daily menu » rate the banner | guess the city | one on oneforums map | privacy policy | DMCA | news magazine | posting guidelines

Go Back   SkyscraperCity > Infrastructure and Mobility Forums > Subways and Urban Transport

Subways and Urban Transport Metros, subways, light rail, trams, buses and other local transport systems



Global Announcement

As a general reminder, please respect others and respect copyrights. Go here to familiarize yourself with our posting policy.


Reply

 
Thread Tools
Old April 11th, 2012, 07:53 AM   #381
bayviews
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 5,535
Likes (Received): 51

Long overdue, but great to see some new seats for BART!:

BART's New Seats (A Few) Make Debut; [National Desk]
Zusha Elinson. New York Times. (Late Edition (East Coast)). New York, N.Y.: Apr 6, 2012. pg. A.19A

Copyright New York Times Company Apr 6, 2012

By midnight Wednesday, Bay Area Rapid Transit workers had removed the filthiest seat cushions from the trains. Stacked in crates at BART's Hayward maintenance yard, the blue cloth-covered seat bottoms and backs were sticky, splotched with stains and coated with grime.

"As you can see: gum, stains, people put their feet on the seats, and who knows what else," said David Coggshall, BART's manager of car appearance.

Since BART first rolled down the tracks in 1972, crews have faced the unenviable task of cleaning the conspicuously absorbent seats. Every night, 120 workers descend on the trains, vacuuming crumbs, spraying Lysol to suppress foul smells -- and removing and sending the most soiled seats to a dry-cleaning company.

But a new era for BART begins this week. It has begun installing nonporous vinyl seats, which can be easily cleaned with a rag and a spray bottle of water and antibacterial soap, Mr. Coggshall said.

The old seats have been in the spotlight since a Bay Citizen investigation last year found drug-resistant fecal and skin-borne bacteria -- as well as mold -- thriving in the fabric. Lab tests showed that the cloth still harbored bacteria even after being scrubbed with an alcohol wipe. By contrast, the tests detected no bacteria on a plastic Muni bus seat after it was cleaned in the same manner.

In response to the public outcry, BART in April 2011 promised to spend $1.8 million to replace some of the old cloth seats with new cloth seats. Officials said at the time that customers would not see easier-to-clean seats until 2018, when the transit agency's new fleet of trains arrived.

But in September, BART announced that it would spend $1.9 million on vinyl seats. On Tuesday, BART unveiled the seats, which have been installed on four train cars. Soon, they will be in 100. And if passengers like them, BART will put the new seats in 200 of their 669 train cars.

BART riders were elated.

"I think they're beautiful," said Tifia Napier-Morales, one of the first passengers to sit on a new seat. "When I first got on the train, I was shocked. I thought, 'Wait, am I on the right train?' "

Indeed, the train cars with new seats lacked that classic BART smell: damp, stale, one part mildew and one part body odor. Instead, they smelled like a new automobile.

Ms. Napier-Morales, 36, who travels from Oakland to San Francisco regularly, said that she avoided sitting during her commute because the old seats were "dirty and full of bacteria."

The change in seats is about more than cleanliness. It also reflects a change in commuting habits. In the early days, BART used the promise of plush cloth seats and carpeted floors to lure suburban commuters from the comfort of their cars. Today, with many Bay Area freeways jammed with traffic, BART has become more of an interurban subway system, carrying upwards of 350,000 riders daily, putting a strain -- and more stains -- on the cloth seats.

BART officials say the new seats will save money. A car's worth of about 60 blue fabric seats costs $15,000 and lasts about three years. A car's worth of the padded vinyl seats cost $8,900 and is supposed to last 8 to 10 years.

And there will be no need to dry-clean seat covers. BART spends $595,000 on dry cleaning a year, according to Jeff Baker, assistant maintenance superintendent. The contract allows the agency to clean about 300 seats a week, a fraction of its 40,000.

Mr. Baker said he had to be prudent about how he spent the dry-cleaning dollars. After New Year's Eve, the agency has to send an estimated 2,000 seats to the cleaners. The seats are also a lot dirtier after sporting events. Mr. Baker and Mr. Coggshall agreed that Oakland Raiders fans left the most postgame stains.

The new seats may not eliminate Mr. Coggshall's biggest pet peeve. "I certainly don't enjoy gum," he said. "If we could just get people to put their gum in the wrappers, instead of all over the BART cars, that would be great," he said.

