MUNI does not presently meet the needs of District 11 residents. In order to reduce emissions, we need to make riding transit easier, more convenient, and more comfortable than taking private automobiles, ideally to the point where people actually prefer transit to driving private automobiles for getting places (please see A District Against Climate Change). This means increasing service so that to reduce wait times for buses that aren’t so crowded; re-designing the routes to make access easier, including the addition of feeder lines to main lines; and re-designing the interiors of the buses so they are not so uncomfortable. This should also reduce pressure on drivers, who will in turn provide better service.
We also believe the development of high quality bicycle infrastructure can reduce dependence upon private automobiles within the district, therefore improving the air quality and the health of many district residents. All of these things must be done in collaboration with the community to make sure that the general thrust is towards the improvement of everyone’s transit experience. There is lots of room for creativity, compassion, and applied science on this issue. This is the kind of expertise we hope to access with the creation of a democratically elected council of District 11 residents to decide policy, disburse funds, and implement solutions to transit problems, among many others.
We call for:
- An elected MUNI board composed of transit workers and riders.
- A re-assessment of downtown properties based on the benefit they receive from MUNI service and to increase their taxes accordingly to make MUNI free for everyone (please see A Note on Financing).
- A community-based transit plan democratically developed and implemented to reduce fossil fuel-powered transit and replace it with clean energy transit, like bicycles and skateboards and so on. It is, however, of critical importance that something that will have such a profound effect on transit in the District not be imposed from the outside; otherwise it is bound to fail (please see A District Against Climate Change).
- Designating certain streets for public transit, pedestrians, and non-motorized vehicles only and diverting private autos to freeways and parallel streets, with perhaps certain times designated for deliveries.
- Increasing service so that the buses are more regular and aren’t so crowded.
- Re-designing the routes to make access easier for seniors and people with disabilities, including the addition of feeder lines to main lines.
- Re-designing the interiors of the buses so they are not so uncomfortable and dangerous.
- Relentlessly pressuring vendors of vehicles for reduced emission engines for coaches.
- Adding MUNI service after midnight for workers returning to the neighborhood after night shifts.
- Coming up with ways to enforce speed limits and protect pedestrians and cyclists that do not rely on police, like more civilian crossing guards, for instance. People are more accountable to their community than to the police, so we must identify community members with the energy and enthusiasm to carry out education programs and confront people for their bad driving and empowering these people with resources through the District 11 Council to do this work (please see A Community-Powered District).
- Free, safe, high-quality bicycles on demand, made to order for all who desire them. In the meantime, the City should provide subsidies and incentives to increase the bike share program, as well as bike repair shops where District 11 residents, kids and youth especially, can learn how to fix bikes.