Today’s Headlines

  • Scooters Return to San Francisco Today (SFGate, GreenBiz)
  • Lime Loses Bid to Block Scooter Deployment (BizTimes)
  • Dude, Where’s my Bike Share? (BayCityBeacon)
  • The T Line is Still a Slug (SFChron)
  • Fremont Street to Re-Open (SFExaminer, EastBayTimes)
  • New Berkeley BART Plaza (Berkeleyside)
  • More on BART Fine for Worker Deaths (EastBayTimes)
  • Caltrain’s Weekend Closures (SFGate)
  • Golden Gate Ferry Strained by Demand (MarinIJ)
  • Vallco Mall Demolition Begins to Make Way for Housing (Curbed)
  • Commentary: The Search for a new MTC Director is Vital (SFChron)
  • Commentary: On the New Harvey Milk Plaza (SFChron)

Get state headlines at Streetsblog CA, national headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • lunartree

    So what would it take to fix the T-Line? I totally agree about it’s failures, it’s so slow, but it really seems like it shouldn’t be. It has its own right of way, stations are spaced reasonable distances apart, blocks are long, etc. Maybe it needs signal priority?

  • Some of the blame is on the fact that it shares the track with the N along the Embarcadero, but the problems will still plague the line once the Central Subway opens for service and it runs under 4th and Stockton. Most of the blame should be on Muni and its crap service in general. Even if the line had a complete ROW or tunnel there would be problems. Muni can’t run anything on time or under budget.

  • mx

    Signal priority (which was supposed to be implemented, what, a decade ago?), and eliminating many of the left turns on 3rd would be a good start. The line ends up moving so much slower than car traffic on the street, because trains have to stop for cars to make left turns across the tracks, while through traffic gets green lights. As it stands right now, transit is outright deprioritized, because the majority of signal phases do not permit transit to proceed through the intersections.

    And then Muni just needs to straight up operate the service. Lack of signal priority helps explains why it’s slow; it doesn’t explain 45-minute gaps.

  • mx

    Day 1 scooter report:

    Scoot let me down. Four times in 10 minutes, the scooter shut off, and I had to reopen the app and hit “resume ride” to get it going again. Then it would make me go through the safety rules again. The scooters aren’t bad (nifty built-in light and speedometer), but the wheels are on the small side and I didn’t feel super stable on bumps and cracks. Had a hard time getting over 10mph even on flat straightaways too. I assume it was just a bad scooter; Scoot was super responsive and took it out of service for investigation.

    Skip worked pretty well. The speedometer was already broken, which isn’t a good sign for the reliability of what looks like a fragile component. The scooters are the sturdiest I’ve used, and riding was the first time I wasn’t constantly feeling like I was about to fall on my face any second. The signup process presented me with a crazy dense list of safety and parking rules for San Francisco: it was a full page of small print. Bullet points and diagrams work better if there’s any chance people will read them or care.

    Availability of both was pretty plentiful. We’ll see what that looks like at rush hour as usage picks up. The service areas are a mess, with Scoot barely covering a block off 3rd St. in the Bayview and cutting out the Tenderloin. Skip does better, going as far north as the Marina, but has noncontiguous areas in the Bayview and Excelsior.

    The price is still the sticking point for me. $1 + $.15/minute adds up fast compared to the alternatives. That’s $10/hour, though certainly most trips are short. Muni is $2.50 for two hours, GoBike is a blessedly unmetered $150/year for unlimited 45-minute trips or $2 for 30-minutes. Jump is $2/half hour. And I still find GoBike and Jump easier and safer feeling to ride (plus you can legally ride them without a helmet if you’re being spontaneous). If you can find one, the bikes are superior and a better deal. Too bad there are so few of them.

  • Wallaby

    Maybe it should never have been built in the first place. Wasn’t the T line Willie Brown’s big affirmative action transport project i.e. build a streetcar to the blackest part of the city where nobody who doesn’t live there ever goes?

    I doubt that it is fiscally viable south of Mission Bay or Dogpatch.