"For some reason, humans can't resist sticking things in crevices."
bayviews no está en línea   Reply With Quote

Sponsored Links
Old April 11th, 2012, 08:45 AM   #382
bayviews
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 5,535
Likes (Received): 51

Quote:
Originally Posted by FDW View Post
Okay, since there seems to be a need for this, I shall make a thread dedicated not just to San Francisco, but also San Jose and Oakland. So here we go, First up:


Look Ma, the bus is only 10 minutes late this time, I think it's a record!


SAN FRANCISCO MUNICIPAL RAILWAY* * which is neither municipal or really much of a railway anymore

Began service: 1912
Ridership: 700,000 daily
Service area: All of the City of San Francisco (And nothing else*)
Routes: 80



Near future Route Map.



Rail Lines (Not including Cable Cars or shuttle services): 6
Trolleybus Routes: 14
Trolleybus fleet: 333 (240 40ft buses, 93 60ft buses)
Light Rail fleet: 151 LRV's+50 Historic trolley's

MUNI (As us San Franciscans call it) was the first publicly owned transit system in the United States, but that's not important, what is important is that MUNI is the largest transit agency in Northern California (in terms of ridership), it operates the largest Light Rail (Tram) network in the united states (71 route miles, or 115 route km), the Largest Trolleybus network (by fleet size) in the United States (And second largest in the Western Hemisphere, after mexico city), and then of course there are the Cable Cars.


Those f**king Cable Cars


This route, this bus, and this parking lot no longer exist.


The oldest part of the trolleybus network, and that wall hasn't had it easy.


It's Electric!


The Balboa dip


The big boy's, we got 93 electric, 137 diesel.


Top o' the hill, the southern end of the Trolleybus network.


And one last one of the ETB's


These have always played second-fiddle to the other diesel buses


These don't get used much because of their age.


San Francisco's most dominant Diesel bus


And another one.


MUNI's newest buses.


I've run out of snarky things to say.


Short buses for routes with lower ridership


This bus line is one the most heavily used routes west of the Mississippi river.


This route doesn't exist anymore.


Embarcadero Station, Market st Subway


Montgomery Station, Market st Subway


Powell st Station, Market st Subway


MUNI doesn't run these LRV's anymore, nor do they run trains in 3 car formation either. BTW, this is Civic Center, Market st Subway.


Well, this is a rare sight. Van Ness, Market st Subway.


Church, Market St. Subway.


Castro, Market St. Subway. (Note the curved platform.)


Forest Hill, Twin Peaks Tunnel. (Oldest Subway on the West Coast.)


West Portal, Twin Peaks Tunnel


Southern Embarcadero, Near AT&T park.


4th/King. Terminal for the N train (the T continues further South)


T-third, Southern Terminal


N-Judah, 9th/Judah


M-Ocean View, SF State University


L-Taraval,Zoo Terminal


K-Ingleside, Ocean/Lee


J-Church, Dolores Park


Balboa Park Terminal. (also site of Green Yard and Geneva Yard.)


Metro East Maintenance Facility. (MUNI's other big rail yard.)


MUNI "Torpedo" PCC (for use on F-Line)


MUNI Ex-SEPTA PCC (for use on F-Line)


MUNI Ex-Newark City Subway (for use on F-Line)


MUNI Ex-Milan Peter Witt in Orange (In Geneva Yard)


MUNI Ex-Milan Peter Witt in Yellow/White (Castro Terminal)


MUNI Ex-Milan Peter Witt in two tone Green (Ferry Building)


MUNI No.1 (MUNI's first streetcar)


Blackpool Boat Tram (At Jones st Terminal at Fisherman's Wharf.)


Ex-Melbourne W2


Ex-Kobe/Hiroshima tram


Oldest streetcar currently owned by a US transit agency.


Ex-New Orleans Perley Thomas


SF "Baby Ten" PCC 1040 (Last streetcar made in US until Oregon Ironworks 015 in 2009)


Ex-Kansas City/Toronto PCC (The one in front, painted Red and Cream)


Ex-St Louis PCC

Thank you reading this. I plan for this thread to cover all of the Transportation agencies of Northern California, and I will continue making that possible tomorrow when I post the info about the BART system. (Which will be followed by AC Transit and Golden Gate Transit later this week.)

What a great time to take another look at some of the transit vehicles of the Bay area & Northern California.

