Skip to content.

City and County of San Francisco
Municipal Transportation Agency
Citizens’ Advisory Council (MTA CAC)

Regular Meeting

Thursday, May 3, 2007, at 5:30 p.m.
1 South Van Ness Avenue, Conference Room 3074
San Francisco, California

1. Call to Order / Roll Call
Chairman Murphy called the meeting to order at 5:37 p.m.
A quorum was present including the following:

MTA CAC Members Present at Roll Call: Daniel Murphy (Chair), Steve Ferrario (Vice Chair), Mary Burns, Art Cimento, Joan Downey, Emily Drennen, Griffith Humphrey, Bruce Oka, and Jamison Wieser.

MTA CAC Members Present, but absent at Roll Call: Cesar Perez (Arrived at 5:40 p.m.), and Daniel Weaver (Arrived at 5:39 p.m.).

MTA CAC Absent: Sue Cauthen, Norman Rolfe, and Dorris Vincent.

MTA Staff (San Francisco Municipal Railway [MUNI] and Department of Parking and Traffic [DPT]) Present: Ken McDonald (MUNI General Manager – Operations), Bond Yee (MTA Director of Parking and Traffic), Marisa Espinosa (MTA Manager, Strategic Policy Initiatives), Peter Straus (MTA- Planning), and Debra Reed (MTA CAC Secretary).

Community Representatives Present: Edward Mason, and Greg Dewar with N Judah Chronicles

2. Adopt the MTA CAC Minutes of April 5, 2007:

MTA CAC minutes for April were adopted.

3. Public Comment – Concerning any issue within the jurisdiction of the Council and not noted on the agenda:

Greg Dewar, author of ( invited citizens to visit his site, read his blog and encouraged participation with comments and discussions.

Edward Mason commented regarding Embarcadero shuttle service.

4. Report of the Chair: Daniel Murphy (MTA CAC Chair)

¨ Sue Cauthen resigned as a CAC council member. She was Supervisor Peskin’s appointee.

¨ Bruce Oka has been looking for a CAC council member to replace him as chair of the PMC subcommittee.

¨ Mr. Murphy congratulated Debbie W. Denison on her retirement and thanked her for working closely with the CAC over the years.

5. Staff Report: Marisa Espinosa

Ms. Espinosa distributed and reviewed April’s staff report.

Staff-Initiated Items

6. T-Third integration into the Metro system (Discussion/Action) Kenneth McDonald

Mr. McDonald reviewed the eroding effect of major cuts along with attrition to the MTA workforce in supervision, operators, and non-platform staff since 2002. Hiring freezes has also impacted the workforce including maintenance.

Many of the problems with delays were not anticipated. With the integration of the T-Third line, the former 70 rail cars operating in the Metro system was increased to 79 rail cars. However, any dwell time more than 60 seconds can result in a domino effect throughout our single-track system. It was found that the average dwell time for rail cars of 1 ½ to 2 minute unfortunately cascaded across the system resulting in 30 to 45 minutes delays.

Solutions to resolve customer impact:

¨ Maintain enough operators at the Embarcadero to turn rail cars around and maintain a dwell time no longer than 50 to 60 seconds max.

¨ Patrol officers placed at 4th and King Streets to monitor and increase the flow of vehicle and pedestrian traffic manually and automatically through the intersection, a point for the J-Church and T-Third lines as well as the Caltrain Station location.

¨ 8-week training accelerated to produce 15 operators every 6-weeks.

¨ Reduce absenteeism.

The goal is to increase the 79 rail cars to 119 running rail cars in order to reduce overcrowding. The MTA is continually looking at more solutions.

Questions and Comments from the CAC

Dan Murphy:

Mr. Murphy listed ongoing problems before the advent of T-Third trains including frequently interrupted J-Church trips due to line reassignment, unusually long waits for an N-Judah while many half-empty M-Ocean trains went by even though senior staff was reportedly at Embarcadero re-sequencing trains, and monitoring bunching. Response: While there are re-sequencing of Js, Ts, Ls single rail cars, there are no second tracks in the Metro underground to hold rail cars in order to redistribute rail cars.

