Our City’s transportation network has suffered from neglect, antiquation, and largely unregulated new Uber-competition for Lyfts around town. To my mind, this is what cronyism in an era of unfettered capitalism looks like. Gridlock, a mess, relentless competition for precious parking, hulking luxury buses and vans, overfunded electric bike and scooter startups along with shoddy private construction of overpriced concrete road hazards, crazy-colored street paint distractions, and MUNI route eliminations and changes that put local business out of business or at risk for being so. It sometimes seems as if SFMTA is driverless.
I would propose that the Transportation Commission be taken out of the Mayor’s hands, that so-called disruptive industries that ply their business on public roads be tightly regulated or banned, and that we reinvest the taxes, tickets, and bonds we’ve paid for (and will pay for) in good jobs for mechanics and drivers and in maintenance of our public transit system. I
If we are to be a Transit First City, that’s what it’ll take.
Uber and Left are not software purveyors, they’re fake taxi companies bent on putting real taxi companies out of business. As a Charter City, San Francisco needs to assert itself as such and do as other cities have done and move to ban these companies. After doing so, and taking their 40,000 cars daily off the streets, our mass transit will be less sluggish, we can put back the stops taken away from our trains, and reinstitute the bus lines that have been eliminated. Tech buses should pay their fair share. Our streets and sidewalks should not be cluttered by fiat of vulture capitalists with money to burn on App-happy transport appliances.
At peak commute hours, I’d suggest discounted fares to incentivize using public transit. In addition, I will advocate for putting more trains (specifically, refurbished classic streetcars) on the tracks with the ability to reroute them around the downtown tunnel on surface streets down Market. Commuters might avail themselves of the best option when going to or coming from downtown during those hours.
Also, lacking oversight, wasteful projects, some in conjunction with DPW, the Planning Dept., and the Arts Commission, might be eliminated were a thorough audit of those projects be undertaken. I would make that sort of financial analysis a priority. As taxpayers (and Parking and Traffic ticket-payers) we deserve to know how our hard-earned money is spent.