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tv   Government Access Programming  SFGTV  November 3, 2018 3:00am-4:01am PDT

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issue in downtown san francisco for a very long time. and we've tried a lot of different ways of dealing with it. today i'm going to talk about the background and rationale for one of the tools in our congestion management tool box, pricing. and what we have done about it so far here in san francisco and what we might think about. so, i'll start, if you go to the next, with what this tool is, and why we might think about using it. then i'll describe our first serious look at it about a decade ago. i'll finish with some information about related efforts here in san francisco, as well as what we're seeing around the country, and the world, and what could come next in san francisco. before we talk about what congestion pricing is, i'm going to take a moment to talk about some of the basics of congestion management. so congestion happens very
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simply when there are too many vehicles trying to use the same place at the same time. you can try and manage that by changing supply or by changing demand. for decades, transportation officials tried to add supply, making more space for more cars. we had double-decker freeways, free parking, wider roads, and that didn't work so well. so in the past few decades we've done better, especially here in san francisco, we have b.a.r.t., muni metro, red lanes, bike lanes. all of those are helping, and we need to do many more of them. that transit-first approach has helped us get to and exceed our original goal of 50% sustainable trips in the city. but it's not enough. the city's goal is now 80% sustainable trips, a goal we need to reach both for climate reasons, as well as for congestion reasons, and to get there, particularly considering the growth we have had and will continue to have, the changes
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from t.n.c.s and other changes on the horizon, we have to make better use of the space that we have. so there is a tool that we haven't used yet for moving cars, although we have used it a lot for parked cars. we haven't used it for moving cars, but we have used it for parked cars. as you see, that meter up on the screen there. we've used parking meters for a pretty long time to manage parking demand, and recently in san francisco we started changing the rates on them to respond to demand. we don't do that -- so we do that for the public space where parked cars sit, but we don't do it for the public space where moving cars move. so we could charge a fee for driving into a congested area or a cordon, as we call it, and that's what congestion pricing is. as with parking, the best
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practice is to combine the price with providing incentives and investing in alternatives, as well as discounts or subsidies to cushion the impact on those most in need, and when done right, the goal of all of this is to manage congestion. now, it also raises revenues when you charge a price, you raise revenues that you can reinvest to manage and should reinvest to manage congestion and improve safety and advance equity, all of those are part of good congestion pricing. so, while congestion is in part an evidence of a strong economy, it's also hurting downtown san francisco. these are some photos on screen of rush hour gridlock from ten years ago. they just don't look that different from what we see on the streets today. maybe slightly different models of the cars and a few other differences. now, at the time we were in the top five regions for congestion in the united states.
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now i'm afraid we're worse. we're now top five in the world, we're actually number five, l.a. is number one. so drivers here lose 79 hours per year in traffic. 79 hours is two full work weeks, and that makes it pretty hard for working parents to make dinner with their loved ones, to do homework with their kids, see friends. an hour lost is simply an hour lost. an hour lost in traffic. you just don't get that back. that's billions of dollars in lost productivity. it hurts people's health, and it's part of the reason that transportation is our number one cause of greenhouse gas emissions. now, this congestion, if you'll go back to that previous slide, occurs in the same places that are the core of our transit network. you can see the places that light up are the financial district in the soma and areas in downtown san francisco. so, we need to do something different.
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so, in 2010 we did a mobility access and pricing study, and it included a lot of community engagement to shape a wide range of alternatives. we ran them through detailed technical analyses to see if we could identify a feasible option to implement pricing to manage congestion in downtown san francisco. so, that engagement included four rounds of public workshops, meetings with over 40 stakeholder groups. we had four different focus groups with different types of businesses and several different advisory committees, we had public opinion polls, online outreach, on-street surveys to ask customers how they would respond, and two main themes came through in that feedback. equity and economic competitiveness. on equity, the biggest question was whether public transit would be able to handle the load if
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there was a congestion pricing in place. and some were also concerned about what the impact of the cost would be on low-income drivers. but we also did an opinion poll and asked bay area voters who could be affected by congestion pricing, and asked them how they would feel about looking at it, about studying congestion pricing, and these are the results segmented by income. it's notable that the agree was over 65% or more across the board, and interestingly, and something i think was surprising to some people at the time, the support was higher and stronger among low and middle-income voters than among high-income voters. i'll get back to that in a moment about why that might not be surprising. we also heard from business interests about their concerns. they agreed congestion is a problem hurting san francisco businesses, and their big concern was that the charge would cause businesses or
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shoppers to take their businesses or spending elsewhere. they encouraged us to look at other tools to manage congestion, such as more aggressive parking pricing. so informed by all of this community engagement we looked at several design factors, such as how much, when, and where to charge a fee, dozens of geographies of the cordon and fees and discount policies should be to cushion impacts on our most vulnerable neighbors. finally, we considered how to spend revenues and understand the impacts and benefits. i'm not going to go into those study results in detail, but here's a few notable points from them. so the first was, who drives in northeast san francisco? who drives in that corner of the city? who would have to decide whether to pay the fee or change how they commute? the myth at the time was that most drivers are from out of town. the reality is that that only
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represents about a quarter of the drivers. the other three-quarter of driving trips are by san francisco residents living both within the cordon and across the rest of the city. we also looked at who travels how by income. and as ycar. it's true even of middle-income people, as well. low-income families, however, do more of their trips on transit or walking and biking than they make in cars. and, in fact, of the people traveling in the northeast cordon during the peak, only 6% were drivers with a household income under $50,000 a year. so that red oval down in the lower left corner there might help explain poll results i mentioned earlier. low-income voters know the current system isn't fair. they can see that it might be more fair to charge a fee to drivers who are, after all, mostly higher income, and then use those proceeds to make the whole system work better.