Was it already known before the T-Third integration that there would not be enough operators for a successful opening? Response: No, the schedules looked good. However, there T-Third training and GSU (General Sign Up) training for drivers posed an unexpected challenge.

To reduce the total number of rail cars for the subway’s capacity to handle a certain number of rail cars per hour and in view of the availability of operators, Mr. Murphy heard a discussion of combining the T-Third and the K-Ingleside lines into one route. Response: Mr. McDonald would like to try a pilot to see if this would work, as well as other pilots. Changes and schedules would have to work with available resources.

Steve Ferrario:

The hiring policy during the 1960s that allow a new hire to choose between driving rail or driving buses seemed more reasonable than the present hiring policy that requires at least 3 years minimum of bus driving experience before being considered for rail. Response: The 3-year experience requirement was a union issue and part of contract negotiations involving seniority.

Mr. Ferrario also noted that ballgame bound trains are often held at Embarcadero. Even though this practice allows the boarding of more baseball fans, it has the unintended consequence of holding up the entire subway. Response: Mr. McDonald will investigate.

Dan Weaver:

Mr. Weaver commented that drivers were being taken from the K line to be used on the J line, which biases the J-Church line experiment. Response: Drivers are balanced across the system. Mr. McDonald will be writing a letter to extend the J-Church experiment.

The previous signage system was much better that the new one. Maps are inconsistent from station to station.

Emily Drennen:

In view of the 5 to 10 minutes to get through some intersections, had Transit Preferential Signals (TPS) been activated on the T line? Response: Ball game congestion and a lot of trains can cause these delays, however TPS was activated. Mr. Bond Yee added that there had been recent monitoring and adjustments to the system. TPS at 4th and King Streets works differently for turning T rail cars versus the straight path J rail cars moving across. These operating within their phase to move with the switching built into the design for safety purposes.

Jamison Wieser:

Mr. Wieser asked if the 4 patrolling officers at 4th and King Streets during peak hours could assist. Response: Mr. Yee pointed out that traffic comes from 4 different directions. Mr. McDonald added that the train tracks are aligned as part of the signaling system. If the alignment is for a turn, the train could not go straight because that would result in a derailment. The same holds true for turns made on a straight alignment. The driver must work with the alignment built into the system rather than following the directions of patrolling officers in order to avoid derailments.

Mr. Wieser reported an out-of-service train that was stuck during the attempt to turn it around, which resulted in blocking traffic at 4th and King Streets. Response: Mr. McDonald reported that he has directed that rail cars should be turned around at 6th Street and that rail cars should not be turned around at the intersection of 4th and King Streets.

Announcements in subways are giving out incorrect train designation announcements.

Mary Burns:

Ms. Burns commented that while she has often witnessed re-sequencing of trains at West Portal, she had not seen re-sequencing at the Embarcadero. Trains were more crowded than ever.

Joan Downey:

Ms. Downey commented seeing 5 trains lined up along the ocean up to 44th Avenue, yet the service is terrible on the N-Judah. What happen to street supervision?

On a ballgame day Ms. Downey experienced seeing senior staff at the Embarcadero, but between the Embarcadero and Van Ness Avenue the monitor displayed 2 double J-Churches and 3 single J-Churches heading inbound and 3 J-Churches outbound. Response: Peter Straus said that there was a software problem that needed to be resolved in that the monitors identified ballpark S-Shuttles as J rail cars.

Public Comments

Edward Mason

Mr. Mason reported subway announcements giving incorrect train designation announcements.

The wall sign on the inbound trackside at the Embarcadero station that indicated the J and T lines to the ballpark should also list the S-Shuttle and Events trains.

Greg Dewar

Mr. Dewar, the author of the N-Judah Chronicles, received several E-mail about trains frequently being redirected without warning to riders. With these short turns, riders were being disembarked between 17th and 21st streets (avenues), a great disservice to senior and disabled patrons.

