The following is a summary of the fifteenth meeting of the SFTEP Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC) for the Transit Effectiveness Project (TEP). The meeting included a project update and a presentation of the draft Service Development Framework intended to set service levels and performance guidelines to inform TEP service recommendations. The meeting concluded with comments from the public. The agenda item to discuss the survey for seniors and people with disabilities was postponed.

 

PARTICIPANTS

CAC Members/Alternates

PUBLIC & OTHER

PROJECT TEAM

Joan Downey, SFMTA CAC

Steve Ferrario, SFMTA CAC

Brain Larkin, SFCTA CAC

Jim Lazarus, SF Chamber of Commerce

Daniel Murphy, SFMTA CAC

David Pilpel, Sierra Club

Norman Rolfe, SF Tomorrow

Dave Snyder, SPUR

Heather World, Parents for Public Schools

Carl Natvig

 

SFMTA

Julie Kirschbaum

Peter Straus

 

Controllerís Office

Liz Garcia

 

Consultant Team

Russ Chisholm,TMD

 

I.PROJECT UPDATE

 

Julie Kirschbaum provided a summary of the series of citywide public workshops held in October to share key findings and solicit structured feedback from the public to help shape draft recommendations. Data collected on Muniís weekday service bus fleet from Fall 2006 to Spring 2007 is available and posted on the SFMTA website, (see http://www.sfmta.com/cms/rtep/tepdataindx.htm).Data collected on Muni rail (light rail and historic trolley vehicles) is being processed and will be posted to this site as soon as it is available.

 

Several CAC members attended the November 15th drop-in brainstorming session led by Russ Chisholm designed to hear specific suggestions and discuss various service concepts. SFMTA staff is currently engaged in the same exercise.These sessions will contribute to the draft recommendations, to be available by February.Sharing this draft plan with internal and external stakeholders is expected to be a four- to six-month effort.

 

Julie ended the update with notice of two pilots.The SFMTA will be testing a double deck bus on select lines to determine how well it performs on busy San Francisco bus routes.The vehicle is on loan and SFMTA will cover the costs of fuel and evaluation. Riders will be able to ride for free but also will be asked to complete surveys.An all-door boarding pilot is planned for early 2008 (more details will be shared at the December meeting).

 

Comments from meeting participants and responses (R) where available:

 

C. Put out a press release when all of this data is available on the website.

C. Institutionalize this sort of data collection so that the agency has regular access to good and timely data. R: This will be built in to the TEP implementation plan.The goal is to collect data on a quarterly basis.The agency is also hiring a statistician to look at the collection methodology.

C. If the all-door boarding will only take place on a few corridors, more public education about this and more proof of payment monitors will be needed so as not to confuse riders.

C: As we are nearing the deadline for submission of the FY08-09 budget, can the full TEP plan including level of resources needed be included in time?R: The TEP work to date has been informing the FY09 budget.TEP implementation will require a scaling up of this program.

C.With stop spacing such a divisive policy issue, can more discussion take place at future CAC meetings?Perhaps by extending the regular CAC meetings by an hour?R:Perhaps the January or February meeting will be extended by an hour.

C.It would be helpful to have the policy discussion and translate those policies into actual concrete changes.For example, if the policy is a stop every 1200ft., which would disappear? Letís not argue about each stop.

C. Letís work from the existing stop-spacing policy, which already isnít being implemented.

C. The drop-in session, while helpful, would have been more productive if they had been more structured and facilitated and had forced us to think about the real tradeoffs.

C. Are we really disbanding in February? R: If a meeting in March is merited we may have another meeting.

 

II. DRAFT SERVICE DEVELOPMENT FRAMEWORK PRESENTATION

 

Russ Chisholm presented the draft framework, which matches service characteristics to markets and corridors, develops transit tiers with specific service guidelines and ultimately aims to maximize service efficiency and effectiveness.The service recommendations coming from this project will be tied to the operations plan so that recommendations are feasible.The presentation will be posted at the project website once finalized.

 

Comments from meeting participants and responses where provided (R):

 

C: Donít cut a line just because there doesnít appear to be a lot of ridership. If the line worked better more people would ride it.Donít discriminate the ďloserĒ lines.

C. Do we even know if we can increase ridership on the smaller, community lines?Will there be any return on any investment made on those lines?

C. Letís consider if these are realistic goals to reach for. Is the SFMTA really capable of implementing changes that would improve frequencies or speeds by 30%?

C.Letís take advantage of the electoral mandate for transit and the momentum to aim high.Transit-only lanes may be a challenge but we should try and then back peddle if needed.

C. Design the new system so that local buses donít get in the way of the rapid service.

C. The framework should also include guidance about facilities and boarding areas being proportionate to the number of boardings. If thousands are boarding at a particular stop, that is where the majority of investments should go. Ticket machines could be located at boarding locations of the main corridors to shorten dwell times.

C. Can the majority of our investment occur on the larger lines that most people ride?

C. Bicycle stations or bicycle parking could also be located at these stops.

C. Other innovations to add to stops include optical guidance assists.

C. At some point we should revisit the stroller policy, as it is still unclear and illogical.

C. Can schedules be posted for lines with headways of 12 or 15 minutes? Schedules arenít really needed for lines with shorter headways.

C. Peak service should always be demand based.

C. Can the next draft of the framework include what each element is trying to accomplish so that expectations are tailored?For example, the ďrapidĒ network aims to increase speed, the ďlocalĒ coverage, etc.

 

III. NEXT STEPS

 

The next CAC meeting will be held on December 13th, 2007, from 5:00-7:00pm.

 

IV. PUBLIC COMMENT

 

None.