Today’s Headlines

  • Drivers Injure Pedestrians at Fourth and Market (SF Appeal), Irving and Sixth Ave. (SFGate)
  • Powell Station Shut Down After Man Killed by Muni Train (CBS)
  • Man Killed on Van Ness Also Lost Cousin in NYC Hit-Run (SFGate); Driver Pleads Not Guilty (Appeal)
  • Walk SF, Walk Oakland Bike Oakland Get a Spot on KQED Newsroom
  • SFMTA Budget (SFGate): Muni Fare Hike Planned (KTVU, CBS), Free Passes Could Expand (SFGate)
  • Waterfront Transit Pilots: 22-Fillmore Extension, Actual Traffic Enforcement Near Bay Bridge (Examiner)
  • Willie Brown: I Saw Reckless Chronicle Truck Driver; SFist: Remember When Your Driver Hit Someone?
  • Planning Department to Redesign Ocean Ave. (SocketSite); Castro CBD Gives for Street Upgrades (BAR)
  • Man Who Called 911 to Aid Woman Injured on Bike Claims SFPD Threw Him in Jail (Opposing Views)
  • More on “SAFE Bikes” Registry Launch (SFGate, CBS), SFPD Pledges Surge in Decoy Bikes (SF Appeal)
  • Next Clipper Card Phase Could be Opportunity to Better Integrate Fare Structures (Green Caltrain)
  • Gavin Newsom Turns Against CA High-Speed Rail (CBS)

More headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • Prinzrob

    Any chance of Bay Area Bike Share or BikeLink ever being integrated with Clipper? Treating shared bicycle facilities like any other transit network would go a long way to getting support for and usage of these systems.

  • aslevin

    That ought to go into the request queue, provided to MTC from bike coalitions, transit agencies (who want the first/last mile), and users.

  • murphstahoe
  • Gezellig

    I really hope the proposals for the updated Ocean Ave. include Muni-only lanes and separated bike infrastructure on this currently still very auto-centric thoroughfare.

    The current sharrows on Ocean are laughable and even as a relatively brave bike-rider I avoid them at all costs. They’re even worse when you’re trying to go westbound up the hill (towards Whole Foods/CCSF) from the BART station. I see a lot of people just ride on the sidewalk there and it’s really hard to blame them.

  • p_chazz

    Out of consideration for pedestrians, the least they could do is walk their bikes on the sidewalk.

  • Chris J.

    Regarding the UCSF van striking and injuring a pedestrian at Irving and Sixth, I have seen a pattern of UCSF shuttles driving unsafely in the Mission and Potrero (around 17th Street). For example, several times I’ve experienced them accelerating and not giving bicyclists in the bike lane any extra space. Their extra-wide size (and mirror, etc) often protrudes into the bike lane, causing a dangerous situation.

  • jonobate

    I would love to see a “Bay Area Regional Transit” agency for the nine-county Bay Area. This would incorporate the regional rail systems (BART & Caltrain), public ferry services (Golden Gate & SF Bay Ferry), and all the regional buses that connect the county/city districts together (e.g. AC Transit Transbay lines, SamTrans KX/397/292, VTA 120/14/180/181, Dumbarton Express, all the Golden Gate Transit routes that cross the bridge). Bay Area Bike Share would have a logical home here, as well.

    You can imagine this agency using commuter coaches rather than regular buses in order to bring the riding experience closer to that of rail. Fares on these regional services would all use the same distance based formula, with no penalty for transferring from one mode to another. Operating regional transit in this way would eliminate the current unnecessary division between modes, would establish a coordinated network for regional journeys, and would help drive sensible decisions about where the region should invest in rail and where that service could be better provided by coach.

    The existing county/city districts would continue to operate as before but without their long-distance services. These districts would continue to use a flat fare. Transferring between a regional and local service should get you a substantial discount on the fare.

    As interregional services, Capital Corridor, San Joaquins and ACE trains would be incorporated into the unified statewide rail service being planned by CAHSR. And as an interstate service, the Coast Starlight would remain with Amtrak.

    Just my two cents on sorting out the Bay Area transit mess.

  • murphstahoe

    Out of consideration for pedestrians and cyclists, the least the drivers could do is let the cyclists ride the roadway and give them space.

  • Gezellig

    Exactly.

    Bad “bike” “infrastructure” such as afterthought sharrows on a major road like Ocean only encourages bad/oblivious/incompetent driver behavior, so the resulting common coping behavior of biking on the sidewalk there is an understandable reflection of that built environment’s utter failures.

    Few people on bikes *want* to ride on the sidewalks. If we build a protected cycletrack and some idiot’s still biking on the sidewalk, *then* throw the book at them.

    Point is, the infrastructure and built environment there really need to change and not a moment too soon.

  • Gezellig

    Imagine a pervasive infrastructure setup and set of laws that would periodically require people in cars to get out at points and push or tug their vehicles for awhile until they could get back to a “safe place where you cars belong.”