7. Strategic Plan (Discussion/Action) Marisa Espinosa

Item will be continued to the June 7th CAC meeting.

Council-Initiated Items

8. Committee Reports:

See items 9, 10, and 11

9. Recommendation from a CAC Committee (Discussion/Action)
Planning & Marketing Committee (PMC)

Motion 070416.02: WHEREAS, April 1st marked the 25th year that users of Muni’s Senior, Youth, and Disabled fast passes have advocated for the same intra – San Francisco BART access that Adult fast pass users have enjoyed for 25 years,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT the MTA CAC urges the MTA to fully implement intra-San Francisco BART access to all Muni fast pass users by the start of the 07-08 fiscal year; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT the MTA CAC urges the MTA to adopt the most rider-friendly implementation plan possible; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT the MTA CAC urges the MTA to aggressively negotiate a lower reimbursement rate than what BART currently charges its discount patrons; and to secure an agreement with BART that includes all of our youth and any new discount fast pass program for youth.

CAC passed (Ayes – Murphy (Chair), Ferrario (Vice Chair), Burns, Cimento, Downey, Drennen, Humphrey, Perez, Weaver, and Jamison Wieser).

(Nay – Bruce Oka)

Discussion: Mr. Oka pointed out that BART identified youth as under age 12, whereas all other transit agencies identified youth as under age 18. Until BART redefines its own definition, he felt that BART would continue its refusal to honor any request to expand its discount agreement that would include youth. Presently discounts are available with the full-priced adult pass only. Mr. Oka felt that the recommendation would be more successful with the request to include the discounted senior and disabled passes only and that youth passes should be separated out on its own recommendation, otherwise the recommendation would continue unproductive. Ms. Downey felt that the recommendation seemed to allow the MTA flexibility during its negotiations with BART to ask for discounts for all three passes, and on the other hand should BART continue its refusal to accept discounts for youth passes, then the exclusion of youth passes would be optional.

10. Recommendation from a CAC Committee (Discussion/Action)
Operations and Customer Service Committee (OCSC)

Motion 070416.03: The MTA CAC recommends that when Muni service is temporarily rerouted that the Agency provide frequent and consistent communication to the public, adequate and consistent signage, and communicate service changes, providing maps to all operators, especially on nearby lines, and that signage be multi-lingual and include maps wherever feasible.

The MTA CAC further recommends that the Agency endeavor to keep substitution plans consistent and not alter them further after communication to the public has begun.

The MTA CAC recommends that after major re-routes of substitution of service the Agency conduct “lessons learned” sessions.

CAC passed unanimously (Ayes –Murphy (Chair), Ferrario (Vice Chair), Burns, Cimento, Downey, Drennen, Humphrey, Oka, Perez, Weaver, and Jamison Wieser).

11. Recommendation from a CAC Committee (Discussion/Action)
Finance and Administration Committee (FAC)

Motion 070418.04: The MTA CAC recommends that the MTA simplify its fare structure, reducing the number of fare instruments and providing simplified and consistent fare instrument terminology.

CAC passed unanimously (Ayes –Murphy (Chair), Ferrario (Vice Chair), Burns, Cimento, Downey, Drennen, Humphrey, Oka, Perez, Weaver, and Jamison Wieser).

12. Council Members Questions and Comments:

Steve Ferrario was reappointed to the EMSC committee

13. Agenda Planning for the Next CAC Meeting:

Thursday, June 7, 2007, 5:30pm, 1 South Van Ness Avenue,

Conference Room 3074

14. Adjournment: 7:55 p.m.

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

Accessible meeting policy – One South Van Ness Avenue

telephone311 Free language assistance / 免費語言協助 / Ayuda gratuita con el idioma / Бесплатная помощь переводчиков / Trợ giúp Thông dịch Miễn phí / Assistance linguistique gratuite / 無料の言語支援 / 무료 언어 지원 / Libreng tulong para sa wikang Tagalog / คว“มช่วยเหลือท“งภ“ษ“โดยไม่เส’ยค่าใช้จ่าย


©2000-2013 San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency. All rights reserved.