Monday, December 16, 2013

Tech money being used to create #publictransit apartheid in San Francisco

Dystopia by the Bay - "Here, transportation segregation is on the rise because you can’t rely on the public system. And when you put the working poor and middle class out of sight, you put them out of mind. The sleek fleet of Google-bound buses and black ├╝ber-taxis is a market response to a costly, unreliable, unpleasant transit system."

'via Blog this'

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Free parking isn't free, it's #autosprawlsubsidy

Streetsblog San Francisco: "Don’t get me wrong — the fact that private shuttles are illegally using Muni stops without paying anything for it is unjust and unsustainable, as Monday’s protestors rightly called out. But those specific problems can be addressed by devoting more curb space to transit — both public and private — the vast majority of which is currently devoted to free, subsidized personal car storage. The SFMTA’s plans to convert car parking to shuttle stops and establish a private shuttle fee system are a step in the right direction."

'via Blog this'

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Car columnist sees the need for public transit

San Jose Mercury News: "More and more car makers are equipping their cars with more electronic gadgets and gizmos than I have in my home. One recently bragged about their "5G" connectivity and how it will allow people to basically turn their car into their living room/office/entertainment room. Is this really a good thing? I don't think it is.

...All of the technology in a modern car seems to be dumbing down drivers in my opinion. We really don't need safer vehicles; we need safer drivers. I doubt that we as a society will be able to put the lid back on the Pandora's Box of technological advances, or force people who are used to texting, eating, reading, doing their hair and shaving, etc. to stop these activities on the go. So maybe, just maybe the answer is to make public, mass transit more appealing."

Monday, October 21, 2013

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Philly LB Connor Barwin Takes The Bus To Work

Connor Barwin has been known to take a direct route to opposing ball carriers.
The 27-year-old Eagles linebacker leads Philadelphia this year with three sacks. He's got a career total of 21 sacks to go along with 100 tackles.
When Barwin travels around cities, however, he doesn't always take the quickest route. Instead he opts for a more environmentally friendly one.

Barwin, who signed a six-year, $36 million contract with the Eagles during the offseason, tweeted a photo Tuesday of the public bus he rode to work. Anyone who has followed Barwin's career knows he loves to bike around cities, and he has been spotted throughout Philadelphia on his two-wheeler.  Barwin enjoys immersing himself in cities by taking public transportation.
When he played for the Houston Texans, Barwin drove a Toyota Prius to practice to practice (when he didn't take the bus, that is). Now he owns an electric-powered Tesla.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Applaud Free Public Transit Program for Children

ForceChange: "Free Muni for Youth is the result of a two-year long challenge to find funding for the program. But thanks to a million dollar grant from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, 40,000 children now have free passage to ride the city’s public transportation system. Please thank Muni for sticking by their commitment to make investments in the community’s youth."

'via Blog this'

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Wildfire enters Yosemite, threatens San Francisco water, power

REUTERS/Max Whittaker
Reuters: "The so-called Rim Fire, which had grown to just over 125,000 acres as of early Saturday, remained largely unchecked with extreme terrain hampering efforts at containment.

"We are making progress but unfortunately the steep terrain definitely has posed a major challenge," said Daniel Berlant, a spokesman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

"Today we're continuing to see warm weather that could allow this fire to continue to grow very rapidly as it has over the last several days," Berlant said."

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Subways, Strikes, and Slowdowns: The Impacts of Public Transit on Traffic Congestion

owenzidar: "Contrary to the conclusions in the existing transportation and urban economics literature, the congestion relief benefits alone may justify transit infrastructure investments. "

Sunday, August 11, 2013

The future is now for #climatechange

Effects of climate change in California are 'significant and growing' - "California is feeling the effects of climate change far and wide, as heat-trapping greenhouse gases reduce spring runoff from the Sierra Nevada, make the waters of Monterey Bay more acidic and shorten winter chill periods required to grow fruit and nuts in the Central Valley, a new report says."

