The SFMTA and What to Do About It: Excerpts from Letter sent to Marc Salomon

Excerpts from Letter sent to Marc Salomon on May 9, 2019

Subject: The SFMTA and What to Do About It

Dear Marc,

Your article in today’s Examiner about the SFMTA’s change of leadership was most welcome because the questions you raised demonstrate that the usual response to agency dysfunction; namely, replacing the top guy, and sometimes adding money, isn’t enough. For over two years the Transportation Alliance of San Francisco (TAOSF) and BATWG have been pointing out that:

a.) the Director of the SFMTA was spread too thin, partly but not entirely because of his tendency to give too much priority to peripheral issues rather than to the main objective of optimizing San Francisco’s collective means of travel, easing congestion and effectively managing SFMTA contracts, Continue reading

Optimizing the Use of Both Passenger Trains and Bicycles

To: Theresa MacMillan

Executive Director, Metropolitan Transportation Commission

Re: Bicycles on trains

The Bay Area Transportation Working Group (BATWG) supports connection to public transit by bicycle and other non-automotive means. But we also recognize that rail systems, especially, are becoming increasingly crowded throughout the entire day.

The current policy of allowing bicycles on trains reduces the space available for other riders.   BATWG suggests a number of ways to support bicycling while freeing up space on crowded trains : Continue reading

Dumbarton Rail Gets a New Look

The overloaded Dumbarton Highway Bridge extends from Newark to East Palo Alto and is a virtual parking lot during peak commute periods. AC Transit’s feeble attempt to serve transbay commuting needs by using this highway bridge for its buses is completely negated by the fact that harried AC riders get bogged down in the same often unbearable gridlock as everyone else.


To alleviate this intolerable situation, it has long been recognized that a transbay passenger rail connection across the Dumbarton Straits was necessary. Such a crossing would run via a restored or rebuilt Dumbarton rail bridge between Redwood City and Union City. Continue reading

Capacity on Muni Cars versus Capacity on the Subway Platforms

SFE-SubwayDelaysThis letter was featured in the the SF Examiner on March 7, 2019

The SFMTA’s incoming LRV fleet of new Siemens cars clearly represents a major step forward. However two aspects of the situation are of concern.

First, it appears that someone thinks that jamming more standees into the new cars will resolve the SFMTA’s Muni Metro crowding problem. Will it?

How about the dangerous crowding that already occurs along all the downtown Muni Metro platforms because everyone is forced to one end of the station to catch his or her one and two-car “train?” (Where else do modern subways operate with trains that are only or two cars long?) Continue reading