrounding the M along 19th Avenue and St. Francis Circle.



    never attribute to maliciousness that to which is better attributed to windshield perspective


    Bike Share Tech Gnostic

    Good point. When do they expect to be at 750?


    Bike Share Tech Gnostic

    Thank you for the reply. Truly interesting details.

    Why are you citing B-cycle? Last I checked, Motivate does not use B-cycle. B-cycle tends to work with Bicycle Transit Systems (former Alta team members).

    Do you have any numbers for the latest tech from Motivate?

    As for your numbers on SoBi, there seem to be some miscalculations. For instance, your $875k figure if broken across 14k docking points comes to less than $60 per docking point. Maybe the folks in Hamilton can chime in if you’re not using SoBi infrastructure at Bishop Ranch.

    If you have an actual current capital cost sheet from SoBi, it would be awesome if you could share it? Your bike estimate puts them at $1500/bike. Is that what you paid?

    No large-scale SoBi program has launched without a few kiosks. You don’t include those costs.

    The LA RFP responses are not yet available via FOIA otherwise I would cite those figures.

    On your item #3 the costs would not be equal. If still correct, SoBi is cheaper on connectivity by 1/2.

    On operations, if you hare details on your operations (parts replaced, batteries swapped, etc.) a delta estimate would be pretty easy to come up with.

    In general it seems your stance is that Motivate should have opted for SoBi. Perhaps you should address your question of “why” to them rather than to the city? If the city is getting bike share for “free” I doubt they care too much about the cost.

    Also, as Motivate makes use of the same tech across all these large cities there is likely a matter of cost savings not made public.


    Karen Lynn Allen

    Exactly true. The lack of usage was entirely predictable from the outset (in fact many on Streetsblog did predict it.) A properly designed system in Palo Alto would get plenty of riders. It’s almost as if Palo Alto bikeshare was designed to attract the least use possible.




    Bike Share Tech Gnostic

    Not really. The card acts as a token in place of the user’s 6-digit code. There’s still a two factor authentication in place with a user’s PIN and they can change this number. It’s generally more “secure” than 8D or PBSC in terms of the operator being able to hold the person liable. That said, unlike programs with a physical key, people who write down their info can have rides taken in their name.



    Agreed about the three-car trains. I haven’t seen one in a long time, so I guess they’ve been discontinued.

    It was pretty cool to watch them show up and completely clear a crowded platform, but as shuttle trains they took up valuable slots in the subway and were often underutilized. They will be more useful once one of the surface lines are upgraded to handle three-car trains.

    The M subway project you mention would accomplish this, but I think a higher priority should be upgrading to N to handle three-car trains, at least for short line runs turing around at UCSF or 9th Ave. This could be accomplished by lengthening the surface platforms, or by extending the Sunset Tunnel west as a subway, emerging in the center of Judah west of 9th Ave.



    Bikeshare in Palo Alto is a crying shame … that area is crying out for an alternative to infrequent buses and insufficient rail coverage. The stations at the moment are packed too close together and aren’t located anywhere people need to go (like Stanford games and shopping centers).


    Mario Tanev

    Really Randy, where were you when Sunday meters were being removed? That’s right, you supported your master Ed Lee.



    Waiting for the cable car on Powell between Washington and Jackson is so dangerous because the width of the travel lane, coupled with the many curb cuts, invites drivers to speed. I’ve almost been hit many times there trying to board. They need to calm that block somehow.

    Was the driver charged? I’m very sure this driver violated the ‘Do Not Pass’ rule, for one, in addition to an assault charge. Hoping the conductor makes a full recovery.



    “They don’t need pods. Transcend the pod and the labor issues become less
    central. If you have enough bikes in the system the users can do much
    of the redistribution for you since most trips are round trips.”

    I disagree on this one. Sure most trips are round trips – BUT the time between each leg of that round trip is usually in the 8 hour time range.

    Transcending the pod is also problematic to me. If I go to 21st Amendment, I *know* there is a pod across the street. I *know* where the bikes will be at Caltrain. “The bikes are all located by GPS” doesn’t make me happy. First off, it pretty much shuts out anyone without a smart phone. And it shuts me off if my phone is out of charge. Then you have the moment I find a bike on GPS at some building on Market Street and I go to get the bike, but the user has brought the bike into the building.

    I prefer this problem to be solved by actual hard locations – like MUNI stops, not Uber calls.


    Chris Weeks

    Never used the word “integrated.” We would be happy to “integrate” the card if MTC would allow it. We want all our employees to have a card in their pocket that works on BART, Bus & Bike. We were able to come up with a way to do that. It not “integrated,” since integration is prohibited, but its awesome to use your Clipper to grab a bike!


    Chris Weeks

    Ok, I will try. I am trying to do this from memory so please take this with a grain of salt. You are right, its probably more prudent to estimate like 4X cheaper for a SoBi version of this large of a program. But they are not comparable programs as SoBi gathers very useful data using GPS, allows ending of trip anywhere and has a much lighter impact on the built environment. But lets assume they are comparable as you suggest.

