SaveMuni Letter on Commuter Bus Violations

SaveMuni just sent the following letter to the MTA Board in advance of a hearing on commuter bus infractions on Tuesday:

July 17, 2017

To:    MTA Board members

SaveMuni urges the SFMTA to make enforcement of regulations regarding commuter shuttle buses a much higher priority than it has heretofore been.  We understand that citizen volunteers have been reporting numerous violations which continue on an on-going basis.  But it should not be up to citizens to do your job.

Therefore we ask the SFMTA to strictly enforce the program rules with respect to specific buses, conditions, locations and operations.
Enforcement should include but not be limited to citations, suspensions of licenses and revising operating permits for violations and other non-compliance.

We trust that companies that adhere to the rules will be regarded as better neighbors by the residents of San Francisco, and will provide better service to their riders.

Sincerely,

Bob Feinbaum
Chair, SaveMuni

Shuttle Buses…a Call to Arms!

On Friday, February 1, 2016, the SFMTA’s Major/Minor Arterial Plan governing the actions of  the private operators of the over-sized corporate commute buses (sometimes called hi-tech buses or Google buses) finally went into effect.   This new program sets forth a set of specific operating rules and the challenge is now one of enforcing those rules.  Please join me in watching for and reporting violations.    

If you spot a violation, record the date, time, location, travel direction, Placard Number, Bus operator/bus number and the nature of the violation and send me the information in an e-mail. <zabredala3@yahoo.com>.  Or if you prefer you can send your complaint directly to the SFMTA.  Because of the SFMTA’s lax and sporadic enforcement of previos operating rules the private operators have a long history of thumbing their noses at city rules and regulation.  For this reason it is likely to take a concerted effort to bring down the violations.  Thanks, Ed

Here are the new requirements:

Street Operations:

Commuter  buses 40 to 45 feet in length will be restricted to the following streets in the Noe Valley Area:

MAJOR Arterials:
+ Market Street
+ 16th Street
+ Guerrero  (Market to 18th)
+ Mission
+ San Jose (South of Guerrero – Cesar Chavez)

MINOR Arterials:
+ Divisadero
+ Castro to 26th
+ 24th  (Castro to Potrero)
+ Valencia
+ Folsom
+ Dolores

Only commuter buses 35 feet or less will be permitted to use residential streets.

Buses will not be permitted to operate on weight-restricted streets.

or stop in taxi zones

Bus-mounted placards:

Each registered vehicle has a unique bus identification number:

o  Placards showing this number will be placed on all four sides of the vehicle.

o  Placards are blue with black identification numbers (xx-xxxx)
The first xx designate the bus company
The last four  xxxx designate the assigned number.
*if the first number is 0 the bus is less than 35 feet  and therefore is allowed to operate on residential streets.
*if the first number is 5 the bus is more than 35 feet  and is therefore  allowed to operate only on the Major and Minor Arterials listed above
o  Placards are to be painted with reflecting paint so that they are more visible at night.

o  Placards are to be tamper proof and designed to tear if removed from a vehicle

Approved Stop Locations

Designated Muni stops and White Zones with a posted sign indicating that commuter buses are authorized as permitted users during the hours of 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. or 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.  There may  be a few locations that allow stops at both time periods.  If so, the signage will so indicate.

Call to Arms:

Because of lax and sporadic SFMTA enforcement the private operators have a long history of thumbing their noses at city rules and regulation; so it will take a concerted effort to bring down the violations.  If you spot a violation record the date, time, location, travel direction, Placard Number, Bus operator/bus number and the nature of the violation.   Please send me an email and we will figure it out.

Thanks, Ed

San Francisco’s Out-of-Control Shuttle Buses

Howard 2015-10-10 at 8.28.16 PM

The Problem:

(This article revises a previous article dated October 10, 2015)

Whether commuters get back and forth to work in public transit buses or privately-operated shuttle buses, it beats solo driving.  For this reason SaveMuni is not against shuttle buses per se.  However, in San Francisco there’s a problem.  In this city the streets are often narrow and steep and therefore not conducive to overly large commuter buses.   Moreover Muni provides frequent service during peak commute periods and for that reason is easily impeded and interfered with when shuttle buses are permitted to use its routes and bus stops.    Because of these factors, City Hall’s careless decision to allow hundreds of overly-large hi-tech and other privately-owned and institutionally-owned shuttle buses to pick up and drop passengers on the crowded streets of San Francisco is causing serious problems, including:

             a.) Continued blocking of traffic

             b.) Continued conflicts involving shuttle buses on neighborhood streets

             c.)  Continued violations of existing vehicle codes, traffic laws and posted weight limits

             d.)  Continued failure to display required SFMTA operating tags

              e.)  In some cases, continued failure to display valid California license plates,

              f.)  Continued interference with regular Muni service, especially at heavily-used Muni stops.

(more…)