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How Automobiles Work

2008 was a very exciting
year for us as relates to transportation in san
francisco. We just initiated the most
comprehensive program of its kind in over literally 30
years. Think about this, the last time
muni had a comprehensive signals that initiated a
comprehensive change was in the late 1970’s.
The world has changed dramatically since the late
1970’s. San francisco has changed
dramatically since the late 1970’s, but muni that was
designed in the late 1970’s has not changed.
Here we are in 2008. As a consequence with the
patroler’s ofts the san francisco metropolitan
transportation authority initiated a multiyear effort,
$3 million invested in the effort to do a technical
analysis and a stake hold analysis and best practice
analysis of public transit in san francisco.
The objectives were quite clear, we wanted to make muni
more reliable, convenient and attractive and we obviously
wanted to address the fiscal health of our public transit
system as well as develop a roadmap for the next five
years. We could have established the
next 30 years but we decided we’re going to start chunking
this in more realistic short-term goals as we design
for the longer term. In addition to those
objectives, we decided to prioritize specifically around
the issues of reliability. We want more predictable
service. Who doesn’t?
We wanted better customer
confidence and satisfaction. We wanted an updated system, an
updated route system and wanted to redesign and adjust service
levels depending on needs, depending on actual utilization
and we wanted to reduce travel times.
We wanted to get people to and from point a to b which
sometimes means having less stops in between.
Again, all part of the priority initiatives that were part of
the framework of this transit effectiveness plan.
Here was the framework we initiated a real focus.
We looked at the heaviest ridership and called those the
user networks and looked at the ridership as part of the core
network and the service area that doesn’t move every five or
10 minutes but what we refer to as a local network that moves
every 10 to 15 minutes and we looked at these community
connectors, those are the 15-30 minute intervals that fill the
gaps of coverage between the rapid network and that
localized notework and then we look at the specialized
services that augment the other services for special events,
focus needs, etc., and I’ll talk about a couple of those in
just a moment. all of that was again part of a
larger, global effort to initiate comprehensive reforms.
That plan is done, tremendous amount of outreach has been
done with community stakeholders.
Now we actually have to implement it.
And 2009 will mark the controversy, May I dare say,
around the implementation. The hard work has been done,
arguably the harder work needs to be done but we have to have
the courage to focus on change if we want this transit system
to get to the next level. But we haven’t argued against
change in the interim, as we’ve studied the comprehensive
strategy for reform, this transformational approach, this
once of a generation approach or once every 30 years
approach, we also dealt with the financial needs of the
system today. One of the areas is in hiring
in a system that has been starved of employees.
You wonder why that bus driver sometimes doesn’t show up, why
the bus never, then, is back filled or put out to service if
the driver doesn’t show up because we don’t have enough
operators. you can see here we made a lot
of progress in the last year in hiring up.
This is aggressive hiring in 2008.
We made some real progress. You see 192 new operators have
been hired. Actually now even above
attrition which means we have a lot of people retiring and we
weren’t back filling those. We weren’t even staying where
we were. Now we’re actually getting
ahead, 192, and that’s after 37 more or 27% above that
attrition level. First time in six years.
Six years. We’ve had a net gain of new
transit operators. This again is important to your
lives and the lives of people that count on muni every single
day. We also added 26 new street
supervisors. Those are the folks out there
that make sure there is spacing in buses to make sure they’re
not bunching up and it’s moving along nicely.
A few maintenance folks, to help move for the right
direction and not fall back. P.C.O.’s, parking control
officers, we need more to deal with double parked cars, to
move folks blocking the box in the intersections that don’t
allow you to move forward because they’re trying to move
in the opposite direction or parallel direction or
perpendicular direction in this case and are blocking the box.
We have more transit inspectors.
All those folks out there, you see them.
