Muni Proposes Cash Fare Increase
On April 5 the Municipal Transportation Agency proposed a 25-cent fare increase to Muni riders who pay in cash. If the MTA budget is approved by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, Muni’s fare surcharge will take effect Jan. 1, 2017, according to SFgate.
The SFgate reported that the MTA’s transportation director Ed Reisken said the reason for the 25-cent increase would be to convince more riders to use Clipper or a Muni fare app, which he stated would cut Muni’s boarding times and costs.
“A” Fast Passes that grant people access to both Muni and BART will pay an additional $5 a month, raising their costs to $88.
Fare costs for youths and seniors are also planned to rise from 75 cents to over a dollar.
Survey Shows Support For Police Tasers
The San Francisco Police Officers Association (SFPOA) released survey results on April 6 revealing that 68 percent of San Franciscans favored having their police officers armed with tasers. ABC 7 News reported that only 70 voters said they opposed tasers, while 90 stated they weren’t sure in the 500-person survey.
Two of the SFPD’s seven police commissioners have spoken out against tasers, saying their use could result in medical emergencies or death. Chief Greg Suhr proposed only certain officers such as the tactical unit should have access to tasers for the time being.
One of the issues regarding arming all officers with tasers is the cost to do so.
“When it comes to saving a life, what’s the cost to a human life in the city?” SFPOA President Martin Halloran said.
ABC 7 news said police commissioners are scheduled to discuss the implementation of tasers Wednesday night.
CSU and Faculty Reach Labor Agreement
The California State University (CSU) system and its faculty reached a tentative agreement on April 8 after months of gridlocked labor negotiations.
The San Francisco Chronicle reported that CSU faculty will receive pay raises of 10.85 percent or 13.8 percent, depending on longevity.
The agreement still needs to be ratified by the teacher’s union and the university system, but succeeds in avoiding the five-day strike planned to begin the following week on April 11. The strike would have devastated the 23 campuses across the state serving approximately 473,000 students.
The Chronicle reported that a neutral fact-finding report found CSU faculty were entitled to a larger salary raise than the 2 percent CSU officials were initially offering. The new deal will run the university system $200 million over the next three years.
SFMTA to Enforce Parking Meters on Sundays
Parking meters are to be enforced on Sundays from noon to 6 p.m. next to West Portal neighborhood stores due to drivers’ prolonged parking.
The San Francisco Examiner reported that many believe the new policy will cause people to shop in other stores that provide free parking lots such as Serramonte Mall and Stonestown Galleria.
San Francisco Transportation Agency (SFMTA) director Ed Reiskin said that parking meters will start to be enforced because over 75 percent of the stores nearby are open on Sundays. “The city” parking meter policies were stated in the 1950s, when most of the stores were closed on Sundays.
According to The Examiner, the SFMTA is currently experiencing a two-year shortfall budget of $53.2 million. Sunday parking will help them obtain $2.5 million in income annually.
Bart On its Way to Replace Older Cars
Bart released its new train car at the Hayward railroad on Thursday with modernized features. The new fleet of cars promise improved passenger comfort over the previous ones.
Seats are designed for lumbar support and positioned higher for extra luggage space.
Video screens projecting the Bart maps system have been installed to help passengers to feel more oriented and have a better sense of their route and where they are. Surveillance cameras have also been installed and placed on Plexiglas bubbles near the door to provide more security for passengers while they travel to their destinations.
The car is also being equipped with a bike rack. Bart officials have said that the rides will also be much quieter since the doors seal more tightly.
“It’s a big improvement, the first big change to BART cars since 1972,” Director Zakhary Mallett said, referring to the year the transit agency started running trains. According to the SF Gate, sixty cars are expected to be in service by 2017, and 775 cars by 2021.
Two and a half billion dollars were needed to expand and replace BART car fleet with the total of 664 cars.
Uber Settles in Background Check Lawsuit
Uber agreed to pay $25 million to resolve a lawsuit filed in 2014 by San Francisco and Los Angeles city officials.
According to the S F Gate, District Attorney George Gascón found that 25 Uber drivers carried criminal backgrounds as burglars, sex offenders, identity thieves kidnappers, and there was even a murderer.
“The result we achieved today goes well beyond its impact on Uber,” Gascón said. “It sends a clear message to all businesses and to startups in particular that in the quest to quickly obtain market share, laws designed to protect consumers cannot be ignored.”
Uber allegedly misled customers about safety and will have to pay $10 million within 60 days. The remaining $15 million could possibly be waived if the company follows all settlement agreements.
Uber has now been granted permission to operate in three major Bay Area airports, including San Francisco International Airport and the Los Angeles International airport.