'via Blog this'

Monday, July 22, 2013

Free private transit is a pain in the neck

Proposed Shuttle Bus Plan to Solve San Francisco's Public Transportation Woes | Complex: "The private buses service companies such as Yahoo!, Google, Facebook, Apple, eBay and Genentech. Complete with air conditioning and Wi-Fi, these buses regularly stop and public bus stops and block intersections, creating a nightmare for everyone except their passengers and the companies who charter them. So far, the MTA's method of dealing with the problem has been to not deal with the problem."

'via Blog this'

Friday, July 19, 2013

Car culture a financial burden on working people

Give up driving, take public transit and save money, a new report says - Vallejo Times Herald: "Goodwin said he agrees with the NRDC report. He cited a 2010 agency report indicating that Bay Area residents who fall into low- and lower middle-income categories spend 72 percent of their income on housing and transportation.

Those who earn more money spend less than half their income, or 41 percent, on those items, he added.

Another Bay Area look at the issue shows people who live in neighborhoods near public transit also spend far less on transportation, said Shannon Tracey, communications director for TransForm, an Oakland-based policy group.

"If you live in a neighborhood with the least amount of access to public transportation you are spending $5,400 more per year than someone in a household with the best transportation access," Tracey said."

'via Blog this'

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Traffic jams from BART strike prove the importance of #publictransit

BART strike: "The BART strike has paralysed commuter traffic by contributing to the largest traffic jams in the Bay area since the last BART strike in 1997."

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

BART benefits Bay Area $73M per day in worker productivity alone

Alaska Dispatch: "The San Francisco transit strike that has stranded 400,000 commuters, snarled traffic, and all but crippled remaining public transport systems this week is costing the Bay Area at least $73 million a day in lost worker productivity, economists say."

Friday, June 28, 2013

Ban on hiking at Lake Mead as #climatechange bakes the west

'It's brutal out there': Weekend heat wave to bake western US - U.S. News: "At low-lying Lake Mead, which straddles the Arizona-Nevada border and is anticipating 120 degrees this weekend, rangers are positioned at trailheads to discourage visitors from hiking.
Earlier in June, a group of Boy Scouts hiking in the Colorado River canyon fell prey to soaring heat. Four teenagers and an adult had to be rescued, while a 69-year-old Scout leader died."

Friday, June 14, 2013

Dark ice causing melting feedback loop Arctic sea ice, another key measure of global heating, is now 60 years ahead of worst-case projections from the last report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in 2007."

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

BART's first employee, former General Manager B.R. (Bill) Stokes, dies at 89 -

BART's first employee, former General Manager B.R. (Bill) Stokes, dies at 89 - "oakland -- B.R. (Bill) Stokes, the former BART general manager who is credited with propelling the financing, construction and operation of the transportation district from its origins in 1958 to 1974, died May 15 in Sammamish, Wash. He was 89."

'via Blog this'

Monday, May 6, 2013

Jerry Brown blames climate change for state's early fire season -

Jerry Brown blames climate change for state's early fire season - "SACRAMENTO -- Gov. Jerry Brown put the state’s early wildfire season in global terms Monday, saying the state would have to grow accustomed to more forest fires as a consequence of climate change."

'via Blog this'

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Cars kill. Why try to mitigate it with design? Get rid of the cars.

A wooden cross at the intersection of Clayton Road and Barbis Way in Concord memorializes the death of Jose Flores Miguel. (Adithya Sambamurthy/Center for Investigative Reporting)
KQED News Fix: "Investigators concluded that the pedestrian was at fault for walking on a “don’t walk” signal, but it is unclear if the signal changed too quickly that day because authorities don’t make full collision reports available in cases in which no charges are filed or arrests are made."

Monday, April 1, 2013

Young people "just not into" driving

NYTimes: "MADISON AVENUE and the automotive industry are fretting over a growing trend involving the important demographic group of young Americans known as millennials or Generation Y: more of them are just not that into driving, car culture or the lure of the open road."

'via Blog this'

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Failing Gracefully

Failing Gracefully: "The planet is getting hotter and more crowded, energy supplies may soon get tighter, and yet billions of people seem to want a consumer lifestyle that's completely unsustainable. Things aren't looking good."

