Save Muni Calls Out Defects in the new LRVs

Date: March 26, 2019

Ed Reiskin,
Director of Transportation
San Francisco MTA

Save Muni recognizes that Muni needs new Light Rail Vehicles (LRV’s) to replace the aging fleet of Breda cars. However, the first cohort of the new Siemens cars, which are now in service, are a huge disappointment and clearly need design changes to better serve San Francisco transit riders.

The SFMTA seems to have focused on cramming as many riders as possible into the cars with uncomfortable seating and poorly designed multipurpose areas. More importantly it appears that no attention was paid to the ability to quickly safely, and smoothly couple cars to achieve the 3-and-4 car trains that the Market Street Subway was designed for.

Save Muni members have identified some other problems with the new cars. 1) jerky acceleration which leads to the danger of rider injuries:.2) inability to provide a level step onto subway platforms 3) flawed interior design that leads to sliding on the bench seats: 4) inadequate numbe kr of stanchions and straps 5) poor door configuration which hinders boarding, especially for disabled riders: 6) narrower pantograph width which will lead to both vehicle and overhead wire damage.

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Save Muni Minutes – March 18, 2019

Present – Bob Feinbaum (Chair), David Pilpel, Ed Mason, Lotus Fong, Allan Kessler, Jean Barrish, Eileen Boken, Howard Wong, Herb Weiner. Guests: Candace Sue (MTA), Lulu Feliciano (MTA)

Dues paid: Ed Mason

Administration:
Election – Set for April with the proviso that at the meeting the group could delay to a following month (Adopted)
Minutes for February (Adopted)

Guests: Candace Sue, Lulu Feliciano
Candace said that her group is functionally based in media relations, marketing, strategic communications and public outreach and engagement. They have adopted standards for outreach to the public for capital construction projects (the POET strategy) which have spread throughout MTA. Took on customer service for MTA three years ago; there are now two avenues for comments, through 311 and through twitter (which is monitored live from 5 AM to 9 PM on weekdays and for special events on weekends.

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Save Muni Minutes – February 18, 2019

Present: Bob Feinbaum (Chair), David Pilpel, Ed Mason, Eileen Boken, Howard Wong, Jean Barrish, Herb Weiner
Dues paid: Herb Weiner

By-laws Passed unanimously as proposed by the by-laws committee (Bob, David, Jean)

Election meeting: The meeting fort the election of officers was tentati8vely set for Aporil. This will be confirmed at the March 2019 meeting.

Dues: All members who0 have paid dues between January 2018 and the present will owe dues in February 2020. All other dues should be renewed 121 months after they have been paid.

Transbay Center: Bob reported that the Center is likely to reopen in June. Repairs to the cracked beams over Fremont Street will be made soon. A report to the TJPA Board is expected in March about the causes of the failure.

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Save Muni Minutes – January 21, 2019

Present: Bob Feinbaum (Chair), David Pilpel, Herb Weiner, Rick Hall, Ed Mason, Chris Bowman, Eva Chao, Jerry Cauthen, Allen Kessler, Angelo Figone, Howard Wong, Paul Cummings

Administration – Save Muni bank account re-established.

By Laws – Draft by laws presented for discussion. Several comments received. The by-laws committee will meet prior to the February meeting of Save Muni to recommend a final proposal for adoption.

Chariot – Discussion about the implications of Chariot’s decision to stop service in San Francisco shortly. Comments focused mainly on the announcement that MUNI will be training former Chariot drivers. Save Muni will send a letter to Ed Reiskin requesting information about the training these drivers will receive. Angelo said we should also be asking about the need that Chariot fills and the origin and destination of its riders. He suggested that the MTA planners should address these issues in a cost effective manner.

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Transit Authority Tour

In the War Room

On December 11, SaveMuni members were treated to a tour of the County Transportation Authority’s control center at 1455 Market Street. The center is currently being upgraded to fully monitor and control the entire fleet of bus and streetcar vehicles. Eventually there will be redundant control facilities at Turk Street (OCC) and West Portal so that the system can be run from any of the three locations in an emergency. Recently a fire alarm required the evacuation of the TA facility; the OCC site was able to take over and manage everything on its own.