You’re paying your fare but someone in the back is not
paying theirs and you’re upset and wondering what the city is
doing, we’re going to be doing a lot more with these transit
fare inspectors and seen a 62.5% increase and we have 20
new inspectors. We added a lot last year, this
year we’re adding even more and we have these new station
agents and we’re seeing more of a focus in hiring and training
this year which is important. We’re also focusing on new
technologies. I’ll show you this slide and
just jump right in to some of those technologies.
Itms, integrated traffic management system, referred to
in common vernacular as sf-go. this is about smart transit,
about having transit that is in real time dealing with traffic
conditions and changing conditions so that signals are
longer or shorter based on need, that signals are
preempted for muni or public transit or emergency vehicles
based on needs where you can in real time change the countdown
signals to make them longer or shorter, where you can deal
with your traffic system in a centralized area, not just
somewhere to this area down on van ness street.
We’ve already initiated with this itms system, this smart
system, we’ve initiated some core routes and core areas of
our city. But the ultimate goal is the
entire network of the city. We have the 1950’s technology,
those old green boxes on the street corners with the
graffiti tagging on them that look horrible and are horrible,
that represents the old, it represents a system that’s
antiquated. have the new system, a wireless
system, a technological system that uses cameras and traffic
conditions in real time and makes judgment.
Some automated which means the computer will make the
judgment. You don’t need actual people to
make the judgment so it’s constantly evolving and
improving and builds in terms of getting smarter based on
historic needs and utilization. we’ve done some system on third
straight light rail. Third streetlight rail also
allowed us to use the bus technology, the next muni
technology so on all the transit shelters you find, all
of them, we added 300 this last year and a half.
You can see how long it’s going to take to get your bus to that
bus shelt per and you can actually go home and get on
your P.D.A.’s and cell phones and do more to enhance the
strategy and technology. It’s not only on third street
but the itms system is on third street, the light rail system
that is brand-new and connects to the at&t park which also has
a component of itms and all these new technologies we’re
rolling out. The new partnerships with
google, if you want to design a transit by day or rather you’re
going to design a route to get from point a to point b but you
don’t know how to do it and you’re not familiar with the 38
or 74-x or the 5 or whatever it is, you can go on google and
we’ve got this partnership and they can actually use google
maps and they correlate it with our own transit lines and make
for a much more efficient route.
I talked in the other sections on the environment about the
partnerships with cisco. This is again a new type of bus
that has I would phi technology – wifi technology and
real-time messaging in the bus and is 95% more environmentally
friendly in terms of co-2 emissions and is an example of
integrating private sector technology in public sector in
a way that builds upon our reputation as being a leader.
Again, examples of investments in 2008 in technology.
This is just more on that connective bus with our
partners down at cisco. One of the nice things it has
is a green gauge which provides information on the
environmental impact of your ride on the bus even though
it’s reduced by 95% on emissions it has an impact and
you’re able to monitor that. There’s a lot of fun features
and is the beginning I hope of – a taste, rather, of the
change we’ll see in our public transit system moving forward.
one of the other changes is translate.
How many years have we been talking about a smart card for
the entire region to go on bridges, buses, caltrans, to go
down on any of the regional systems including bart and muni
on this one translink system? we’ve done an internal version
and we’ll be externalizing that I think March of next year and
you’ll hear a lot more about translink and we’re taking
ownership from this for the entire region and our director
at muni has done a great job at this but is something I look
forward to talking about in next year’s 2009 state of the
city in having adapted or adopted a lot more
accomplishments on this as opposed to a promotion of more
initiatives to come. Another one we’ve been working
on thanks to the work, we’ve got state legislation that
allows us to do forward facing cameras on buses.
Not only did we add those 50 new parking control officers
that can deal with people blocking buses because they’re
double parked but we can actually use the buses with
these cameras that actually can take a photo in real time as
the bus is coming up and you’re double parked, it actually
takes a photo of your license plate and sends you the ticket
so you never know what bus is actually a parking control
officer. Now, people love it if they’re
on the bus. You’ll hate it because you’re
just getting your dry cleaning or coming in to pick up your
kids but you need to do that if you’re going to double park,
which is wrong but do it off a muni corridor.