'via Blog this'

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Berkeley, 28-March, free presentation on sustainability

HowMany - Event Calendar - Learning, Inspiring, Connecting, Helping: "March 28th, 2013, | David Brower Center, Berkeley:
Enough is Enough: Building a Sustainable Economy in a World of Finite Resources:
With so many people and such growing levels of worldwide consumption, we can not continue to measure our success by "more growth". Rob Dietz will discuss ways to limit materials and energy flows to sustainable levels, achieve a fair distribution of wealth and income, secure meaningful jobs and full employment, stabilize population by compassionate non-coercive means, and much more.
Rob Dietz will discuss this great new book. Books will be available for sale and signing.

Cost: FREE
Location: Tamalpias Room, David Brower Center, Berkeley | 2150 Allston Way, Berkeley, CA | 7:00 - 8:30pm
Info: 510-848-9062, |"

More info

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Free Muni Program for Youth Kicks Off | Mission Loc@l

Free Muni Program for Youth Kicks Off | Mission Loc@l: "Campos said that the idea of free youth passes was not an easy sell when he began pushing it a few years ago. The supervisor gave one of his aides, Sheila Chung Hagen, the credit for coming up with the concept.

“Everyone we started talking to about it at the time said, ‘This is never going to happen. You can’t be serious about this,’” Campos said Wednesday. He said that organizers had to gain support from a long list of city, county and regional government agencies in order to make the pilot program possible. Providing youth with transportation is not only about making sure that San Francisco remains affordable for families, he said, but also about “transforming how we as a city think about transportation.”"

'via Blog this'

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Two million Bay Area residents don't drive

Bay Area Transportation Advocacy | TransForm: "The Bay Area deserves a world class transportation system with fast, frequent, reliable and affordable transit and safe routes for walking and biking. Achieving a robust network of choices will ensure that the nearly two million residents who don’t drive can meet their daily needs. A cost-effective and reliable transportation system will help to keep the Bay Area affordable for working families as they’re able to put more money in the bank, not the gas tank. Quality travel options will give everyone, including people in cars, more time by reducing congestion. And, a world-class transit system will help us all breathe cleaner air and will push back on a changing climate."

'via Blog this'

Monday, January 14, 2013

California shale oil to be extracted by first injecting massive amounts of propaganda

California could be next oil boom state - Jan. 14, 2013: "In fact, the Monterey is thought to hold over 400 billion barrels of oil, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. That's nearly half the conventional oil in all of Saudi Arabia."

'via Blog this'

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Transit benefits package unexpectedly included in fiscal cliff deal Read more at the San Francisco Examiner:

Included in the package of tax increases was the restoration of a commuter benefits program that allows workers to pay for up to $240 of their monthly transit costs with pre-tax dollars. Transit passengers could exempt up to $1,500 of their annual commute costs from taxes as a result of the legislation.

Read more at the San Francisco Examiner:

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

We have ignored the laws of physics and are in free-fall - Mandy Meikle

The economics of oil dependence: a glass ceiling to recovery | the new economics foundation:
comment by Mandy Meikle
The best analogy I've heard for our current reality is that of Wile E. Coyote flapping his arms, hoping for flight, long after having run off the edge of the cliff. His look of bemusement at being unable to break the laws of physics is a key part of the analogy for me.

Fossil fuels are a vast, one-off bank of energy which we have drained in the pursuit of industrial capitalism. In just 15 decades, we've gone from an abundance of cheap and easy shallow onshore reserves of good quality oil to kidding ourselves that tar sand oil and shale gas are just the same as conventional oil & gas. Flap! The energy bank is now struggling to pay out what we require to keep growth economics growing. Flap, flap! We refuse to reduce energy demand (for that's what's needed, not just reducing carbon emissions) and we carry on hoping for some technological breakthrough. But technology uses energy, it doesn't create it. Uh-oh! All renewable devices have a fossil fuel input and it doesn't take a mathematical genius to know that biofuels grown today can never release an amount of energy comparable to that contained within fossil fuels, which took millions of years to form. At this point, Coyote waves solemnly and plummets.

So I think we are in freefall, just beginning to wonder if the environmentalists might be onto something. Unlike Coyote, we can make the landing softer - IF we accept the laws of physics and work to change how we live. A shock can sometimes bring us to our senses but I fear we may hit the ground first.