Ron Forrest (right)

Muni Operations Manager Ron Forrest answered our questions in the “War Room” before showing us around the facility. Ron comes to us fresh from having run the Atlanta transit operation, which has some pretty incredible on-time statistics. The War Room is equipped with about a dozen cabled laptops and is is a gathering place for MTA and other city officials when there is an emergency or a civic event that threatens to stress the system.

There are many things in the works right now, but perhaps the most critical is upgrading the communications system so that multiple controllers can be talking to multiple drivers at a time. Incredibly, with the current system, only one controller may be speaking with a driver at a given time. The new radio system should be operational on all vehicles by April.

There are cameras on all vehicles and along heavily used (downtown) routes. Of course, Muni riders will tell you that the heavily used routes are not generally where they have problems. In-vehicle cameras do not currently provide live feeds to the controllers.

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Save Muni Minutes – October 15, 2018

SAVE MUNI

Minutes – Meeting of October 15, 2018

Present: Bob Feinbaum (President). David Pilpel, Ed Mason, Evelyn Engle, George Wooding, Marlayne Morgan, Jerry Cauthen, Roger Marenco, Chris Bowman, Jean Barrish, Herb Weiner, Eileen Boken, Allan Kessler

Topics: By-laws revision, Incapacity of Save Muni’s Treasurer, Endorsements, Forum Follow-up, Taxis, BART Candidates

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The Future of Transportation in San Francisco

Saturday, September 29, 2018, 10 am to Noon, Koret Auditorium, SF Main Library

The Forum will address increasing congestion on San Francisco’s streets and the deterioration of public transit. Muni carries roughly the same number of passengers in 2018 as it did a decade ago, despite increased city population and the economic boom. What can be done to make it easier to move around the city? The Forum features four presentations by transportation experts who will share their ideas for reducing congestion and improving public transit.

Jonathan Hopkins, Executive Director of Commute Seattle, will describe how his city has been the only one in the nation to increase transit ridership since the recession

Jerry Cauthen, Transportation Consultant, former Senior Engineering Manager and Transportation Vice President, Parsons Brinckerhoff, will talk about ways to improve public transit service and ridership in San Francisco.

Mollie Cohen D’Agostino, from the Institute for Transportation Studies at the University of California at Davis, will share results of her group’s study of transportation networking companies (Lyft and Uber) in San Francisco and other American cities.

Bob Feinbaum, Chair of Save Muni, will describe the role for congestion pricing in San Francisco, aided by a video featuring Jonas Eliasson, head of transportation for Stockholm, which adopted congestion pricing more than a decade ago

Share Your Ideas: A moderated discussion of questions from the audience.

Doors open at 9:30 AM. Enter at the Grove Street library entrance (tell Security you’re attending the forum). Coffee/ snacks available at the café opposite the auditorium. Sponsors: Save Muni + Coalition for San Francisco Neighborhoods. Contact: Bob Feinbaum, bobf@att.net

Extend Caltrain to downtown San Francisco

Chronicle op-ed by Bob Feinbaum

San Francisco has been waiting for more than 100 years for trains from the Peninsula to arrive downtown. Left up to compliant planners and complacent politicians, decades more will pass before Caltrain comes to the newly built Salesforce Transit Center.

San Francisco politicians fall all over themselves giving verbal support to the downtown extension. But when it comes to leadership necessary to build the project, they are nowhere to be found.

Instead the city’s supervisors have been strangely quiet about the efforts to undermine the current, environmentally cleared route from Caltrain’s Fourth and King streets terminus to downtown.

In 2015, Mayor Ed Lee directed the San Francisco Planning Department to conduct a study to bolster his intention to move the Caltrain downtown right-of-way to Third Street to serve the Warriors’ new arena and allow his developer backers access to the lucrative 20-acre rail yards site.

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