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
Repeated setbacks to bike-related projects on Fell and Oak streets might delay the final completion of the plans until the end of this year, further angering cyclists and community groups. Read More
Five crossing zones along Caltrain tracks on the Peninsula are slated for infrastructure improvements as part of an effort to increase safety.
The intersections — where the tracks cross Brewster Avenue in Redwood City, at Churchill and East Meadow avenues in Palo Alto, and at Rengstorff Avenue and Castro Street in Mountain View — will each have additional time added to their gate-down intervals, meaning cars will have to wait a little longer for trains to pass through. Read More
Momentum is again picking up on a long-discussed proposal to transform a dilapidated water reservoir on Russian Hill into a new public open space.
Located on a hillside that overlooks Alcatraz Island and sits just a few blocks from Fisherman’s Wharf, the Francisco Reservoir is a wooden-roofed structure that hasn’t been used since the 1940s. Owned by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, the reservoir is barely visible from the street, hidden by a tangle of overgrown trees and fencing. Read More
The next few months are sure to be tense at BART headquarters, with contract talks between management and the agency’s main union groups now under way.
The four-year contracts between BART and its two biggest unions — Service Employees International Union Local 1021 and Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1555 — are set to expire June 30. Talks between the unions — which represent workers such as mechanics, station agents and train operators — and the agency about a new deal officially began Monday. Read More
A high school student struck and killed by an alleged drunken driver after celebrating her 17th birthday. A beloved teacher fatally hit while crossing Vicente Street. A young girl whose legs were crushed by a dump truck on The Embarcadero.
So far this year, five pedestrians have been killed by motorists on San Francisco streets, and pedestrian advocates are wondering why more isn’t being done to improve protections. Read More