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  1.  

    RichLL

    I’ve actually lived in Switzerland and can confidently assert that the Swiss are much more patient and willing to put up with stuff that Americans would not. And there is far more in common between any two Americans than between any American and a Swiss – just ask an American who has lived in Switzerland.

    Anyway, my point was that the transit lobby wants it both ways. When the majority want BART stations at the freeway and not downtown, or want to keep parking spaces in Polk, then the transit lobby is quick to say that “experts” should decide, not the people.

    Yet if the voters approve some meaningless slogan like “Vision Zero” then those same advocates will drone on about the will of the people.

    Hypocrisy. I trust the people over experts every time, whether in CA, OK or CH

  2.  

    Daniel Howard

    It looks like that bus has dreams of being an LRV.

  3.  

    Kristof Didrickson

    Do you even read these articles you troll? The bike lanes haven’t even been installed yet.

  4.  

    denvoran

    If a majority of people in Livermore want a freeway BART station and that’s where it is built, then that would be customer-focused! But don’t tell me that reduced transfer times would not be popular “here”.

    “Caucasian”…ah, yes – “Anglo-Saxon” must be what is meant. Also, as noted before, Switzerland can hardly be called homogeneous in light of the fact that there are four official languages and 23% of residents hold foreign passports. Seems like you are bent on overpoliticizing this and want to paint a picture of a stark contrast between Swiss and US society, when in fact the stark contrast exists *within* US society – “I think we saw that a couple of weeks ago” indeed!

    Nash and Leister are suggesting that Swiss best practices could have application in CALIFORNIA – a part of the US much more like Switzerland with respect to attitudes toward government. If transit riders in Oklahoma City or other cities deep in Trumpland would resist customer-focused improvements, suspicious that they are “government conspiracies”, then they’ll just have to stand around waiting for their bus longer (while getting less for the tax dollars they are already wont not to spend).

    On the other hand, Bay Area and LA transit riders would welcome improved and more efficient transit services, get more value from the tax measures they have approved by majorities (“…a couple of weeks ago”), and enjoy real alternatives to car dependence: a Swiss-style system WILL work here (if not in Oklahoma or Tennessee), and CalSTA is on track to implement one.

  5.  

    L Taraval

    Parts of the article, Nevertheless, The 57-Parkmerced Muni Driver Made a mistake.

  6.  

    njudah

    why is this a shock? South City has built tons of office space but none of it is really connected to any meaningful transit. I worked in South City for years and even when BART came to SSF, for most offices, you had to drive no matter what. it sucks. But hey they’re building things and thats what the reddit kids tell us to do so build the things! who cares about transit right?

  7.  

    RichLL

    The idea that transit should be customer-focused isn’t a popular one here. For instance, most here will argue against a new BART station being at a freeway location even though clearly a majority of people out in Livermore want that. So it’s a little strange to suddenly read here that democracy should prevail.

    Places like Canada and the US are Caucasian culturally and historically, given their colonial past. But the point is that somewhere like Switzerland is more homogenuous and collectivist in nature and the people accept centralized control. Americans are much more individualistic and suspicious of grand government solutions being foisted on them. I think we saw that a couple of weeks ago!

    A Swiss style system quite simply would not work here.

  8.  

    p_chazz

    To be fair, the station naming policy did come about because of public interest in the process.

  9.  

    Elias Zamaria

    Can anything be done to change this or are the plans final?

  10.  

    denvoran

    Transfer coordination in Switzerland isn’t about “herding”, but about providing what customers want: minimized wait time. What, Americans enjoy standing around waiting for a bus or train, while the Swiss don’t? Making people wait for public transportation is “politically correct”? You want to see herding, visit any commercial airport in the United States.