After all, we're celebrating MUNI's first century of service this year: 1912-2012!
bayviews no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old April 12th, 2012, 12:22 AM   #383
trainrover
:-x
 
trainrover's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 5,787
Likes (Received): 738

Quote:
Originally Posted by FDW View Post
Near future Route Map.

clickable...


__________________
.
hee hee
.
trainrover no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old April 12th, 2012, 12:24 AM   #384
trainrover
:-x
 
trainrover's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 5,787
Likes (Received): 738


clickable...
__________________
.
hee hee
.
trainrover no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old April 12th, 2012, 12:29 AM   #385
trainrover
:-x
 
trainrover's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 5,787
Likes (Received): 738


Frisco's Milanese touch
__________________
.
hee hee
.
trainrover no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old April 13th, 2012, 08:31 AM   #386
bayviews
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 5,535
Likes (Received): 51

Quote:
Originally Posted by trainrover View Post

Frisco's Milanese touch

Thanks for posting.

Those vintage Milan streetcars are big fans of the tourists!

Their fares are also cheaper than the CableCars.

The modern Breda LRVs are MUNI's speedy Milan cars!
bayviews no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old April 15th, 2012, 08:05 AM   #387
bayviews
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 5,535
Likes (Received): 51

After 100 Years, Muni Has Gotten Slower; [National Desk]
Zusha Elinson. New York Times. (Late Edition (East Coast)).
New York, N.Y.: Apr 1, 2012.

Copyright New York Times Company Apr 1, 2012

The San Francisco Muni is turning 100 this year. And in that century of great technological progress, in which an aircraft broke the sound barrier in 1947 and a supersonic car did the same in 1997, Muni has actually become slower.

In 1920, the F-Stockton streetcar carried passengers from the Financial District at Market and Stockton Streets all the way to the Marina at Chestnut and Scott Streets in a zippy 17 minutes. Today a very similar trip on the 30-Stockton, the successor to the F-Stockton, takes a half-hour if the stars are properly aligned.

"Streetcars ruled the road, and there wasn't much getting in the way -- no car traffic -- and we didn't have all the traffic lights and stop signs," said Peter Straus, a retired Muni service planner. "Back then it was basically 'load and go,' " he added, "and there was nothing to slow them down."

San Franciscans were not shocked to learn that Muni ran faster 100 years ago.

"I wouldn't be surprised if a horse-drawn carriage got there faster than Muni," Angie Murphy, a regular Muni commuter, said recently as she waited for a bus in the rain in the Financial District.

Muni was born in 1912 as the Municipal Railway, with a streetcar line, the A and B, which eventually ran from the ferries to the beach. An excited crowd of 50,000 celebrated the inauguration in downtown San Francisco.

Before that, private companies had operated streetcars here and all over the United States. But San Franciscans, angered by corruption and demonstrating their independence from the status quo even a century ago, voted for a $2 million bond to build the first piece of the publicly owned "people's railway."

In 1920, the B line, replaced by the busy 38-Geary in 1956, departed from the spot where the ferry building stands today and zoomed out to near Ocean Beach in 35 minutes. The fare was a nickel.

Today a similar $2 trip on the 38-Geary takes 54 minutes, while the 38 Limited, which makes fewer stops, takes 43 minutes.

Many of the early Muni lines were faster because of "less competition for street space -- there was no surface traffic, and the streetcars would fly through," said Rick Laubscher, president of Market Street Railway, a nonprofit group dedicated to preserving Muni's history.

An archivist for the organization, which is exhibiting photos of Muni's centennial at the San Francisco Railway Museum, provided travel times dating back to 1920.

Building the Market Street subway in 1980 was supposed to speed the streetcars that traveled on crowded Market Street before heading off to the foggy outer limits of the city. But even lines that now use the tunnel, like the N-Judah and the L-Taraval, have not become faster over the past century.

The popular N-Judah, born in 1928 with the opening of the Sunset Tunnel, made it from the ferries to Ocean Beach in 33.5 minutes more than 80 years ago. Today the same trip is scheduled at 38 minutes.

The L-Taraval, which runs underground for 5.5 miles from the Embarcadero station before emerging at the West Portal station, now takes 36 minutes to take passengers out to the zoo, the same as it did in 1939.