We’re only establishing this on muni corridors because there’s
no way in a dense urban environment we can move these
buses if you’ve got people all over the streets double parked.
I mean, let’s go down clement street on any given day or
taravel street or other parts, geary on some days, you’ve got
all those double parked cars, how does the 38 ever make it
from the west side of town to downtown within the prescribed
time if we’re stuck waiting for someone to jump back in the
car? With this system we think we’ll
be able to substantially enhance our abilities to
enforce and ultimately prevent more people from double parking
because ultimately the goal is not to find more people, just
change their behavior and make them think differently.
We’ve got 136 citations in our pilot phase and we’ve gone from
six cameras to 28 cameras or 25 cam – cameras.
We’ve done it on the 59. We want to expand this program.
It’s still not what it needs to be.
I’m still not satisfied with it but it’s a program that we’re
going to initiate more investment in the future.
Speaking of investments, capital investment.
This year we have invested in this last year a lot in
upgrading facilities and upgrading our transit system.
Again, let’s talk about that third streetlight rail, 5.1
mile system. it’s a system that we are very
proud of it. It doesn’t start off that well.
We had a tough time intere greating the system to the rest
of – integrating the system to the rest of the system.
It was deplorable. Is it perfect?
No but it’s getting better. It includes not only a light
rail system, the 5.1 miles that goes out towards visitation
valley, near the cow palace but also the system enhances the
streetscape. There are 122 installations of
public art. You’ll see the new
streetlighting that’s been done, the median strip that’s
been done. So it’s improved the conditions
all up and down third street as well.
so that again is a good part of this year was integrating the
largest system and next year getting its on-time performance
up to the next level. The second phase is the third
streetlight rail system is this system that extends all the way
into chinatown, so fourth and king we get it all the way
underground a good portion, the central subway that goes down
underneath stockton through the tunnel there and out and up
into chinatown. Here you’ll see some
schematics, street level here and this is the world below
underneath. You can imagine how costly this
is. We’re going to try to dollar
cost this in a way that is more efficient and effective.
We’ve got some new strategies and the numbers down to a more
palatable budget. But we are moving forward.
There’s a lot of good things that happened in 2008, a lot of
challenges existed in 2008 but mark this year as an important
one to actually secure the fate and future of the central
subway phase 2 continuing to connect our city to itself.
The southeast sector connected to the downtown core connected
into the chinatown northeast area.
This is an important project. It’s an interesting one, too,
because west of the mississippi there’s no other more highly
utilized line that does not have a light rail system than
this line that does not have a light rail system.
That’s why we’re moving forward with this phase 2 of the third
streetlight rail into the central subway.
It’s important to chinatown, it’s important to the entire
fabric of our city. It’s important again in
connecting our transit infrastructure across the city.
another important thing is storing vehicles, rehabbing
vehicles, maintaining vehicles. We were doing that everywhere,
or at least in a number of different areas.
Now we have 180,000 square foot area, our muni metro east is
remarkable. We just had our department head
meeting down there. State-of-the-art, world class
maintenance facility. this is also going to pay huge
dividends moving into the future, something I’m very
proud of. It was completed in 2008 and
you can see a close-up of what it looks like and the
opportunity again to connect all our maintenance functions
in a section of san francisco as opposed to having
maintenance workers here, again, maintenance workers
there. A muni bus here, a light rail
here and now getting them under one roof will pay great
dividends in efficiency and reducing costs and increasing
liability. Another area we focused on,
some of our stations, and shawn elsburn is particularly happy
at this and at west poresal you can see some of the before and
after shots and doesn’t cost a lot of money but common sense
to improve the conditions. Here’s another slide where you
can see what it looked like before, rocks, ugly, and then
you put a few bucks in, you feed it, it’s part of the
environmental work we’re doing. you see the difference it
makes. I think supervisor elsburg for
championing this and holding me accountable for this one.