    Armenia and Azerbaijan are examples of Caucasian nations, the U.S. and Switzerland are not. The differences between the U.S. (a multiethnic nation) and Switzerland (a multilingual country with nearly one-fourth (1/4!) of the population being foreigners – haha homogeneity) have more to do with scale: both the size and population of Switzerland are comparable to the Greater Bay Area (a single urban region among many within a single U.S. state, of which there are 50!)

  11.  

    RichLL

    I suspect that after the bike lane was put in, it was chronically under-used, so was not deemed important. SSF probably has a less than 1% share of cyclists. In statistical terms, that’s a footnote to a footnote.

  12.  

    xplosneer

    Question to all city planners/supervisors/anyone who approved this:

    Would you be comfortable merging into and riding in a 35 MPH lane on a 6 lane road? Then it’s not good enough.

    You can’t “compromise” by removing the lane outright, because a compromise is no better than what it is now. Weakest-link problem applies. You can remove a motor lane if you need the parking but removing the bike lane outright is downright negligent.

  13.  

    RichLL

    Can we really and credibly blame SFMTA for a focus on what they actually can change over what we all know they cannot change?

  14.  

    p_chazz

    Majoring in the minors!

  15.  

    RichLL

    Yeah, do you want speeding cars or insane homeless people?

    Hobson’s choice.

  16.  

    Mark

    Agreed. Priorities are clearly out of whack.

  17.  

    mx

    Good to see SFMTA is focusing on the issue that really matter to riders: station naming policy, and not, say, reliability, headway adherence, missed runs, vehicles breaking down, areas where service can be increased or improved, or literally anything that would possibly matters to the hundreds of thousands of people who rely on the system more than whether a station gets named after Rose Pak.

  18.  

    Mark

    You cannot ride Muni and expect it to run on any kind of schedule. The inherent design flaws and operating inefficiencies create a hostile rider experience most of the time. I can count the number of days on one hand that my 35 minute commute from the Sunset to downtown actually takes 35 minutes. People gripe about BART (most gripes being valid), but count your blessings that you can pretty much plan out your commute or travel knowing the train is coming at 02, 22 and 42.

    Online transit apps only offer some assistance in knowing if a train or bus is eventually going to show up or not so you can decide to either skip it altogether or find alternative means of getting to your destination.

    San Francisco is hardly a Transit First City running an outdated, inefficient streetcar system (unsuccessfully posing as light rail), a bus network that requires transfers in most cases and headed by fools who don’t use public transit or know what good public transit is. Good luck, San Francisco in the coming decades.

  19.  

    Mark

    RE: Car-free future for Stockton St.

    I hardly call a two-block stretch of fake grass either an oasis or haven. Go one block west to Powell which is car free 24/7 and get the true pedestrian mall experience in San Francisco. Just don’t linger too long.

  20.  

    dat

    0 / 5.

    Not even the slightest bit convincing. You have to make people think that you actually believe it.

  21.  

    Guy Ross

    More children in the United States are stung by bees than molested and raped by men. We should be doubling down on the war on bees.

  22.  

    Jim Gottlieb (持夢)

    Infrequent evening service reduces the number of riders even if they might not need it. If there’s a chance I might have to wait an hour on a platform somewhere, I’m definitely driving.

  23.  

    Alicia

    Anything to distract from your bad driving habits, eh?

  24.  

    RichLL

    I read the article and it says it was an accident. Apparently the vehicle was a runaway. In such a situation, “car kills boy” is kinda accurate in that there was nobody in control of the vehicle at the time

  25.  

    SFnative74

    I agree…neither true nor helpful. You’ve heard enough stereotypes about cyclists, I bet. How does that go for you?

  26.  

    Jimbo

    more people die in US of drug overdose than traffic deaths. we should be doubling down on war on drugs

  27.  

    zippy_monster

    All MTA drivers are required to be qualified on a 40ft diesel bus.

  28.  

    gb52

    Just shows that shuttle bus drivers do not seem to get enough training to make sure to stick to the indicated path. It’s relevant and clearly Akit was talking about the article.

