Impoverished California residents, many of them homeless and without access to landlines, will finally get a little help paying for their monthly cellphone bills.For years, the California Public Utilities Commission has offered discounted rates for low-income residents who use landline telephones. But with those devices becoming increasingly rare, that financial aid package offered little assistance to many. Read More
El Camino Real came of age when car-based travel seemed like the inevitable route to the future. But after the construction of U.S. Highway 101 and Interstate 280, the Peninsula artery came to occupy an awkward place. It’s a swift-moving, multilane boulevard that acts neither as a local road nor commuter thoroughfare.
Transit systems on the “Royal Road” are stretched to capacity. There are no bike lanes. Meanwhile, traffic conditions are dangerous for pedestrians — more than 100 intersections on the thoroughfare have accident rates exceeding state averages. Read More
While state regulators approved a new pipeline safety plan for PG&E on Thursday, neither the utility nor its opponents voiced pleasure with the ruling and how it will affect company ratepayers or shareholders. Read More
State authorities will begin a formal investigation into how to regulate ride-sharing companies such as Lyft, Sidecar and Uber — an inquiry that could eventually legitimize the controversial businesses.
For the past two years, the California Public Utilities Commission has struggled to provide oversight of the burgeoning industry, which relies on mobile devices and informal payment systems as an alternative to the more rigid — and regulated — taxi industry. The commission has issued cease-and-desist orders to the startups and levied fines of $20,000 apiece. Read More
If you’re staying in San Francisco for the upcoming holidays, you might have some difficulty getting around The City on Muni.
For the first time, Muni will run a reduced-service schedule for an entire week, with buses starting later and running less frequently before, during and after Christmas on Tuesday.
Muni will run its Saturday schedule on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Dec. 31. The Saturday schedule will entail less frequent service on busy bus lines such as the 14-Mission and 38-Geary. Cable cars, light-rail lines and streetcars will not be affected. Read More
San Francisco lawmakers and agencies are working to put a vehicle license fee increase before voters in hopes of generating more than $70 million for city coffers.
California Senate Bill 1492 allows local municipalities to put on the ballot a fee of up to 2 percent of a vehicle’s value — the rate before former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger reduced it in 2004.
San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors will have to decide whether to put the fee increase before voters. It would then need a simple majority to pass, and would probably go on the November 2014 ballot. Read More
When The City first installed its SFpark meters — devices that would increase hourly parking rates based on demand — many motorists complained that it was one more way to gouge drivers for extra dollars.
In fact, the program has done the exact opposite. Read More
A long-awaited plan to improve PG&E’s pipeline safety testing is set to be approved by state regulators Thursday.
The company developed the enhanced safety guidelines after the 2010 pipeline explosion in San Bruno that killed eight residents and destroyed dozens of homes. PG&E’s proposal includes strength testing on 780 miles of pipeline, replacing 185 miles of pipeline segments and automating 228 valves. Recording instruments also would be inserted into an additional 199 miles of pipeline to evaluate performance. Read More
Perhaps not surprisingly, Caltrain’s $1.5 billion plan to transition away from diesel vehicles in favor of electrified tracks has garnered kudos from the Sierra Club.
In spring, local, regional and state transportation agencies jointly approved the electrification plan, which will allow Caltrain to run quicker, more efficient service between San Francisco and San Jose while also cutting down on air and noise pollution. Most crucially, the electrification of Caltrain will allow the state’s high-speed rail network to be integrated into the Peninsula. Read More
There are no more barriers to the Golden Gate Bridge transit district’s moveable median project. Read More
The long-awaited plan to transform a section of Jefferson Street into a pedestrian-friendly thoroughfare is expected to begin next month.
A key segment of Fisherman’s Wharf, Jefferson Street attracts 40,000 to 75,000 pedestrians a day, but its sidewalks are crowded and traffic congestion is often difficult to manage. To deal with the crowds and get the area prepped for next year’s America’s Cup regatta, a redesign is under way to reduce automobile traffic, remove parking spots, widen sidewalks and add greenery to a two-block section from Hyde Street to Jones Street. Read More
With California’s high-speed rail project still expecting to receive tens of billions of dollars in federal funding, a new report from Washington, D.C., highlighted concerns about the plan’s financial assumptions. Read More
With the U.S. surgeon general recently weighing in on the benefits of walking, and Chicago and New York City developing robust safety programs, local activists are wondering why The City is not doing more to bolster its long-awaited pedestrian action plan. Read More
Flocks of migrating birds and their fragile habitats in the South Bay are costing BART nearly $5 million more in its rail extension efforts.
The transit agency’s Warm Springs project crosses through the 450-acre Fremont Central Park, a Bay shore setting that is home to 500 different bird species, all of which are protected by state and federal wildlife agencies. Read More
BART passengers who park at a station could soon have to shell out a little more cash.
Lots at BART stations frequently fill up during the early-morning commute, a situation that has the agency considering an increase in its parking rates. Daily fees at the 32 stations with parking range from free to $5, but most cost just $1.
As part of a proposal under review, prices could increase by 50 cents twice a year wherever demand is high. For now, the agency is considering capping prices at $3, except for West Oakland, where parking is $5. Read More