Riders of the K-Ingleside and the J-Church, at least, have reason to rejoice. Both lines have sped up three minutes since 1920, although the J-Church is still chugging along at its 1939 rate.

Commuters pining for the quick old days of Muni may soon get some relief. Officials at the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency are preparing a plan to speed several routes, including the 30, the J and the N.

This is scheduled to be done by removing stop signs, programming traffic signals so they stay green for buses, creating additional bus-only traffic lanes and removing some bus stops. The plan is known as the Transit Effectiveness Project.

"We have a pretty good sense of different things we can do to speed up the transit service," said Ed Reiskin, head of the transportation agency.

The steps Muni is taking, Mr. Reiskin added, "are going to help us reverse that trend and get us back to even better than where we were 100 years ago."
bayviews no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old April 21st, 2012, 07:38 AM   #388
bayviews
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 5,535
Likes (Received): 51

After a decade of work, its good to see AC Transit's innovative bus fuel cell project finally hitting the East Bay streets!

AC Transit Begins Fueling Buses with Hydrogen Made From Solar Electricity and Water
PR Newswire. New York: Apr 13, 2012.

Copyright PR Newswire Association LLC Apr 13, 2012

EMERYVILLE, Calif., April 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- AC Transit, and a coalition of regional transit partners serving 7 million people in the San Francisco Bay Area, this week inaugurated the newest hydrogen production and dispensing station to fuel the latest generation of zero-emission fuel cell buses operating throughout the region. Congresswoman Barbara Lee and Chair of the California Air Resources Board Mary Nichols were joined by over 300 guests and a dozen other federal, state, and local officials as they formally dedicated the station at AC Transit's Emeryville division, where hydrogen to fuel the fleet is produced in part by solar-powered electrolysis.

AC Transit General Manager David Armijo said, "For over a decade, AC Transit has been developing the most comprehensive, zero-emission, fuel cell transit program in North America, and operating zero-emission buses in real-world service. Now, with increased fueling capacity, we have a greater capability to offer clean, quiet, zero-emission transportation to the communities we serve."

"AC Transit continues to be a model for the rest of the nation," said Congresswoman Lee. "Today's unveiling of these innovative, zero-emission fuel cell buses and this state-of-the-art HyRoad Fueling Station further highlights AC Transit's commitment to excellence in promoting and maintaining zero-emission vehicles."

California Air Resources Board Chair Nichols added, "We are building on a record of success and partnership between the federal and state governments and AC Transit - which has truly been a pioneer in bringing fuel cell technology into the community and demonstrating its virtues for clean air and energy efficiency."

AC Transit's newest on-site energy station, engineered by Linde North America, Jacobs, and EPC, and built by W.L. Butler Construction, demonstrates the use of "renewable" hydrogen - hydrogen produced using Proton OnSite's solar-powered electrolyzer. Engineering and construction firm Cupertino Electric, Inc. installed a 510 kilowatt DC solar photovoltaic system for AC Transit that will generate energy to help fuel the transit system's hydrogen-powered buses running throughout the Bay Area.

The station also features Linde's latest advancements in compression and dispensing technology, enabling buses to be refueled at rates up to 5 kilograms/minute - a time comparable to refueling diesel buses. Thanks to a major grant from the California Air Resources Board, one dispenser is accessible to the public for fueling hydrogen fuel cell electric passenger cars, including the Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-CELL, now on the road in both Northern and Southern California.

"Linde is excited to provide a clean fuel solution that delivers so many quality-of-life benefits to Bay Area residents. Their public transportation has just gotten quieter, the air they're breathing is fresher and cleaner, and we're using a domestically produced fuel instead of imported oil. These are positive, concrete steps toward reducing greenhouse gases and increasing sustainability. Linde is proud to take such a prominent role in improving our future," said Pat Murphy, President, Linde North America.

Fuel cells do not burn the fuel they use. Instead, they combine hydrogen with oxygen from the air electrochemically to produce electricity and emit only water vapor. AC Transit operates twelve 40-foot hybrid-electric, zero-emission fuel cell buses, each powered by a 120 kW UTC Power fuel cell system and a Siemens ELFA Drive System.

"We believe the future of energy is here and embodied in the fuel cell buses operated by AC Transit," said Joe Triompo, Vice President and General Manager, UTC Power. "With multiple fuel cell buses in operation today, AC Transit and the community they serve are already reaping the benefits of superior efficiency, increased reliability and reduced emissions for environmentally responsible operations."