    Regardless there is no news here other than it happened. The rest can only be speculation, and we may never know what was happening other than someone was not paying attention that the road ended.

  29.  

    davistrain

    Then we have the Los Angeles Metro “light-rail” trains with high-platform loading.

  30.  

    p_chazz

    Yikes!

  31.  

    L Taraval

    I am just staying on the article topic.

    Unlike you just go another direction no apparent reason.

  32.  

    roymeo

    You haven’t looked at the stories yet, have you?
    “Boy charging phone in car causes car to kill another boy.”

  33.  

    Akit

    Thank you Captain Obvious.

  34.  

    L Taraval

    Well this is not about the 6 Parnassus Bus.

    This is about the 57-Parkmerced – Mini Driver actions, either he got confused due the orange barriers (for upcoming track constructions) directing drivers to go into a direction or the 57-Parkmerced Muni Bus driver simply made a mistake.

  35.  

    citrate reiterator

    What I’m saying, though, is that it’s not actually ridiculous to consult a schedule even when frequencies are high, if 1. you make the same trip every day and it involves transfers, and 2. the schedules are actually somewhat accurate.

    My old commute for example spanned two subway lines and a low-frequency commuter rail, and was two hours end to end – that’s on the high end, but hour-plus commutes with transfers are certainly not uncommon in the era of urban-coastal rent explosions, combined with job growth outside of the traditional “central business districts.” Using a schedule helped me be on time for the one express train while also shaving as much time as possible off that commute. It doesn’t even take any effort to plan that out in the Google Maps era.

    So you definitely can’t trust the schedule of trains and buses in SF, but you also don’t need to go to Switzerland to find an urban transit system where schedules are reliable enough to be helpful.

    The N/KT are also of course only interchangeable if you’re going downtown; if you live in the Sunset, the KT isn’t very helpful. Even if you’re going somewhere off the main tunnel, 5 minute average headways seem optimistic to me… in my experience there’s so much bunching in the light rail system that there’s a very long tail of expected wait times.

  36.  

    Akit

    Was it a K shuttle bus, or the 57-Parkmerced? The 57 (formerly 17) to West Portal makes a left turn from eastbound Ocean and could have entered the wrong area.

    I see drivers who run the 6-Parnassus line gong off-route too frequently. For the past two years, the line has been running diesel buses due to the Haight road construction, and rookie drivers screw up around 9th/Noriega and 10th/Ortega by either missing the turn or turning one block too early.

  37.  

    Dexter Wong

    From what I have read, new Muni employees who want to drive are first trained to drive buses. If they want to drive other vehicles they apply to the division that uses that vehicle to receive further training. And I’d suppose over the years drivers might switch from bus to LRV to historic streetcar or some other combination.

  38.  

    Jeffrey Baker

    Hey I’ve lived here for a while and some of the things that happened over the years are drivers trafficking narcotics on their bus runs, drivers who lost their licenses to DUI convictions but who were still in the payroll, and so much more. Yes my statement was flippant but shall we say based on a true story.

  39.  

    p_chazz

    Wouldn’t it be more appropriate to report “Boy Killed by Motorist” or “Boy Killed by Driver”? I doubt that the car took it upon itself to kill the boy a la Stephen King’s horror novel “Christine” about a killer car.

  40.  

    mx

    Oh come on. I have many many issues with Muni, but that’s neither true nor helpful.

  41.  

    Jeffrey Baker

    The simple explanation that fits my preconceived biases is it’s because Muni drivers are undertrained high school dropouts half of whom are chronic alcoholics without valid drivers licenses. But I look forward to a fact-based explanation.

  42.  

    Roger R.

    Thanks Jeffrey. I’m trying to find out what happened from SFMTA. I was just taking a guess because it’s difficult to understand how else an operator got confused enough to drive a bus onto train tracks.

  43.  

