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Letters: Less affluent residents need transit options

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A Lyft driver parks near the Lyft Service Hub in the Potrero Hill neighborhood in April 19. (Jessica Christian/S.F. Examiner)
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“Which neighborhoods in SF use Uber and Lyft the least?” The City, Sept. 3
Less affluent residents need transit options

Your report today on the “data dive” by the San Francisco County Transit Authority (read: our Board of Supervisors who constitute it) into use of Uber and Lyft in San Francisco is a refreshing shot of reality into the patterns of use not only by income-flush millennials and others but also the transit needs of less affluent city residents.

The SFCTA has turned a deaf ear as neighborhood after neighborhood has protested Muni’s speed-it-up transit plans, which eliminate many stops on key routes, or questioned the need for removing car lanes for ostensibly safety-improving platforms, which may not be uniformly required especially if tickets were issued to motorists failing to stop behind trains as law requires; it has let Muni and corporate San Francisco have its way.

Engineering plans that may have made some sense before Uber and Lyft flooded city streets are now allowing taxis to use transit-only lanes. Yet, lower income riders in the outer reaches of town, including motorists, are less well-served. (Witness the small, token survey going on along the L-Taraval route to decide which stops to eliminate and how to make up for lost parking spaces where boarding platforms will eliminate curbside parking.)

Paying attention to data is fine — but working to modify engineering plans that DO NOT SERVE long-term transit users very well would make more sense. Let’s hear the SFCTA and Board of Supervisors’ “data dive” on that: Hold a public hearing on boarding platforms and stop elimination!

Diana Scott
San Francisco

Race has no part in it

I just read your story about Uber and Lyft usage in Sept. 3 edition. Early in the story, it’s mentioned that this data presents where San Francisco’s “… wealthy, single, and white …” transportation users reside.

I did not see anything in your article that talks specifically about the breakdown of color or ethnicity of users in any of the data. The only mention of ethnicity is, I’ll assume, a quote from Grande regarding “cholo culture.” No mention of single or married status either, that I saw.

I understand the concern of losing Muni lines in less-affluent neighborhoods, but what does color or race have to do with this?

S. Buschman
San Francisco

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