In recognition of AC Transit's solar installations across its facilities, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) presented a check, representing what will amount to more than $500,000 in rebate incentives from PG&E through the California Solar Initiative (CSI) program, to AC Transit's General Manager. Additionally, in honor of AC Transit's HyRoad Program, Tom Sullivan, Chairman of Proton OnSite, presented a $20,000 check to Lawrence Hall of Science at UC Berkeley to further youth science education in alternative fuels.

AC Transit is one of the largest transit agencies in California, serving over 60 million passengers a year throughout a 364-square mile region. For over 50 years, AC Transit has been recognized as a national leader in the transit industry. AC Transit has captured the American Public Transit Association's "Best of the Best" award numerous times; and the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) of Washington, D.C. has named AC Transit a "National Clean Bus Leader" for its advanced environmental technology initiatives. www.actransit.org/environment
bayviews no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old April 28th, 2012, 06:40 AM   #389
bayviews
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 5,535
Likes (Received): 51

And here's one from the "True Tales of MUNI Dept":

Makes one wonder how a transit agency that claims it's too poverty-stricken to afford even enough for the i-Pads needed to complete an already committed GPS project & admits an $29 million shortfall, can't even cough-up $100k for a pilot project, might somewhow be able to scrape-up enough local match funding for a proposed new $1.6 Billion subway:

Government Puts Brakes On an App For Transit; [National Desk]
Shane Shifflett. New York Times. (Late Edition (East Coast)). New York, N.Y.: Apr 22, 2012. Copyright New York Times Company Apr 22, 2012

If all goes according to the five-year plan approved by the Board of Supervisors, the city and county of San Francisco will upgrade its technology infrastructure to accommodate such trendy things as social networks, cloud computing, crowd-sourcing, open-source software and location-aware apps. But by then it will be 2016, or more than 10 product cycles by Silicon Valley standards.

Meanwhile, a small team of volunteers took just 10 days last summer to create an Apple iPad app that uses Global Positioning System technology to track all of the city's buses in real time, allowing transit managers and passengers to monitor problems and delays.

Most who saw the SMART Muni app -- including Edwin M. Lee and 15 other mayoral candidates in October, and senior leadership from the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency in February -- considered it an improvement over the four-channel radio and old paper clipboards currently used to track problems.

But now, 10 months later, the app that the volunteer developers created for Muni is unused. Muni hopes to put the app to good use some day, but the agency is $29 million over budget and cannot afford to buy the iPads required to run the software, a Muni spokesman said. Nor is the city willing to invest $100,000 to run a pilot program.

While Mayor Lee promotes technology initiatives to "catalyze greater job creation, community engagement and government efficiency," according to a press release from his office in February, developers who hope to use technology to solve some of their local government's problems must first come to grips with the decidedly un-startup pace of government.

"I'm sitting in the most innovative place in the world," said Joel Mahoney, a 2011 Code for America fellow, recalling his wait to renew his driver's license at the San Francisco office of the Department of Motor Vehicles. "But I may as well be in the 1970s. It's untouched by technology."

Government cannot keep up with the rapid technology advancements that consumers are accustomed to, said Mr. Mahoney, 35, because despite the cost savings that agile projects like SMART Muni can offer, city officials are averse to the risks that many tech companies routinely take.

"Start-ups fail at a high rate," said Jay Nath, chief innovation officer of San Francisco. "As stewards of taxpayer dollars, we need to be thoughtful of using that money wisely and not absorbing too much risk."

Mr. Nath said the city's priorities for next year include figuring out how to move ideas like SMART Muni from prototypes into the marketplace so that governments can purchase finished projects without assuming the risk of financing product development.

Jake Levitas, 25, a research director at the Gray Area Foundation for the Arts, which sponsored the civic hackathon where the software was created, said citizen-developed apps generate fresh ideas for tackling old problems at a substantially reduced price, but also risk becoming failures that burn holes in the city's budget.

Until city government matches the pace of civic coders, Mr. Levitas added, the effort to put the app in the hands of Muni drivers will be greater than what it took to build it.
bayviews no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old April 30th, 2012, 06:59 AM   #390
bayviews
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 5,535
Likes (Received): 51

For you who've always dreamed of serving on a transportation advisory committee: Here's Your Big Chance!