He’s been working on it a number of years.
Another area we’ve been working on for many years is our
transit shelters. We’ll get rid of all the old
transit shelters. We’ve got some brand-new ones
and we’ve been talking about it and are a few months away from
initiating the world class transit shelters.
These new shelters have fuller on top of them and actually
have wind generation on top of them so it connectso our
environmental program, wind and solar as well as there’s smart
technology so you’ll have not only the next muni technology I
referenced but have potential wifi technology and other
real-time messaging boards in these shelters.
In addition, it will generate over $300 million of new
transit advertising that will go right back into the system
over the next 20 years. So this is also a way of using
this new contract to do the advertising, yes, we need to do
it but to do it in a way we get brand-new shelters,
state-of-the-art, world class shelters, all those 1,120 or so
replaced with these 1,500 eight of – state-of-the-art shelters
and get the resource to put back in transit and the
environmental benefits including a free bike program
which will link to the shelters.
So part of – and I’ll talk in a moment about the bike program
as I have in the context of the environmental portion of the
state of the city. But I want to talk about issues
of transportation in relationship to these transit
shelters because we’re going to do a free bike transit strategy
that we also think is going to enlive people’s senses and
instill a great sense of pride and spirit and more bicycling
for commuting and recreation and just general day-to-day
transit. And that is referenced in this
context, we have these type of bikes that have been used in
other cities. i discovered this, or heard
about this program in leon, france many years ago at the
world economic forum in davo, switzerland and somebody gave
me a video of what they were doing in leon, france and was
the first city to adopt the free bike program and these are
bikes with G.P.S. Technology and use the swipe card and
similar to a car share program but for bicyclists and really
excited me. Of course we have this
injunction against our bike plan and couldn’t initiate it
and months became years and since then para has – paris
has done the same thing including other cities,
washington, D.C. And chicago and portland, talking about
doing a similar strategy but we believe by this time next year
we will have already initiated our version of it again linking
to these new transit shelters these new bike sharing
programs. This is exciting stuff and we
think because of the time we’ve been delayed we’ll learn from
the mistakes of the other cities.
Go to paris. you’ll see it.
It’s been a great success. Leon, france with a the next
generation of bikes and a huge success and is something to
look forward to into the new year.
Something else to look forward to is the double-decker buses,
again, taking inspeakeration from europe, why not
double-decker buses in san francisco, shouldn’t be just be
london. We did a pilot and tried some
of these out late 2007, early 2008.
We’re looking to expand some of the lines that we actually do
some double-decker buses, cultural bus on here right
across the street from the museum at the academy of
sciences we decided once this academy of science which just
opened, when it opened up we wanted more people to come down
to the park to enjoy the new museum, the conservator of
flowers, the japanese teagarden, to enjoy this area
and also to enjoy the asian art museum and contemporary jewish
museum and enjoy the moma and thought we’d connect those
cultural institution with a direct bus, 74-x that connects
those cultural institutions. It has been underutilize sod
far and it’s a pilot project. I’m a little worried about its
sustainability and we just started it and would like to
monitor it and would like the program to continue and think
it was a good idea and worth attempting, but the idea is to
connect not just tourists but residents with this new explore
art and culture and history bus.
Please learn about it, call 311 and find out more about where
it goes, when it goes, how much it costs and how often it goes
where I think you should go which is to these cultural
institutions that giant the best of our city that a lot of
the residents forget about as well.
Improving muni besides adding double-decker buses and
connecting buses and bus shelters and doing the cultural
buses it comes down to some basic things, not just hiring
operators and not just re-establishing new routes and
strategies but dealing with basic things like collision and
safety. 2008 was an unacceptable year
as it relates to safety and collision.
We’ve got to do more and do better.
