Tunnel-boring machines for Muni’s Central Subway project are set to arrive in San Francisco this week, with digging expected to begin in June.The two massive machines — which each are more than 300-feet long — will take about four to six weeks to assemble once they arrive from China, according to Sarah Wilson, an engineer on the project. Once built, the machines will be dropped into a launch box below Fourth Street, where they will start drilling at about 40 feet per day, Wilson said. Read More
Clearer protocols for exiting buses, different seat colors for disabled passengers, anti-graffiti material on ceilings and new floors are all features of the 80 recently rehabbed Muni buses set to hit the streets next week.
Muni’s 800 buses currently make up the oldest fleet in North America, and the aging vehicles are prone to breakdowns and malfunctions. As part of a $19 million rehabilitation project, the 80 buses will now have another four years of usefulness added to their lifespan, according to John Haley, Muni’s director of transit. Read More
A weekly gathering place in Noe Valley could become a permanent fixture in the community as part of an open-space project.
For years, the Saturday farmers market on 24th Street has acted as an impromptu meeting spot for neighborhood residents. However, the site is a parking lot for the remaining six days, and there are no officially designated public spaces in the heart of Noe Valley. Read More
More cabs will roll onto the streets this year, despite concerns from taxi drivers about the uncertain future of the industry.
Based on recommendations from an independent report, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s board of directors approved a plan Tuesday to add 120 taxis in 2013 and 200 in 2014. Depending on market needs, more cabs would be added in 2015 and the years after, eventually raising the total number of taxis in San Francisco from the current 1,620 to 2,300. Read More
Prop. A, five years later: The second part in a two-part series explores where funding from Proposition A has gone since voters passed the initiative in 2007. It was intended to give the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency more control over revenue from parking meters and off-street lots to put toward the Transit Effectiveness Project. It appears that money has been put toward other uses.
San Francisco voters in November of next year will likely be asked to approve about $590 million in tax increases and bond measures for transportation improvements in The City. If the initiatives have any chance of passing — no certainty with high thresholds for approval — advocates of the plans will have to convince a skeptical public that they’ve learned their lesson from the last time they asked voters for money. Read More
As he chatted with a passenger on a mostly empty 9-San Bruno bus just after 11 p.m., Muni operator Todd Westbrooks had no reason to believe that his March 11 shift would be any different than normal.
The sound of five gunshots quickly changed that.
Acting instinctively after hearing the gunfire, Westbrooks, 44, pulled his bus over to the intersection of San Bruno Avenue and Ward Street, where he found a 23-year-old man lying in pain on the street. Read More
For the first time, BART has combined its operating and capital programs into one budget document as a means to better illustrate the agency’s fiscal standing.
The operating budget, which covers day-to-day needs, has produced surpluses in recent years, a far cry from the financial straits facing other local transit systems. However, BART’s capital budget, which covers long-term projects, has a $6 billion shortfall over the next decade. Read More
Potential cost overruns have surfaced less than two months after Muni’s Central Subway extraction project in North Beach was approved, although the agency expressed confidence it would be able to stay on budget. Read More
With a solution for repairing several dozen broken stabilizing rods potentially still months away, Bay Bridge officials conceded Wednesday that they may not meet their Labor Day weekend deadline for opening the rebuilt eastern span. Read More
People who work at San Francisco International Airport, who already receive a nice discount for taking the train to the hub, are poised to receive an even bigger break from the regional rail operator.
In 2009, BART increased its airport surcharge fee from $1.50 to $4 as part of an effort to reduce a yawning budget deficit. However, after protests, the increase was waived for SFO-based workers.
Now, as part of an effort to attract more SFO-based workers to public transit, BART and airport officials are recommending a plan to eliminate the $1.50 surcharge. Read More
Mayor Ed Lee, pedestrian safety advocates and nearly every member of the Board of Supervisors said they intend to participate in Walk to Work Day on Friday, an event billed by its organizers as the first of its kind in the nation.
Lee said he will dust off his walking shoes for the event as part of a march between the Powell Street BART station and City Hall. At least nine of The City’s 11 supervisors also are expected to participate in Walk to Work Day, which is scheduled to end with a 9:30 a.m. news conference at City Hall. Read More
If the proliferation of ridesharing companies in The City is any indication, San Francisco needs to significantly increase its fleet of taxicabs to meet current demand levels.
With about 1,620 taxis currently in operation, San Francisco would be better served with an additional 680, to be phased in over the next several years, according to a long-awaited independent study released this week.
Local ridesharing companies are again being hit with cease-and-desist orders, this time from San Francisco International Airport.
Businesses such as Lyft and Sidecar — which rely on smartphone applications and independent drivers, and were recently cleared by the California Public Utilities Commission to operate within the state — have become an increasingly large presence at SFO. Unlike registered cabs and limousines, the ridesharing companies have not engaged in the permitting process to operate at the hub. Read More
Service enhancements designed to boost ridership on the struggling South San Francisco ferry line were approved Thursday.
Launched last year amid much fanfare, the ferry system — which currently carries passengers between South City and the East Bay — only averaged 175 daily boardings last month, less than half the projected total. It has a farebox recovery rate of just 8.4 percent, meaning nearly 92 percent of its $3.4 million annual operating budget is subsidized by taxpayers who don’t use the system. Read More