MTC Seeks to Add Missing Voices to Advisory Body; Advisory Council to Fill Four Vacancies

Copyright U.S. Newswire Apr 24, 2012

OAKLAND, Calif., April 24, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Metropolitan Transportation Commission - the Bay Area's transportation planning and financing agency - is recruiting interested Bay Area residents to fill four vacancies on its Policy Advisory Council. Vacancies include one at-large representative of the economy or the environment, and three representatives of either disabled, senior or low-income interests.

Applicants representing disabled, senior or low-income interests must be from San Francisco, Marin or Sonoma counties. Individuals interested in applying under the economy or environment categories can reside in any of the nine Bay Area counties (Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano or Sonoma). The Council meets the second Wednesday of the month from 1:30-3:30 p.m., and advisors are reimbursed for their transportation to and from the meeting.

The Policy Advisory Council was created by the Commission in November 2009, effectively margining MTC's three previous advisory committees - the MTC Advisory Council, the Elderly and Disabled Advisory Committee, and the Minority Citizens Advisory Committee. The Council's mission is to advise MTC on transportation policies in the San Francisco Bay Area, incorporating diverse perspectives related to the environment, the economy and social equity. Current topics that the Council provides advice on include:

Regional planning efforts linking transportation, housing and land use plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

A Bay Area effort to establish a framework and implementation plan for a more robust, financially viable transit system that is both cost effective and customer focused.

"The Commission needs to hear various viewpoints when making transportation policy and investment decisions," said MTC Chair Adrienne Tissier. "We need to incorporate differing viewpoints to enhance our decision-making process. I encourage interested individuals to apply and help us improve mobility for all Bay Area residents."

The application deadline is Wednesday, May 9, 2012. No specific educational background is needed for most seats - just a background in the specific application category, and an interest in transportation and how it affects residents in the nine Bay Area counties. Experience working on public policy issues or community-related issues is desirable. Appointed advisors are expected to attend monthly meetings at MTC's offices in Oakland and will serve through the term ending in July 2013. While positions are voluntary, Council members do receive a small stipend for their attendance at certain meetings.

MTC's appointing Commissioners will review all applications and finalize their selection this summer. To apply for a vacant position or to learn more about the Policy Advisory Council, visit www.mtc.ca.gov/get_involved/advisory, call 510.817.5757, or visit the MTC offices at 101 Eighth Street, Oakland, during regular business hours.

MTC is the regional transportation planning, financing and coordinating agency for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area.

Credit: Metropolitan Transportation Commission
bayviews no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old May 5th, 2012, 05:19 AM   #391
bayviews
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 5,535
Likes (Received): 51

Canceled Muni Bus Runs Draw New Attention to Drivers' Absenteeism Rates; [National Desk] Zusha Elison. New York Times. (Late Edition (East Coast)). New York, N.Y.: Apr 29, 2012. pg. A.29A

The absentee rate for Muni drivers is high when compared with the national average of 3 percent across industries, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Managers at AC Transit and Muni say new labor contracts have helped reduce unscheduled absences.

Copyright New York Times Company Apr 29, 2012

Last Monday, Muni canceled 43 bus runs, leaving passengers with long waits, with no warning and no explanation for the delays.

The transit agency now cancels 35 to 45 runs each weekday to reduce overtime costs. As The Bay Citizen reported earlier this month, Muni is no longer paying overtime to replace drivers who call in sick.

The cancellations, which have resulted in cuts to bus service, are putting renewed attention on the contentious issue of driver absenteeism.

On average, about 150 out of 1,200 Muni operators -- 12.2 percent -- missed work unexpectedly during the last three months of 2011. Such unscheduled absences, as Muni calls them, include drivers who call in sick to take care of themselves or a member of their family, drivers who have jury duty and drivers facing disciplinary issues.

The absentee rate for Muni drivers is high when compared with the national average of 3 percent across industries, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It is also higher than the absentee rate for other workers at the transit agency. On a typical weekday, 7 percent of Muni's mechanics have an unscheduled absence.

But the percentage of unscheduled absences is not as high as the rate at one other Bay Area transit agency. At AC Transit in the East Bay, the unscheduled absence rate for drivers was 12.5 percent -- the worst in the Bay Area -- during the last three months of 2011. At the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, the absentee rate for bus drivers was 8.9 percent. The rate for the small force of 290 drivers at SamTrans was 4.1 percent.