Now ford I think is doing an outstanding job with muni but
this is an area where he and I had more conversations than
candidly any other. He is doing a national search
for a new chief safety officer. We’ve got a request for
proposals to do a contracted effort to really implement best
practices and look at our strategies for safety in
relationship to what other peer cities are doing.
We’ve done more communication with the officers, we’re
working with probably the most enlightened labor leadership
with irwin lum and others at twu 250- 258.
I say this with respect to the days people used to take deep
shots at muni labor, those days are over.
These guys are stepping up, they’re holding their operators
accountable. They want to champion their
workers but they’re not trying to hide folks that aren’t doing
their jobs and keeping us safe. They’ve really been great
partners with this and I want to compliment them.
They deserve to be complimented.
Please be respectful to your bus drivers.
It’s about the toughest job that exists probably outside
being a parking control officer.
I know how angry we get when we’re late and how frustrating
it is when we get a ticket but hope people recognize it’s not
always the fault of the parking control officer because they’re
doing their job and the muni bus driver and you May have
been double parked an hour before and one of the reasons
the bus came a little late. You never know.
Again, public safety is a big part of the improvement efforts
we want to invest in into the new year, an area where we’ve
been weak in this last year. traffic safety, broadly, we’ve
installed some 20 new signals throughout the city.
We’ve got 26 more coming in to the new year.
We’ve got more traffic coming that we’re incorporating again,
pedestrian safety as well as vehicle safety throughout the
city not just for public transit.
The pedestrian safety includes more intersections with these
accessible countdown signals. here’s an interesting stat, 900
out of the 1,154 intersections already have the pedestrian
safety countdown clocks, that’s pretty good.
I mean, think about where we were a few years ago.
We were nowhere and now we’re almost completely there.
You can see we’re adding a lot on market street into the new
year and we’ve got again just in the next month or so 60
additional pedestrian enhancements just to get us
through the end of 2008, the environmental work continues,
public transit, we’ve got the cleanest public transit in the
united states of america. Let me repeat that.
Muni is the most sustainable, greenest system of its type in
the country. over 50% of our vehicles are
electric. No one else comes close.
The largest biodiesel fleet in america.
No one else comes close. We can do more, though.
Our goal is 100% green renewable sources of energy for
our public transit fleet by 2020.
Look how far we already are. we’re almost there – we’re not
almost there but getting close to being there.
We absolutely can do it. Biodiesel, the charlie system,
the hybrid electrics, we have 86 new hybrid electric buses
and highlighted those in last year’s state of the city and
the diesel component of the hybridded and converted the
biosteesell and now you get your nox and co 2 gases to 98%,
great progress there. Car share.
When you think of transportation, I connected
this to the environmental sections, 35,000 people using
car share. We can do more.
We can do better and encourage more competition on car share.
For every one of these cars, we get 15 automobiles off the
street, 15 automobiles off the street for every one of these
new cars we incorporate into the new car program.
We need to get city employees to use car share and we need to
reduce the number of city employees, vehicles, and that’s
something we have a real plan on, something we made a lot of
progress on. Look for that in twain to get
to a whole – in 2009 to get to a whole other level.
In the environmental section we want to leave america, the bay
area as the electric vehicle center of this country and this
state, san francisco already has adopted more alternative
fuel vehicles per capita than any other area in the nation,
the bay area as well. it’s natural for us to lead the
way in terms of electrical vehicle fleets.
We have all kinds of suitors to add more plugs, add in more
charging stations. We have organizations like
project better place, shia lagasse committed $1 billion in
terms of a regional investment in electrical vehicles and you
see the billion dollar investment includes doing
switch stations that act like gas stations to replace your
battery in less time it takes you to refuel your car.