    Bay Area Bike Share Type Bike Cost (BABS) based on BCycle quote VS SocialBicycles (SoBi)

    Conservative estimate:
    Costs for 7,000 SoBi Bikes Per Year = Bikes $10,500,000 + Labor/Maint $5,250,000 + Connectivity $1,680,000 + Racks $875,000 = $18,305,000

    Costs for 7,000 BABS Bikes = Bikes $10,500,000 + Labor & Maint ~$15,750,000 (BCycle would not quote me an exact number and does not include management or insurance. I will probably be more expensive than SoBi due to Dock and Pod maintenance not required for SOBI) + Racks/Docs $43,550,000 + Connectivity $1,925,000 = $71,725,000

    Total = BABS about 4X as expensive with no tracking, no Ulock, no flexibility, and unknown labor & maint costs due to additional major infrastructure requirements. You get none of the real time tracking data that SoBi provides with BABS. They only track check ins at Pods. I have not added the value of the street scape required for the BABS pods which is substantial in an urban setting. Personal bikes can not use the pod infrastructure to lock up either.

    How I came up with this:
    1) Racks Vs Docks
    *Cost for 4 runs of 4 bike spots BABS Dock Rack Pods for 16 bikes = $100,000 (Just for the racks & site prep)
    *Cost for Sobi 4 runs of 2 bike racks each $500 per run $2000 total.
    Compare BABS racks at almost $8000 per space to SoBi at $125 per space.
    TOTAL = BABS rack pod spots cost waaaay more (50X) than the rack required for a SoBi bike.

    2) Dumb BABC Bike VS Smart Sobi Bike = Purchase/set up
    Both bikes cost between $1,500 and $1,800 per bike
    Both bikes have similar shipping costs & assembly $1200
    =About Equal but BABS has no GPS

    3) Network/Cellular
    BABS=Cellular about $22.50 per dock spot per month
    SoBi =Cellular about $20 per bike per month
    =About Equal

    4) Software/Web license & set up
    BABC costs nearly $8000 for software and web set up for a 16 bike system
    Sobi costs only $2,000 for software and web for the same system
    = Web hosting software and setup 4X as expensive for BABS

    5) Labor & Maint costs
    BABS = Could not commit to an estimate for labor and maintenance but with additional needs to maintain Pods and docs the costs will be higher, I assume 2 to 3 times higher due to vandalism weathering)
    SoBi = ~$750 per bike per year and goes down with more bikes no pod or dock maint required

    = BABS more expensive due to Pods & Dock maint and management costs so $750 for Bike/$750 for pod and sign/$750 for dock = $2,250 per bike






    “…pay attention, because you have to also take responsibility for your safety. I have seen some of the almost-hit accidents…” As lucid an illustration of denial as it gets. This comment was made before anyone at the Pub Talk knew the details of what happened, other than the location, that several people were hurt, and that it was a hit-and-run.

    Good street design could have mitigated the likelihood of this happening, but it’s a fantasy that our fates are in our hands. We can travel our streets like skittish, paranoid rabbits and still get hit. I was hit while being responsible, law-abiding, wearing bright red and fluouro orange, on a flat straightaway on a clear sunny day at noon. What failed was the road design and the driver’s judgement.
    After the street engineering is state-of-the-art; driver ed is on a par with countries that require 100s of hours of supervised driving before anyone can hit the accelerator; older drivers are vetted for physical ability and can access safe and affordable age-in-place living; and the driver dominator culture changes, it’s just lunacy to suggest ‘Be careful out there’ is an adequate response to any street violence. That includes you, Mesozoic Polk and Bobby G. ;-p


    Jamison Wieser

    From a slightly less subjective experience sitting on the SFMTA’s advisory Engineering, Maintenance, and Safety Committee that’s a pretty good summary and status report.

    Ideally trains would indeed be more evenly spaced so each train is able to pull right up to the first berth because it’s had the time to clear. It’s taken about a decade of work replacing everything from the overhead wire to the major computer system components that are all dependent upon one another before it could even start to be felt, but it’s finally gotten to the point where riders indeed are starting to see the pay off.

    I view double-berthing as a bonus feature primarily for unloading that came included with the new software. Three-car trains (which prevent double-berthing) seems to me like a more important capability in the years to come. Especially if the M-line/Parkmerced/19th Avenue Subway is constructed as it seems likely with three-car platforms.

    One particular issue with the Muni Metro subway I think is worth pointing out because it’s starting to really effect BART now is track maintenance. As track wears out, trains have to move over it more and more slowly to prevent derailment or further damage from the strain and shaking which snags service. Being able to travel at a faster top speed allows control computer more flexibility to speed up and slow down trains to even out train spacing.



    Were you the one dancing on the bar after Breed’s comments, Bobby?



    This BART track maintenance thing is very unsettling!



    Interesting – thanks for following up.

    Sounds like a lot of Uber and Lyft drivers were included in the sample…