Muni drivers say the health hazards and stress of the job contribute to the unscheduled absences.

"We're dealing with homeless people and sick people and mentally ill people and children and teenagers while we're trying to keep everything on schedule," said Ron Austin, vice president of the union that represents 2,200 Muni operators. "All this pressure rests squarely on the operator. You've got to be a baby sitter, and you've got to drive this 40-foot vehicle through very congested streets."

Muni and AC Transit rely on an "extra board," a group of on-call bus drivers who fill in if a driver is late or absent. Muni schedules about 1,200 drivers each weekday and has about 100 on call. AC Transit schedules about 525 drivers during the week and has 150 on call.

In the past, when all of the on-call drivers were working, Muni would pay overtime to drivers who were off to come in and cover any remaining shifts. But faced with a $29 million budget shortfall and out-of-control overtime spending, Muni decided last month to skip bus runs instead.

The move has been blasted by critics as a "stealth cut" to bus service in San Francisco. Ed Reiskin, the Municipal Transportation Agency's director of transportation, backed away from an unpopular proposal to cut service in order to save money earlier in the year.

Muni is not the only agency to cancel runs when drivers call in sick. AC Transit skips about 20 runs a day, according to Clarence Johnson, a transit agency spokesman.

Both agencies have seen a slight decline in driver absentee rates. The rate for AC Transit drivers was 13.9 percent over the past three years. It peaked at 18.5 percent in August of 2010. Muni's driver absentee rate has edged down from 13.7 percent in 2010 to 12.9 percent in 2011.

Managers at AC Transit and Muni say new labor contracts have helped reduce unscheduled absences.

The new contract with AC Transit's 1,200 drivers requires drivers to obtain a doctor's note if they are absent for more than three days, according to Mr. Johnson. And operators are generally not paid for sick days unless they take two or more.

Before the changes, Mr. Johnson said, some drivers would take a sick day in the middle of the week and then come in on their scheduled day off and get overtime. Now the agency's new labor contract includes a rule requiring drivers to work 40 hours a week before getting overtime.

"I don't want to cast any aspersions, but the old rules made it easy for you take days off and then get overtime," Mr. Johnson said.

But Yvonne Williams, president of the union that represents AC Transit drivers, said that two-day policy was having the opposite effect, encouraging drivers to miss more work.

"If there's a problem with unscheduled absenteeism, then it's a managerial problem and we're willing to work with them to fix that," she said.

Paul Rose, a San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency spokesman, said that Muni also wanted to hire more full- and part-time drivers.

"That would reduce missed runs and overtime," he said.

But Mr. Austin, of the Muni operators union, said hiring drivers would not be as easy as it once was. He said Muni drivers bore the brunt of the blame for Muni's slow and often late service.

"People aren't clamoring to work here anymore," Mr. Austin said. "With adversaries in City Hall, adversaries in the public, it rapidly becomes a job that's just not worth it."
bayviews no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old May 7th, 2012, 06:20 AM   #392
Anderson Reis
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 28
Likes (Received): 2

My paper BART:

image hosted on flickr


See more: http://www.flickr.com/photos/andersonrs
Anderson Reis no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old May 9th, 2012, 07:13 AM   #393
bayviews
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 5,535
Likes (Received): 51

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anderson Reis View Post
My paper BART:

image hosted on flickr


See more: http://www.flickr.com/photos/andersonrs

Hey Andy, your photostream is fantastic!

Sao Paulo's a huge city with an amazing transit history & a great subway.

Look forward to seeing more of your Sao Paulo transit photos & uptdates on this forum!
bayviews no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old May 9th, 2012, 08:12 PM   #394
Anderson Reis
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 28
Likes (Received): 2

Hi bayviews,

Thank you for your compliments. When I have new photos on Flickr will inform you and post here on the forum.

Thanks.
Anderson Reis no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old May 11th, 2012, 08:37 AM   #395
Woonsocket54
PC LOAD LETTER
 
Woonsocket54's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: East Millinocket, Maine
Posts: 5,644
Likes (Received): 5762

Amazing image of criss-crossing trolleybus wires on Fillmore Street in SF.

image hosted on flickr

source: eviloars flickr account
Woonsocket54 no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old May 19th, 2012, 02:33 AM   #396
Anderson Reis
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 28
Likes (Received): 2

Look at that picture I found curious BART. Does anyone know what's going on?

image hosted on flickr


What is the name that the system uses to monitor BART trains?
Anderson Reis no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old May 19th, 2012, 03:57 AM   #397
bayviews
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 5,535
Likes (Received): 51

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anderson Reis View Post
Look at that picture I found curious BART. Does anyone know what's going on?

image hosted on flickr


What is the name that the system uses to monitor BART trains?
Some train operators don face masks to protect against deases from passengers & dirt, dust, & other particulate matters in the tunnel.