We’re talking about 250,000 charging stations throughout
the bay area and talking about incentivizing plug-in
technology and incentivizing electric vehicles and you get
priority and preferences in parking garages and maybe
getting reductions in your local sales tax, maybe getting
a reduction in your permit fees for residential parking, maybe
even getting a reduction in your parking, at parking
garages and even if you use some of our parking meters if
you have electrical vehicles. A lot of great incentives.
This is all part of 2009-2010 getting us to a level where we
truly are the center of america’s new technology and
new innovative strategy around plug-in electric vehicles.
This is the game changer and the best foreign policy, the
environmental policy and domestic innovation and new
jobs policy I can think of and I couldn’t be more excited
about it, finally a partner in the white house and barack
obama that gets it. And to that agree, – degree,
we’re proud we have a governor that gets it and I thank
governor schwarzenegger for his initiative as well.
I talked about biodiesel. 100% of muni is b 20.
We can do a higher grade. B-20 is just a portion and can
do the next phase but we’re already 100% dieo steesell.
The bike plan, remember we had this injunction and talked
about it in the environmental section in greater deal and
talk about it now but I want to double the number of bike lines
– lanes that are striped and we have 60 projects and we have
this new free bike program with our transit shelter and all
kinds of new initiatives and ideas to make bicycling more
attractive and more safe and more amenable to a broader
group of people, 43% increase of the number of people
commuting by bicycle in the last year alone without all
these enhancements because of the injunction and we finally
get the environmental work done the middle part of next year
and why it’s 2010, this plan will be done.
It’s very exciting and I want to thank everyone at the bike
coalition. You’ve been tough on me but
fair enough, you held me to a higher standard and we’re
making some progress. I want to thank the members of
the board of supervisor, supervisor dale and supervisor
mercury for their advocacy and supervisor sandoval a, I hear
you loudly and clearly, elsburg is a big champion as well as
dusty and pierre. I mentioned the board including
supervisor maxwell. The whole board has been a big
supporter. We’re all in this together and
will do more in the new year and 2010.
Something else we May be doing more of, suggestive pricing.
It’s not – congestion pricing. It’s not just mayor bloomberg.
we have a million dollar grant from the federal government to
look at congestion pricing. It’s something different than
stack home and a little bit different than london or
singapore. It was singapore that led the
world in terms of congestion pricing before mayor livington
in london and before stockholm and before mayor bloomberg
talked about it in new york. The problem is we’re not
stockholm, new york or these mega cities.
We’re a small city. So for us it May be a solution
in search of a problem to have a congestion pricing strategy
in our downtown core when our downtown with respect is about
the size of a small neighborhood in midtown
manhattan or a small section in midtown manhattan.
Midtown manhattan about the size of san francisco alone.
So our needs are different than the needs of these mega cities
and downtowns of megacities like london or stockholm or
singapore and we need to think about it from the board of
supervisors an 9 transportation committee is looking at it.
I’m supportive in concept and want to make sure it’s done
equitableably and right. There’s a core strategy, a
gateway strategy to mark when you come in from the freeway
and that there is literally a congestion pricing strategy
that affects you when you come into the city in any of the
northern areas or southern areas and that obviously will
be controversial. I get that, versus the downtown
core strategy or it can be an and as opposed to or.
Look, we’re a long ways off from doing this but if we’re
going to get serious about reducing our co-2 footprint as
relates to emissions which represents 54% of the co-2
footprint of transportation and – san francisco that’s
transportation. We’ll get serious in investing
in public transit. We can use the two leads,
reducing tailpipe emissions by disincentivizing cars and the
way do you that is by disincentivizing public transit
by making it more effective and efficient and more reliable.
You make it harder to drive by making it costlier and then you
use the money as it relates to the fees to fund public transit
3. But if you don’t do the public
transit portion you won’t have a lot of fans that are making
it – making the contribution to public transit if it doesn’t
get better. So again, we’ve a lot of work
to do. You’ve got to make public
transit better to make it work. The only way to make it work is
to initiate something as a pilot and the only way to do a
pilot is make sure it’s equitable and fair and will be
a big challenge in 2009 but a lot of progress has been made
and studies done and a lot of public outreach that will
continue in the new year but it is a big part of the last year
in san francisco. as is this version of
congestion pricing called eso park.