  • Wallaby

    “The line ends up moving so much slower than car traffic on the street,”

    Well yeah, because cars do not have to stop every 2 blocks to pick up or set down passengers.

  • mx

    People live there. They deserve good transportation. That’s why the line was built, and given its speed and reliability, that’s also a promise the city has yet to really fulfill.

    Muni service is subsidized everywhere in the city, so don’t complain that serving the Bayview costs money too.

  • Wallaby

    It’s a matter of degree. The SE of the city is the least economically active part of the city and so requires the most subsidy. Anyone can make money running rush hour commutes into downtown from affluent areas – just ask Chariot.

    With the benefit of hindsight the money spent on the T would have been better spent elsewhere, but of course the race card always gets played. After all, who does the Central Subway benefit?

  • Every two blocks? That can be said for every surface rail line in the city. I give Muni credit…they tried to increase the distance between stops on the L, but public outcry made Muni back down somewhat. We should have “stations” not “stops.” Light rail stations should be at least 1/4 mile apart, more in outlying areas, with dedicated ROWs and signal priorities. We have streetcars in SF. I don’t care if we’re spending $2B on a subway to nowhere we are still running streetcars.

  • Jeffrey Baker

    Signal priority would fix it right up.

  • lunartree

    No one asked for your BS about why you think black people shouldn’t have transit. I’m asking about good urban planning here not racist nonsense from an idiot.

  • jonobate

    Agree with signal priority, dedicated lanes, and better operation. It would also help tremendously if they didn’t couple it with the K. The long line means that delays on the K section affect the T as well, and hauling two-car trains down Ocean Ave when the stops can only support one-car trains is a waste of resources.

    If they still think they can’t reliably short turn the line at Castro or West Portal, another option might be to run the K out along the N line and turn it round at Hillway. This section of the N is overcrowded and could use the extra capacity. (It would be even better if the T could make it out to 9th Ave, but there’s no switchback there right now.)

  • Wallaby

    It’s got nothing to do with race. I was talking about economic demand

  • Wallaby

    Yeah, I agree, I’ve even seen some blocks with 2 bus stops on them

    Funny though how the same people who think we should not have the central subway (which WILL be well used) seem to love the T, which is lightly used and ponderously slow

  • We all deserve good transportation. As for speed and reliability, those are issues plaguing the agency for decades. Promises to improve have always fallen short.

  • The Central Subway was 100 percent political…appease Rose Pak for the removal of the Embarcadero Freeway and connect the Asian communities of Chinatown and Vis Valley. There was never any plan to extend to North Beach and beyond to create a true “central” subway connecting more neighborhoods, reducing commute times and encouraging people to take transit.

    A huge swath of the SE area of the city was light industrial and underdeveloped. In a city with explosive housing costs and low inventory it made sense to develop this area. I don’t think the T was the right choice. The 15 line did an excellent job of carrying riders. It could have been much cheaper to simply provide rapid service on the 15. We’re a decade into the T in operation and it still doesn’t have signal priority OR connect to Caltrain at Bayshore.

  • The Central Subway will not see the record ridership that officials have predicted. Think of where it goes and the bus lines that feed into it. The Chinatown station will be a few blocks from the popular 1 line. Riders would have to get off the bus, walk a few blocks to the station, then descend 100 feet to a platform and wait…because we all know that Muni is unreliable so this wait can be 1 minute or eternity. Same for the 30 Stockton. Why would someone want to get off the bus at Chinatown and transfer just to get off at Market St., Moscone or Caltrain? Once the bus passes through Chinatown it is generally a fast ride to Caltrain down 4th St.

    As I said in another comment…the Central Subway is completely political and will do nothing to solve our transit problems.

  • p_chazz

    Agree. In retrospect, BRT on the 15 Third would have been the way to go.

  • Wallaby

    I agree the CS is political. But then so was the T.

  • It’s all the same big project…just in two phases.

  • Wallaby

    So when do Hispanics get a streetcar?