The Signal System is called the BART Train Control System.
bayviews no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old May 19th, 2012, 07:15 AM   #398
Anderson Reis
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 28
Likes (Received): 2

Thank you!
Anderson Reis no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old May 19th, 2012, 08:32 AM   #399
quashlo
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 14,835
Likes (Received): 3215

Quote:
Originally Posted by Woonsocket54 View Post
Amazing image of criss-crossing trolleybus wires on Fillmore Street in SF.
Fillmore and Haight to be exact, the intersection of the 6 and 22 lines… Four turnouts.
http://g.co/maps/h5fzu

Some other impressive crossings… I’ve ignored all the stuff Downtown, as it’s somewhat trivial to find interesting crossings there thanks to all the buses and double wire along Market Street.

Five turnouts
Fillmore and Sutter: http://g.co/maps/edst5
16th and Bryant: http://g.co/maps/5uxpy
California and Presidio: http://g.co/maps/3gtbt

Four turnouts
McAllister and Divisadero: http://g.co/maps/38bej
18th and Castro: http://g.co/maps/k6dcy
16th and South Van Ness: http://g.co/maps/g934e
11th and Mission: http://g.co/maps/vxsxd
Fillmore and Jackson: http://g.co/maps/4uq73 (technically, one of the four main wires is not a through wire)

Three turnouts
Fillmore and Sacramento: http://g.co/maps/m7p8e
(there’s definitely a few more of these, but I put this one down because it’s catenary instead of simple overhead like the majority of the network)

Wyes
Van Ness and North Point: http://g.co/maps/uz6x5
Turk and Masonic: http://g.co/maps/nc28g

Crossings with streetcars
Church and Duboce: http://g.co/maps/vdq3g (wye crossing of 2 light rail lines, plus one trolleybus line)
Church and 30th: http://g.co/maps/cdkwt (light rail wye, plus one trolleybus line)

And then there’s the hairpin turn on the 33 Stanyan at Market and Clayton.

__________________
San Francisco
Japan 2013; Japan 2011
: Tōkyō I, II, III (Kamakura), IV (Yokohama), V; Ōsaka I (+Kyōto +Kōbe), II (Kyōto), III (Nara); Hiroshima; Fukuoka; Nagasaki; Kita-Kyushu + Shimonoseki; Nikkō
quashlo no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old May 26th, 2012, 08:53 AM   #400
FDW
Registered User
 
FDW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 532
Likes (Received): 34

Quote:
Originally Posted by bayviews View Post
Thanks for posting.

Those vintage Milan streetcars are big fans of the tourists!

Their fares are also cheaper than the CableCars.

The modern Breda LRVs are MUNI's speedy Milan cars!
To be honest, I prefer the PCC's to the Milan Cars. And I'm also iffy on the Breda's.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anderson Reis View Post
Hi bayviews,

Thank you for your compliments. When I have new photos on Flickr will inform you and post here on the forum.

Thanks.
I should make some comments about BART. While I do think that BART did a good thing in helping to set up a new momentum for Mass Transit projects, and while it certainly had a massive influence North American transit design, it still set up some rather annoying precedents in North American Rapid Transit. These include the Park and Ride model of station design (rather than actually building some stuff around to make it a destination, a trend that is slowly being reversed), the station design where the station is set far from the nearest major street (complicating connections with other transit, and making less accessible on foot to nearby areas) as opposed to directly straddling over said major street, and lastly the extreme distance between stations, usually 4-5 Km outside of the City Center.
FDW no está en línea   Reply With Quote


Reply

Tags
bart, muni, sacramento, san francisco, smart

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Related topics on SkyscraperCity


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 05:11 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
Feedback Buttons provided by Advanced Post Thanks / Like (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2018 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.

vBulletin Optimisation provided by vB Optimise (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2018 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.

SkyscraperCity ☆ In Urbanity We trust ☆ about us | privacy policy | DMCA policy

tech management by Sysprosium