We’ll convert a 1/4 of our parking meters in san francisco
to these new smart meters where you’ll have sensors in the
asphalt underneath the parking space and you’ll be able to go
on your cell phone and determine parking space
availability using this new technology.
a 1/4 of these meters being replaced by these smart meters,
meters that can use your credit card, debit card and use these
other debit type cards like the translink I talked about a
moment ago and uses a congestion pricing strategy, a
demands management strategy. So, for example, during offpeak
hour in the middle of the day, not around lunch but the mid
afternoon part of the day when not many people are using off
street parking to pick up groceries or drop people off,
it will be very inexpensive to park.
But when it’s the highest demand we’ll make it a little
bit more expensive. The idea again is demand
management, to encourage people in offpeak times to use parking
so that we can actually stabilize the peaks and valleys
in terms of parking demands and make it so that people have
more access to parking based again on the utilization of
technology and the utilization in their own mind of a strategy
to actually spend less money by going in off-peak times and
noncommute times, those nondemand – or high demand
times to do some of their shopping or other chores and
air ands. That’s the broad stroke
strategy. This will be out in the next
year and something that costs $23 million, $18 million comes
from the federal government in the urban partnership program
and we’re excited we got that money and wasn’t easy to get
but something that I think can lead the nation.
This is a model program for the country and we’re going to
initiate it in some of our neighborhoods like we initiated
our pay by cell phone program where you pay for your parking
on your cell phone where you actually don’t have to put a
quarter in or debit card in and some of these new initiatives
in twoit, new technology, trying new things.
Let’s get to our key points in the state of the city as
relates to transportation. 220 million people boarded
public transit. That’s the highest in five
years, probably as much to do with high gas prices in the
last year than it did with quality improvements but I’d
like to think it had to do with some of the improvements we’ve
seen as well in public transit and that’s $13.5 million more
boardings than the previous year that incorporate a
connection between the use of the system, obviously connects
to the revenue of the system, so we had $25.5 million more in
revenue than we had budgeted because of that ridership which
was a big deal and helped offset some of the cuts that we
would have otherwise experienced in a downbudget
year and actually allowed us to augment programs and actually
enhance some programs to make some hires.
Here’s the one stat, though that is not where it needs to
be. Our on-time performance is
basically flat and about 71% average.
That’s better than it was, you know, four years ago it was in
the mid to high 60’s. Now we’ve kept it above 70 but
it’s still unacceptably low and got to get to 75%, 85%, 85%
being the stated goal. I think what we’ve done in the
last year or two is done the infrastructure work that will
get us to the next level, prop a and I want to thank
supervisor peskin and others that worked hard on prop a and
matt ford and my own office, phil ginsburg, my former chief
of staff that worked overtime to get prop a on the ballot and
created a new stabilization fund for muni that will help.
But we’ve got to measure ourselves more on this issue of
performance and safety always first but on-time performance
needs to be right there front and center, the next highest
bar in terms of accountability. You’ll see that on almost every
other area we’ve made a lot of progress.
Our service hours have improved, our operator
availability has improved. You’ve seen our maintenance
that continues to improve. Customer satisfaction, it’s
very low but it improved and continues to improve.
Look, we’re making progress but we’ve got to do a better job in
the future. And one way to do a better job
is to do a two-year budget. This is something that pursuant
to prop a we initiated and something we’ve been talking
about for years and this allows us to smooth over 24-month
period as opposed to 12-3407b9 period the needs of the system.
– 12-month period the needs of the system.
you can see some of the things we’ve been doing not just in
terms of budgeting on the revenue side and we’ve invested
over $100 million more in this system and why you should
expect and demand higher performance.