    Mark

    Parking garages aren’t cheap to build. The land alone is expensive and many people would object to the idea of using land around the Embarcadero for parking structures.

    I’m all for protected bike lanes on the Embarcadero and hopefully cyclists will use them instead of the sidewalks and streets. Responsibility goes both ways…drivers and cyclists need to keep in their respective lanes.

    Also, this is hardly a transit-rich area, especially north of the Ferry Building. The F line only does so much. Transit enhancements should be a requirement for any medium/large development between the Ferry Building and Pier 39 along the Embarcadero. Otherwise, expect more gridlock traffic.

  44.  

    njudah

    maybe dont hire lyft/uber drivers lol

  45.  

    Jeffrey Baker

    Do they really assign drivers from the LRV division to drive buses? I thought that “signups” for which division the driver belongs to can only happen every other year according to the labor agreement.

  46.  

    thielges

    Yes, both statements are true. However delaying through passengers is worthwhile if the aggregate delay is reduced. For example if hub-pulse delays 1000 through passengers by 2 minutes, but reduces the travel time of 10,000 transferring passengers by 5 minutes then it is a big win in terms of aggregate system performance.

  47.  

    RichLL

    It’s not an either-or. Both can be true i.e. Muni can’t keep to a schedule AND drivers who deliberately make a vehicle more off-schedule can be penalized.

    I think you miss my other point about schedules. The extent to which schedules matter is inversely correlated to how frequent the buses or trains come along. For instance, on the London underground trains can be as little as 2 minutes apart. It’s ridiculous to look at a schedule to determine which train to take. You just show up and get the next one because you will never have to wait more than 2 minutes.

    At CalTrain, if there is either a N or a K/T every 5 minutes then you just get the next one. Even if they are all behind schedule it doesn’t matter because one still comes along every 5 minutes.

    Even airlines can operate that way on busy routes. The east-coast shuttles rely on hourly departures. You just show up and get the next flight.

    Where a schedule matter is on something like the 37 that runs every 20 or 30 minutes. and even then, NextBus is more reliable than a schedule.

  48.  

    citrate reiterator

    You said “there is a schedule for the N and the driver gets in trouble if he doesn’t keep to it.” That’s different from the explanation you’re now offering, which is that the drivers can’t keep to the schedule because of other factors. I agree that’s actually a problem, though because the 4th and King stop is the N terminus and Caltrain is extremely low frequency, a timed transfer should still be relatively easy to achieve.

    I totally disagree with your last statement, though. Schedules are important whenever you actually have somewhere to be by a particular time. People don’t use Muni schedules in SF not because they don’t care to or because of nebulous cultural differences from Switzerland, but because they’re fiction here. In NYC for instance you can generally expect subway trains to come at specific times and to have predictable ETAs to your destination. I’m one of the least organised people I know, and yet when I lived there I relied on particular lines being able to get me to Penn Station at the same time every day to make a specific commuter train. This even applied to buses there in my experience, which were rarely more than a minute or two off schedule. This is just not possible in SF: you can’t effectively plan ahead, so you end up having to add 20-30 minutes of a buffer on top of Muni’s already slow travel times.

    It’s a great goal for trains to come so frequently that you don’t need a schedule for most trips (commuting is still a special case), but that also isn’t something Muni currently provides as you know if you’ve ever seen the all-too-common “next KT in 18, 20, 36 minutes” sign.

  49.  

    sebra leaves

    Maybe we could start the conversation by discussing which budget item the city is planning to cut to pay for this. Hopefully it will not come out of Muni service and operations. SFMTA’s high-paid staff could offer to accept salary reductions to finance their plans.

  50.  

    Easy

    Building subsidized garages just encourages more driving.
    And as far as private garages, there’s one that’s going to be torn down:
    http://www.socketsite.com/archives/2013/01/the_75_howard_scoop_tower_rendering_and_the_proposed_pu.html
    So even the market doesn’t believe more parking is worth having in this transit-rich area.