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City and County of San Francisco
Municipal Transportation Agency
Citizens’ Advisory Council

Engineering, Maintenance and Safety Committee


Wednesday, April 28, 2010, at 4:00 p.m.
1 South Van Ness Avenue, Conference Room 3075
San Francisco, California

1. Call to Order / Roll Call  
Chairman Daniel Weaver called the meeting to order at 4:04 p.m. 

EMSC Members present at Roll Call:  Steve Ferrario, Daniel Weaver and Jamison Wieser

EMSC Members absent at Roll Call:  Greg Riessen (arrived at 4:11 p.m.) and Ruth Wheeler (arrived at 4:09 p.m.)

2. Public Comment:  None

3. Adopt minutes of March 8, 2010:

On motion to approve the minutes of March 8:  unanimously adopted.
(Absent – Riessen and Wheeler)

4. Report of the Chairman:  Dan Weaver

No report.

5. Eureka Portal Project (Discussion/Action)

Kenny Ngan, project manager, Capital Programs and Construction, stated that staff expects to repair the Eureka Portal ceiling joint in June.  Staff is pursuing funding for two future projects: repairing the retaining wall inside the tunnel and constructing a vent structure near Hattie Street.

Steve Ferrario also asked about the Eureka Portal Alternatives Study. Mr. Ngan stated that the outcome of the study was inconclusive because the foundation of the steel beams was not accessible.  Staff is pursuing funding for a project to analyze the condition of the H-pile beams and the foundation.

Mr. Ferrario stated that the Automatic Train Control System (ATCS) loop wire was not functional and therefore should be removed. Mr. Ngan stated that the ATCS was not within his purview, but he would refer the matter to the Job Order Contract group.

6. LRV Procurement (Discussion/Action)

Jim Kelly, senior operations manager, Central Control, Transit, stated that an ideal procurement program would be to replace cars yearly.  The terrain, vehicle turn radius, mixture of high and low platforms, etc., pose challenges for stock trains.  Standard vehicles are preferred over custom built cars.  Currently, staff is not working on LRV procurement.  The current LRV fleet is adequate to include service for the Central Subway.  He stated that Julie Kirschbaum, manager, Service Planning, Transit, could provide information about advantages and disadvantages of using high or low-floor platforms. 

Jamison Wieser stated that the Short Range Transit Plan reported three procurements to expand the current fleet, including four additional trains for the Central Subway.  The SFMTA infrastructure has 42 high-floor platforms.  Central Subway would add four stations with high-floor platforms.  Restoring the J Line to an all surface operation with low platforms using low floor vehicles would increase tunnel capacity. 

Steve Ferrario stated that the Duboce, Church and Market streets project passed up the opportunity to add a turn at Market and Church streets.  He favors low-floor vehicles to serve a J Line surface operation and for the Central Subway/T Third Street service.  The current fleet of LRVs could be committed to K, L and M line operations.  Restoring pantograph capability along Market Street would allow surface operations in case of a catastrophic event.  An independent comprehensive study is needed.

Elson Hao, principal engineer, Operations Engineering, Transit, stated that, from a maintenance perspective, low-floor cars require less maintenance.  Rail routes that require frequent stops exacerbate maintenance problems.

Greg Riessen asked about purchasing trains with functioning windows.  Mr. Kelly stated that functional windows posed a safety hazard in tunnels. 

Chairman Weaver asked about vehicle repairs.  Mr. Kelly stated that some of the wrecks are going out for rehabilitation.  Cars are returned for service within four months to one year.  The Muni Metro East facility repairs two to four trains per day.  Cars with bent frames are being repaired in-house.  Cars are breaking down at a faster rate due to age.  Truck overhauls are being coordinated through Breda.  Rehabilitation is cheaper than purchasing cars.

7. The Hunters Point Shipyard Phase II (Discussion/Action)

Peter Albert, deputy director, Economic Development, Long Range Planning, Sustainable Streets, stated that the Hunters Point Shipyard Phase II Project was presented to the SFMTA Board of Directors, the Redevelopment Commission, the Planning Commission, the Land Use Committee of the Board of Supervisors, and various other commissions.  In June, there will be a joint hearing with the Redevelopment Agency and the Planning Commission.  The Redevelopment Agency will review individual permits.  The SFMTA is working with city departments and the City Attorney to dedicate the revenue to fund the SFMTA transportation aspect of the project. 

There has been over 15 years of community planning in Hunters Point.  A policy advisory committee and a citizens’ advisory committee have been established.  Proposition G envisioned a stadium with a non-stadium alternative and a mixed-use development for residential and commercial growth, park improvements, a hotel and a retail-entertainment complex.

A Yosemite Slough Bridge will be constructed that will connect Candlestick Point to the Bay Trail.  This public passage will be limited to pedestrians and bikes except on game days when automobile use will be permitted in order to ease traffic congestion through burdened neighborhoods. 

A sea-rise bearing wall and dikes will be constructed to protect buses from rising water.  Harney Way could be upgraded to be rail ready.   

The Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report is expected to be certified by the City in June.  Coordination, capital and operating planning will be needed. 

Ruth Wheeler asked about the rail ready strategy.  Mr. Albert stated that staff proposed to build a spur from the T Third Street Line to Balboa Park.  The city of Brisbane has expressed interest in renting Muni service and building an easement for light rail.  The surface grades at the BART station and Mission and Geneva streets will pose some challenges.

8. Committee Members’ Questions/Information Requests (Discussion) 

9. Schedule Upcoming Meetings and Agenda Items (Discussion/Action)

Next regular meeting:  May 26, 2010, at 1 South Van Ness Avenue, Conference Room 3075, at 4:00 p.m.

10. Adjournment:  The meeting was adjourned at 6:15 p.m.

Respectfully submitted by:
Debra J. Reed
SFMTA CAC - Secretary

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