“Muni Diaries,” an online journal, collects and shares Muni riders’ stories in its blog, podcasts and live events around San Francisco. Co-founder Eugenia Chien and producer Peter Clarke provide a glimpse of what’s happening in the world of buses, streetcars, transit stops and stations around town.
Mission Local reporter Abe Rodriguez talks about the cons, and pros — easing traffic congestion and lessening air pollution — of the red bus-only lanes in the Mission District.
A proposal to pull out tunnel-digging machines in North Beach has spurred debate about the prospect of building additional stations to extend the Central Subway project north of Chinatown. But transit officials say that’s not in the current plans, and such a move would take years more planning.
San Francisco transit director Ed Reiskin wants to use $6.7 million in extra regional transportation funds for a 12-month pilot program to hand out free Fast Passes to the city’s low-income youth and to rehabilitate light-rail vehicles.
Muni’s all-door boarding policy that went into effect July 1 appears to be working – although riders on at least one line are complaining about everyone not lining up at the front. A transit agency report found that passengers spent less time waiting at bus stops for riders to board while use of the back door became more frequent.
Hate it when you’re late to work because the Muni driver tells you to get off the train? You’re not the only one. San Francisco’s civil grand jury — a kind of officially sanctioned panel of city residents who report on what doesn’t work in county government — recommended on Thursday that Muni officials do away with the practice of switchbacks. That’s when riders are forced off a Muni train before it makes its usual final stop, and heads in the opposite direction to make up for lost time elsewhere. Muni downplayed the report. “We recognize that anytime you do a switchback, it has an inconvenience to the riders,” Haley said. “So we do everything we can to minimize that,” said John Haley, Muni’s director of operations.
A pilot program to give the city’s low-income youth a free Fast Pass to ride Muni will not happen as planned. The Metropolitan Transportation Commission voted 8-7 Wednesday against giving $4 million to help Muni fund a $9 million pilot program. The commission had been debating for months on whether or not to give the Municipal Transportation Agency money for the program. The 22-month pilot program had the support of Muni’s board of directors, but it was contingent upon getting regional transportation funds. Commissioners also rejected funding for similar public transportation programs in Santa Clara and Alameda counties.
Bus rapid transit, which is meant as a cheaper substitute to light rail by using special buses in dedicated traffic lanes, is set to debut on Van Ness Avenue in 2016. However, design challenges and funding are slowing down plans for the Geary route.