But we’ve also been looking at a savings issue, deactivated
cell phones, even looked at garbage bills and it’s been
more businesslike over there with the leadership of matt
ford and I want the folks to know we need to continue to do
more, to be more efficient as an organization and as an
operation. So it’s not just the top end,
it’s the bottom line that can be impacted by some of those
efficiency. Taxis we want to merge the taxi
commission. We’ve created the taxi
commission with proposition b when I was a supervisor and did
prop e which created base line funding for muni that allowed
it to be accepted and was codified with the prop a, how
is this for confusing? Bottom line is we want to merge
taxis into this new metropolitan transportation
authority just like we merged the department of parking and
traffic in with muni so we have a supertransit agency.
i still think we’re making a mistake by not doing something
with the transportation authority that the voters
rejected that idea, prop p overwhelmingly.
We’ve got to do a better job with the transportation
authority and the M.T.A.’s, that’s something for next year
I think could work out together and I’m committed to doing that
but in the interim, let’s get this merger done and I want to
thank the leadership of members of the board of supervisor for
advancing that. Final two points.
19th avenue, I know, I know, I know, need to improve the
conditions out there for pedestrians, for cars, for
everybody. Here are the things we’re
doing. We’re upgrading signals,
replacing the old signs, installing more countdown
signals. we’ve got millions of dollars
in safety improvements. There’s relief on the way.
We even have greening initiatives coming out on 19th
avenue. Mark my words you’ll see a lot
of progress take shape in the next few years including
reducing – and the senator has done a good job at helping us
reduce the miles per hour that is afforded on 19th avenue.
Final point, dora drive. This is one of the most
seismically unsafe thoroughfares in the united
states of america. It got a two rating out of 100
by the federal highway authority.
Just put in perspective the bridge, the I-35 bridge that
fell in minneapolis had a 50 rating.
Ours has a rating of two. This is the appendage to the
golden gate bridge and one of the most dangerous
thoroughfares in america and doesn’t take much of an
earthquake at all for this thing to collapse.
We’ve generated about $700 million in identify annual
funds – identifiable funds by working hard with the state and
local government and local sales tax dollars to help
support the $1 billion, $10 million retrofit of dora drive.
We just had a big breakthrough with the M.T.C. And steve
hemindger who has stepped up and the golden gate bridge
authority. I want to thank supervisor
mcclatchen and supervisor dodd and others that helped get
thousand where we needed to go, historic vote last week that
will put us in a position, the mayor and others to partner
with the region, north bay as well as the east bay, the south
bay, and of course san francisco leading the way to –
with money to actually retrofit this thing to get to a 35
rating and eventually replace it completely with a world
class design and a world class structure that actually will
connect the presidio to chrissy field and putting a portion
underground so we don’t have a twide of that ugly overpass
seismically unsafe overpass. That’s transportation in a
nutshell. 2008 was a good year, 2009 I
think will be a much better year, 2010 a great year.
Thanks to the effectiveness plan, a big part front and
center in terms of the reforms we need to make in 2009, we’re
making progress in almost every key factor, on-time performance
we’re still not where we need to be and safety but those are
areas of real commitment and resolve. I think the best is yet
to come.

6 thoughts on “2008 State of the City Transportation Webisode

  1. It is a bit frustrating not to see clearly the slides that the Mayor refers to … especially the schematics and pictures. Why do I have to look a the man when he's referring to the content of all these good slides?

  2. scam artist in a suit…tried2 sell a "concession deal" thru so-called union reps whom r suppose2 protect workers from sneaky gov't pickpocketers… knowing monies were available&being held by the mtc,tax revenue,fed funds,etc…moreover,,,the minumum work force requirements are never fulfilled(1872)..so folks call in sick because of this & work conditions.. for example:those 7000 series buses on the 14.49 r patched up disasters,the 40' buses don't have replacement parts either…its a joke!!

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