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transportation

Joe Fitz of SF Examiner

Yesterday, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors approved a resolution to formally oppose a state bill which is being called the most controversial housing bill in decades. The Transit-Rich Housing Bonus, if passed, would force cities and counties to allow for dense and tall housing near public transit—no matter what local laws say. Here’s why San Francisco leaders are putting up such a fight against it. 

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.

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?

Photo by Joe Le Merou used under CC BY 2.0 via Flickr

  

 

On this edition of Your Call, we’ll talk about the desperation felt by drivers for taxis and companies like Uber and Lyft. The median income for these drivers is $24,000 a year. How has the explosion of these services impacted drivers?

 

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?

DonMcCullough / Flickr / Creative Commons

 

It’s 7:45 AM and I’m in the car with Albany resident Steve Shea. We’re headed from the East Bay to his office in Novato.

 

“Yeah I’ve been commuting to this job ten years now,” he says, his hands on the wheel, eyes fixed on traffic ahead.

 

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.

Eli Wirtschafter

In February of 2016, new express lanes opened on Interstate 580 near Pleasanton. These express lanes are just like carpool lanes – in most ways. They’re free for buses, motorcycles, and cars with more than one rider. But in an express lane a single driver can get in too, for a price.

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.

Julie Caine

This story originally aired in November of 2011. 

The Bay Area’s first real freeway was the 880. Completed in 1957, it connects the Port of Oakland with San Jose. Today it’s a major trucking route, and the most direct way to get to the Oakland Airport, or to a Raiders game.

Eli Wirtschafter

AC Transit is building a faster, more reliable bus line on International Boulevard in East Oakland. But some locals are worried that the project will be one more thing forcing them out of the city.

Scorched cars and free bus rides in fire's aftermath

Oct 19, 2017
Ninna Gaensler-Debs

The North Bay fires — on top of claiming lives, homes, and businesses — also claimed vehicles. Crosscurrents host Hana Baba talked with KALW's transportation reporter Eli Wirtschafter about next steps for people who lost their cars in the wildfires.

Your Call: Regulating ride-hailing

Jun 15, 2017
Used under CC by Noel Tock www.noeltock.com / Flickr

  

We’re following up on our conversation about regulating the ride-hailing industry.

Your Call: Taxi, Uber, and Lyft drivers discuss regulations

Jun 8, 2017
Used under CC by Aaron Parecki / Wikimedia Commons

  

We’ll have a conversation with ride-hailing drivers, from taxis to Uber about how the industry ought to be regulated.

Putting the art back in BART

Jun 6, 2017
Reis Thebault

Travelers at the Orinda BART station are in a hurry. They don’t seem to notice the abstract, multicolored, geometric shapes on each wall. 

Why do so many Bay Area highways have similar names? We've got Interstate 280, 580, 680 and 880 — what gives? That's the question that listener Jennifer Paulus submitted to Hey Area, KALW's collaborative reporting project. Click the player above for the answer. 

@PickerCPUC

The Environmental Protection Agency is one of the hardest-hit agencies in President Trump's preliminary budget. The blueprint slashes the EPA's budget by nearly one third.

What does Trump mean for transportation in the Bay Area?

Feb 23, 2017
Eli Wirtschafter

President Trump has promised to rebuild America’s transportation network. He’s also signed an executive order saying he’ll take away funding from sanctuary cities -- places like San Francisco and Oakland that don’t fully cooperate with federal immigration authorities.

Audrey Dilling

 

California’s high-speed rail system is the biggest infrastructure project in the state. This documentary is a deep dive into the project. We check in on what’s happening right now, what challenges the project faces, and who will be impacted by it.

Eli Wirtschafter

 

This is Part 4 of a four-part series about high-speed rail in California. Part 1: First Stop, Fresno. Part 2: Corn nuts and the bullet train. Part 3: Will the train be affordable?. Part 4: San Jose to San Francisco — easier said than done. Listen to the whole show: Inside High-Speed Rail.   

Rod Diridon Sr. says his favorite song is “Ol’ Man River.”

The song is “about persevering against great odds, when the deck was stacked against you,” says the former Santa Clara County supervisor. “And wanting to be like that old man river that just keeps rolling along.”

"2569" by flikr user Jeremy Brooks used under CC license. Resized and cropped.

 

There’s been a 45 percent increase in mental health-related calls to BART police since 2011. When officers don’t know what to do, they call Armando Sandoval.

Hannah Kingsley-Ma

 

In a sun-filled classroom at an Oakland high school, a room full of adults are learning English.

Measure RR: BART asks voters to fund a major rebuild

Nov 1, 2016
Eli Wirtschafter

 

Supporters of Measure RR like to say that BART is as old as Pong – the classic arcade game involving two rectangles playing tennis with a square.

“In 1972, Atari’s Pong was the state-of-the-art video game,” says BART director Robert Raburn. Nowadays, “you don't find an Atari Pong machine anywhere on the street.”

Jeremy Dalmas

 

Harbir Batth isn’t having a good day. Not many fares.

 

“It's been terrible,” he tells me.

 

Then finally, some hope appears: a doorman for the Parc 55 Hotel in Union Square hails the cab over. They hop in and we’re headed to North Beach.

 

Will free buses help kids get to school?

Oct 12, 2016

 

Nidya Baez is an assistant principal at Fremont High School in Oakland. She used to bring extra cash to school, in case a student asked for bus money.

“I would hear, ‘Can I get a dollar to get on the bus?’” remembers Baez.

Every Thursday through Election Day, Rose Aguilar will host a special second hour of Your Call at 11am focused on local and state elections, the voting system, and the democratic process in California.

This week, we'll discuss transportation measures and races. We'll also talk about California Prop 59, which asks voters if they want state officials to work to amend the Constitution and reverse Citizens United.

Guests:

Joe Fitz Rodriguez, reporter for the SF Examiner covering City Hall and transportation

Angela Johnston

 

In 2018, Bay Area commuters will be able to go a little bit farther on BART. The transit agency is building a 10-mile extension from the Pittsburgh station, to Antioch.

Daily news roundup for Thursday, June 30, 2016

Jun 30, 2016
"San Francisco China Town” by Flickr user Loïc Lagarde, used under CC / Resized and cropped

Here's what's happening in the Bay Area, as curated by KALW news:

Crime: In rare occurrence, big three Bay Area cities see similar midyear homicide counts // San Jose Mercury News

"Halfway through the year, the homicide numbers of the Bay Area's three largest cities have reached a rare occurrence: They're nearly the same.

By Tony Webster/ under CC license/ cropped and resized

 

When I started asking people about their dream transit system for the Bay Area, a lot of people said they want transit to be more convenient. My friend Chris Quines – everyone calls him Burd – plays in punk bands.

 

Eli Wirtschafter

 

The VTA Flex pilot program ended on July 1. VTA's Chief Technology Officer Gary Miskell says they are examining other ways to deploy on-demand transit. When we reported on Flex, the challenges in providing such transit were already visible. 

Moises Olmedo, a software engineer, used to leave 50 minutes to get to work by public transit. He would walk or bike to the light rail station, wait for the train, ride for 20 minutes, and then walk the rest of the way to his job at Cisco. All this despite living just three miles away.

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