Eli Wirtschafter | KALW

Eli Wirtschafter

Reporter

Eli covers transportation for Crosscurrents. He bikes, takes public transit, and doesn't own a car. He's lived in the East Bay since he was seven.

Eli is also a producer and editor for KALW News. He leads KALW's program at Solano State Prison, where inmates record and edit interviews on the inside.

Eli learned how to make radio in KALW's Audio Academy, and is now a mentor in the program. He's a past intern with KQED News and The California Report.

Eli Wirtschafter / KALW News

Proposition 6 would repeal the gas tax and transportation funding package that Governor Brown signed last year. That could put money back in your pocket at the pump, but take money out of roads and transit.

Creative Commons. By Tobias Kleinlercher. Resized.

Alright, let’s say you are a paramedic and you work for an ambulance company. When you take a lunch break, are you still on-call? Can your company make you respond to an emergency?

 

That’s the question being considered in Proposition 11.

 

Creative Commons. Cropped.

Proposition 6 is all about repealing the new gas tax, and making it harder to raise gas taxes in the future.

Eli Wirtschafter / KALW News

The dockless electric scooters that appeared on the streets of Oakland a few months ago quickly become a popular form of transportation. Now, officials are creating a permits to allow them to stay in Oakland. But companies have to meet certain requirements: like offering a low-income membership for just five dollars a year.

Selena Wilson

In the spring of 2018, KALW and East Oakland Youth Development Center teamed up to present a series of audio storytelling workshops for East Oakland youth. Taught by KALW reporter Eli Wirtschafter and Snap Judgment producer Adizah Eghan, the students learned the basics of audio storytelling and created their own pieces, which you can listen to below.

 

How a chance encounter inspired Oral Lee Brown to give back

Eli Wirtschafter / KALW News

The California Global Youth Peace Summit brings together immigrants, refugees, and US-born youth for a week of community-building and reflection.

Eli Wirtschafter / KALW News

The new Transbay Transit Center opens next month in San Francisco. It’s meant to connect buses from the East Bay with MUNI, Caltrain, and High-Speed Rail. The only problem? The tunnel connecting Caltrain to the transit center hasn’t been built yet. The tunnel will be less than miles long, but building it will cost $4 billion dollars, on top of the $2.2 billion already spent on the transit center.

Eli Wirtschafter

Last December, James Smith’s car was towed as a consequence of unpaid parking violations. Smith was homeless, and the car was his only shelter. Now, Smith filing suit against San Francisco, arguing that towing for debt-collection is unconstitutional.

Ninna Gaensler-Debs / KALW News

Since 2013, KALW News producers have been going into San Quentin State Prison to train incarcerated men to be radio reporters. We air the stories they produce there as San Quentin Radio.

Eli Wirtschafter

 

Oakland resident Shaniesa Williams wrote to Hey Area — KALW’s community-journalism project — to ask why there are so few traffic signals on International Boulevard.

Frank Schulenburg / WikiMedia Commons

Regional Measure 3 would increase the tolls on all Bay Area bridges — except the Golden Gate.

Under this plan, the tolls at every bridge would go up by $3 over the next seven years. So if you’re used to paying $6 to cross the Bay Bridge during rush hour — surprise! Next year it would cost $7. And by 2025 — $9.

Tewy / Wikimedia Commons

 

California’s Proposition 69 is concerned with fuel taxes and transportation.

Last year California’s state legislature voted to raise the gas tax, the diesel tax, and vehicle registration fees.

The bill they passed said that all $52 billion of revenue would go to transportation projects — like road repair and public transit.

Joshua Wirtschafter

In late March, little electric scooters started popping up all over San Francisco. So far the scooter companies have been operating without any kind of permit, but that could change soon.

Eli Wirtschafter / KALW News

 

A massive, multi-year transit project is transforming International Boulevard in Oakland — and financial aid for local businesses affected by the project is tangled up in red tape.

 

Eli Wirtschafter

Activist Lateefah Simon ran for the BART Board of Directors, and won, in part because of the killing of Oscar Grant. She’s now helping the agency navigate troubled waters following the killing by BART police of another young, unarmed black man — Sahleem Tindle.

Wikimedia user Dllu, used under CC-BY)z

Eight years ago, there was no such thing as Uber or Lyft. Taxis were around, but they only made around one percent of all vehicle trips in San Francisco. Fast forward to now, and ride hailing companies make up around 15 percent of all trips that start and end within the city — an estimated 170,000 rides per day.

Photo credit: Eli Wirtschafter / KALW News

 

San Francisco has made a sweeping change in how much it costs to park in the city.

Eli Wirtschafter

San Francisco has helped lead a nationwide trend of using the space by the curb for things besides parking — such as restaurant seating, extra sidewalk space, and bike-share stations. You can see all that happening at once on a single narrow, crowded street: Valencia, in the Mission. The curb space there is precious. But could you put a price tag on it?

Eli Wirtschafter

What if a bicyclist could turn a traffic light from red to green — just by having the right app in their pocket? Or what if a driverless car could take you to the hospital?

Eli Wirtschafter

Zipcar. Ford GoBikes. Scoot. Shared vehicles are multiplying like rabbits in the Bay Area. Just this month, a company called JUMP rolled its electric bikes onto San Francisco streets.

Tess Dixon / Flickr/Creative Commons

 

The tolls for driving on Bay Area bridges could go up by three dollars in the coming years. On Wednesday the Bay Area Toll Authority approved the increase, meaning it will go before Bay Area voters in June.

Eli Wirtschafter

 

On January 1, it becomes legal to sell recreational marijuana in California. But the laws about driving impaired by the drug remain hazy. You can’t drive “under the influence.” So how much influence is too much? An emerging industry is trying to solve that problem.