  • Andy Chow

    I am a bit concerned about the Clipper 2.0 and what it entails. It is one thing if it is about software changes and upgrades to back end servers. It is another if it is about changing all the cards and readers. The whole Translink thing started in about 2001 and it is still not yet region wide. If it is the latter then it could take another 10 years of testing and roll out and perhaps a third version somewhere in that process.

    In Hong Kong, the smart card system there existed for almost 20 years and the system can handle thousands of fares (each bus route and rail station pairs have its own fares), transfer discounts, senior discounts, and monthly passes.

    I think the largest headache for users is the lack of ability to make payments online without having to wait for days. But there’s a suitable workaround without having to radically change the process (like becoming a credit card system to verify the payment live, but will require a significant amount of time not suitable in a bus boarding situation.) A lot of new phones have NFC chips built in that can read Clipper Cards. It is possible to write an app to use those phones to pay and then activate the cards as if it is done at a BART station. For those phones without such cards (like iPhones), there are NFC plugins available or in development.

    In fact there are apps that can read Clipper cards and official version for the Hong Kong system to make payments. Some apps can read cards from London, Seattle, Singapore.

  • Andy Chow

    The benefits of such integration is really mostly about branding and marketing. There’s no real benefit to have a separate operating entity with a separate employees and separate maintenance facilities. There’s no benefit if say, having a single maintenance facility for a regional bus system when today buses are maintained at their respective regional facilities with local buses.

    There are examples of bus and rail systems that actually consist of different operating entities. So it is possible on this end, but the other equation is funding and governance. Most of the transit system is built around who and how the service is funded, but that creates a lot of barriers toward a regional system, and not all regions in the Bay Area share the same regional priorities.

  • coolbabybookworm

    I can confirm that the same driving pattern is common South of Market as well. I ride on 5th street daily, and terrible as it is normally, when there is a UCSF shuttle it is even worse. The UCSF shuttles also consistently block part of a lane on Market between 4th and 5th to pick up and drop off passengers. It would be a lot easier on everyone if they could pull into the loading zone instead of the MUNI stop.

    Hopefully the tepid regulation around the commuter shuttle programs will help SFMTA better regulate local shuttles.

  • jonobate

    I agree there’s no real benefit to creating a separate operating entity ‘just because’. I imagine that at least initially, “Bay Area Regional Transit” would subcontract with the existing districts to provide the services, with new or repainted buses operating out of the existing depots. The main difference would be in branding, fares and schedule integration – it doesn’t matter who’s actually driving the bus.

    My point is that there’s no agency tasked with getting people around the region. BART and Caltrain do this, but they are both limited to operating their own specific fixed routes, with no possibility of adding new routes without a major capital investment. And they have no incentive to work together to improve the customer experience.

    For example – BART are talking about the possibility of an extension to Livermore, and are including various express bus options as part of the EIR. From the last board meeting where this was discussed, most board members were favoring the express bus service option. But this bus service wouldn’t be run by BART, so it doesn’t make sense for them to be doing the environmental planning for it.

    This raises the question – why shouldn’t BART connect regional destinations with buses, with fares and schedules integrated with the rail service? It makes total sense, but it’s not going to happen because BART is a “rail” agency. Why should a transit agency be restricted to a specific mode, particularly when there is relatively low rail service coverage in the Bay Area? Why not use the extensive regional freeway network to provide express bus service around the region?

    The current situation is based on outdated thinking that rich people don’t ride buses. Or more specifically, on thinking that people who commute to different parts of the region are rich people who would ride a train but not a bus, whereas poor people take the bus within their own city. That’s simply not true any more. More jobs of all kinds are located in the suburbs rather than the city, and the tech shuttles show that rich people don’t have a problem riding buses to work, providing those buses provide a quality experience closer to rail.

  • voltairesmistress

    I agree. I have seen UCSF shuttle drivers driving without lights, speeding, and making unsafe right turns on red. No wonder they have killed two or more pedestrians. UCSF continues to skate on this, relying on their healthcare professional image. You can bet that any tech bus company would not get off so lightly. On foot or bike, I give the UCSF drivers a wide berth. They are deadly and unaccountable.

  • Andy Chow

    I do think that having a transit agency that is modal specific is indeed counter-productive. Some of the major transit agencies are multi-modal, including MBTA, SEPTA, New Jersey Transit, to name a few. The transit arrangement in DC is more effective in SF.

    I think the most difficult for an effective integration is that the different modes and different regions have different funding sources. For example, BART has a dedicated sales tax in SF, Alameda, and Contra Costa counties, but not San Mateo. The same tax that funds BART is not used to fund ferries, etc.

    Since we really don’t have a government for the region. The only entity that can force integration is the state of California, but it is too big and too diverse to either be in charge of transit (like New Jersey) or force regions to merge operations.