Today’s Headlines

  • SFBG: Polk Contra-Flow Lane “Seems to Mark the Arrival of Cyclists Into the Political Mainstream”
  • City Promotes Transport Funding Measures With Community Meetings, New Website (SFGateExam)
  • Poll: VLF Support at 24 Percent; GO Bonds More Promising (SFGate); SFist Breaks Down the Numbers
  • Waterfront Development Measure Prop B Could Limit Funding for Transit Improvements (SFGate)
  • Police, Health Commissions to Adopt Formal Vision Zero Resolutions; Traffic Tickets Still Up (Examiner)
  • Memorial Plaque to Be Placed on Sloat for Hanren Chang, 17-Year-Old Killed by Driver (SF Examiner)
  • Mid-Block Crosswalk on Page Near Masonic to Get Upgraded Flashing Beacon (Hoodline)
  • Disabled Advocates Continue to Fight for Better Access on BART, Ride-Share Vehicles (SFBG)
  • Muni to Waive $10 Fare Surcharge for Bay to Breakers Express Bus Service This Year (KTVU)
  • Long-Term Bike Rental Service “Pedal Anywhere” to Open in the Mission (Mission Local)
  • Caltrain Budget Balanced by Record Ridership, but Structural Flaws Remain (Daily Journal)
  • New Caltrans Report Says New Bay Bridge Will Last in Long-Term, Despite Recent Problems (SFGate)

More headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • Andy Chow

    Muni isn’t lowering the fares for special service out of kindness, it is doing it because FTA told them that they cannot charge a $12 fare after a complaint filed by a charter bus company wishing to take over the 49ers routes. About 6 years ago, FTA implemented a new charter bus policy that essentially prohibited transit agencies from charging fares above the regular fares for special event service under the assumption that private companies can provide the service without subsidy.

    After that, SamTrans, Golden Gate Transit, AC Transit, and VTA pretty much ended sports service and charter bus companies (after obtaining another permit from CPUC) took over. Muni kept its special fare for 49ers routes until last year under the argument that its special fare is no higher than the cable car round-trip fare. But after a complaint launched, FTA told Muni that it won’t work because cable car is not a bus. But for whatever reason Muni isn’t about to give up 49ers routes so it decided to subsidize them.

    I think that if the service can provided by the private sector without public subsidy, it would be pursued and kept as much transit tax dollars to support everyday service that all transit agencies are charged to provide. The tour buses, and Google buses are examples, along with charter buses that are offered by some events like Outside Lands. But what the FTA charter bus regulation hasn’t fix is the territoriality on behalf of transit agencies and their general unwillingness to engage with the private sector, which I think it has to do with transit unions who would lose all those lucrative overtime income.

  • murphstahoe

    Brutal.

    So some private charter provides the service to Niners games without subsidy and charges $20. So fewer people take the bus and more people drive and that impacts everyone.

    By this argument, there shouldn’t be any buses at all because Taxis can provide the service without subsidy.

    Awful.

  • Andy Chow

    The 49ers buses were profitable and were well utilized. If these are events that people are going to spend a lot of money on tickets, parking, concessions, and for some, lodging, they will also be willing to spend on transportation, taking account of availability and quality of service. Not to say that there’s no role of public transit agencies, but that special service should not be as heavily subsidized nor should it take resource from regular transit service.

    If you think that charging more means more people drive, well the parking is going to be packed anyway even if you give away the bus service for free (people are not that price sensitive, and parking there gives them a different experience, like the ability to tailgate, so a lot will drive and park even if it is expensive, and by the way almost all will be carpool anyway). So if you want these events to have less traffic impact then there should be less parking and better traffic management. It is unrealistic to expect some low cost transit service will make parking underutilized at a packed venue.

    Transportation to these types are events are different than going to school or employment, so you really can’t apply the same standard.

  • p_chazz

    The event sponsor should be required to provide bus service. The cost could be passed on to the event participants.