transportation | KALW


Maria J. Avila / Courtesy of BART

BART Government and Community Relations Department Director Rodd Lee had some news at Thursday’s BART Board meeting: “We plan to add 20 new crisis intervention specialists.”

Flickr User Albert / Creative Commons

This is a 2-minute summary of what’s on the ballot. Click here to listen to them all.

EDITOR'S NOTE: A previous version of this story contained errors that have been corrected. It incorrectly stated that "Measure RR would add a 0.125% sales tax on Caltrain fares for the next 30 years." This has been corrected to say the 0.125% increase is a general sales tax increase in three Bay Area counties, not just an increase in tax on Caltrain fares.

Joe Moore / Creative Commons

Muni trains in San Francisco will start running again this Saturday with significant changes. Advocates for the disabled say that the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency hasn’t done enough to accommodate them.

Jenny G. Shao / KALW

The pandemic has forced public transportation to adjust. Now, riders are asking, is it safe to use public transportation during a public health crisis? In this installment of The Essentials, meet Phaethon Brown. He oversees day-day operations at BART in the East Bay. 

Drivers crossing Bay Area bridges without paying tolls have collectively racked up a $16 million dollar bill, over the past few months. How did that number get so high?

Thomas Scott / AC Transit

On Sunday, AC Transit launched the new Tempo line along the International Avenue corridor. Tempo is the Bay Area’s second bus rapid transit line or BRT. It features bus-only lanes and new technology to bypass most traffic signals. That’s why it’s ‘rapid’.


iStock/Andrei Stanescu

“Is it safe to take the bus?” That’s the question on people’s minds as we enter into the seventh month of the pandemic in the Bay Area. With ridership down, revenue across all Bay Area transit agencies has taken a huge hit that they may never recover from. Host Ethan Elkind talks to Jeff Tumlin, the director of the San Francisco Municipal Transit Agency, about how MUNI is coping with all of these changes and planning for the future.

Tracking Down A Mysterious Hum In San Francisco

Jul 16, 2020
Nikolas Harter / KALW

Recently, reporter Nikolas Harter heard an eerie hum floating through his neighborhood. He hopped on his bike and journeyed out with his recorder to discover why the north side of San Francisco is suddenly being bathed in mysterious ethereal tones. 

Click the play button to listen to the story.

Wikimedia Commons

Transportation authorities in the Bay Area have been facing low ridership and higher cleaning costs since the pandemic began. 

Tony Webster / Public Domain


A state appeals court sided with the Bay Area Toll authority, Monday, to increase Bay Area bridge tolls by $3 over 6 years.

torbakhopper / Flickr Creative Commons

Muni tweeted, Tuesday, that it wouldn’t carry officers to demonstrations protesting police brutality anymore. The police union tweeted back, telling Muni officials “to lose our number” and to look elsewhere for help when it comes to fare evasion and removing unwanted passengers. So San Francisco agencies — let’s settle down and figure out what you can actually do here.

Uber Laying Off 3,700 Employees

May 6, 2020
Richard Drew / Associated Press

Ride hailing company Uber is announcing a significant reduction in its workforce today.

Jenee Darden / KALW

Oakland is continuing to close off 74 miles of roads through their Slow Streets Initiative. The closures are supposed to give Oaklanders more safe, outdoor space while we shelter in place. But some residents in East Oakland aren’t open to the idea.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency is stripping down its MUNI bus service to just 17 lines it deems essential for workers to get across the city.

Phil Dokas / Flickr


In San Francisco, all MUNI train lines will shut down starting today, with no current plans for them to reopen.

Jonathan Hawkins / Flickr Creative Commons

Hey Area is where we find answers to questions you ask. Adam Incera recently visited San Francisco from New York and wanted to know: Why does the Bay Area have so many transit systems?

Ben Margot / AP


Several changes are happening with Bart today. A new program called Bart ambassadors will go into effect, as well as a number of schedule adjustments.

David Monniaux / Wikimedia Commons, used under CC BY-SA 3.0 / cropped

Hey Area is where we find answers to questions you ask. David Shayer wanted to know, “Why is highway 101 plastered with billboards, while highway 280, a few miles west, has no billboards? I hate billboards, I would cut them all down if I could!”


San Francisco banned private cars from a major section of Market Street yesterday. It’s the first step in a plan to make the area safer for pedestrians and bicyclists.

Ariella Markowitz / KALW

If you live in West Oakland, you’re more likely to visit the emergency room for a respiratory illness than anywhere else in the Bay Area. The culprit is diesel pollution, and heavy-duty trucks are a big part of the problem. Now, truckers like Bill Aboudi are going to be part of the solution.

Alfonso Jimenez / Flikr Creative Commons

Every 15 hours, someone is taken to the San Francisco General Hospital after being hit by a car. That’s according to San Francisco Chronicle Reporter Heather Knight.

Jenee Darden / KALW

This past spring, Alma Vasquez Garcia and her son Angel were killed by a car while crossing the street in East Oakland. Family Laundry honored the victims in a ceremony where City of Oakland representatives made a big announcement.

Porfirio Rangel / KALW

If you take BART often, your ride has probably been interrupted by folks playing instruments, rapping, dancing — or all of the above. This month, BART’s Board of Directors will be considering a ban on aggressive panhandling, which might effectively put an end to busking on board.

AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File

  On this edition of Your Call’s One Planet Series, we are talking with two experts about the progress and challenges of electric vehicles. More people are buying electric vehicles these days. EVs are much more affordable than just a few years ago, with more models on the way, and they can greatly reduce pollution and address climate change. But challenges remain for EV adoption. 

Jocelyn Tabancay / KALW

Chinatown’s political powerhouse Rose Pak has been dead for three years, but that hasn’t stopped her from causing controversy. San Francisco Municipal Transit Agency named the new Muni station in Chinatown after her but not everyone is behind the decision.

Jenee Darden / KALW

A real estate company recently proposed a big development plan for Alameda South Shore Center. It has residents talking about the need for more housing, potential traffic problems and future of the island’s culture. 

Courtesy of Market Street Railway Archives

San Francisco’s oldest working streetcar is a survivor. Car 578, sometimes called “The Dinky,” has a Cinderella story. Once the laughingstock of the fleet, it went on to inspire Muni’s collection of historic cars. 

Alice Woelfle / KALW


Hey Area is where we find answers to questions you ask. Jonathan Davis wanted to know why Amtrak drivers blare their horns so loudly in the middle of the night as they pass through the East Bay.

Eli Wirtschafter / KALW

Tomorrow night, the Warriors will play their last game in Oakland. When the team leaves the Coliseum, they’ll leave behind a stadium that’s ideal for public transit riders. 

Eli Wirtschafter / KALW

On April 13, a Mercedes slammed into a family crossing the street in East Oakland. A 6-year-old and his mother were both killed. Another family member was critically injured. Foothill Boulevard, where it happened, is one of Oakland’s most dangerous streets for pedestrians.