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so, here's what we came up with after all that feedback. talk about the design first and then the results. the recommendation was to charge $3 to each vehicle driving during peak hours across a cordon bounded by laguna and 18th street. and it included a few ways to cushion the effect on the most impacted people, such as a $6 cap per cay and 50% discounts for many different groups. the predicted performance was also pretty impressive. people would save 17,000 hours that they previously wasted in congestion. that's a time savings valued at $370 million. there would also be 55,000 fewer vehicle trips in the city, saving another $30,000 on vehicle operating costs. lower g.h.g. emissions and other pollution, fewer crashes, and
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transit services can move 20% to 25% faster, allowing some muni service to be more frequent and more reliable at no extra costs. there would also be some money generated from it to make some additional improvements. maps estimated the recommended design would have generated between $60 and $80 million a year in net revenue. that's after paying to operate the system. for scale, that's close to what we get from prop k now, and that was in 2010 dollars, so the numbers presumably would be higher if we did the study again now. so, we'd also expect some significant health and safety benefits. less driving and less pollution mean fewer crashes and more people walking and biking. all of that makes people healthier overall. and the health department did a health impact assessment that predicted pricing would save about eight lives per year. and finally, we looked at the impacts on business. which were broadly neutral.
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there was expected a minimal impact on employment and neutral to positives on retail sales. with congestion pricing, you get fewer drivers, but more foot traffic, and surveys found that foot traffic, people arriving on transit or walk or bike might buy less per trip, but they shop a lot more often. so after maps, we finished the study and what happened? this board voted 8-3 to take the next steps with pricing, but we didn't end up doing so. the recession and some other opportunities intervened. so i'll spend a couple moments talking about other efforts san francisco has done on pricing and incentives. so, m.t.a. did s.f. park using pricing to more effectively manage on-street parking, and it's been quite successful.
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we also studied more aggressive pricing for offstreet parking as the business community suggested and found that it would be only half as effective as congestion pricing for moving vehicles. for treasure island, it's another place with very limited auto capacity, and we're planning there a comprehensive package of pricing incentives, investments, and alternatives, plus programs to mitigate impacts. we're learning from treasure island in ways we could apply downtown. we also experimented with incentives with the b.a.r.t.s perk programs, and they work. small cash rewards got 10% of peak riders going through the tube during peak hours to shift their commute times. and then we've also, as was mentioned earlier, been studying the potential for pricing on express lanes and the lombard. so while we didn't start implementing pricing, san
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francisco has put it into our plans and policies. it's been in each of our long-range transportations adopted since then, each of our climate action plans, and each of the submissions that you've approved for recent regional transportation plans, plus some other plans you can see on the slide. in fact, one of these described congestion pricing as the most effective t.d.m. strategy transportation demand strategy, the city could pursue. so, we're not the only place that is thinking about this. there's several other cities that have or are considering congestion pricing. the ones who have done it report some significant success with congestion, reliability, health impacts, environmental benefits, and just better functioning of the urban realm, making the spaces that commissioner yee was talking about. and people like it. in fact, in stockholm they actually turned the system on for six months and then they turned it off and asked voters,
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which do you like better? do you want the city with congestion pricing, or do you want it without, and voters said with, andstock home still has congestion pricing. so up and down the west coast, several cities are doing their own studies now. all of them are recognizing equity is a major concern and are committed to addressing it, and we've been having interesting conversations with folks about the work that they are doing. so, what's next is really up to you folks at this point. we don't have an active study under way. we've had informal conversations, but we don't have an active study. we get questions about it all the time. and so if you want us to move forward, here's some things that we think we would do. we think we would refresh the map study with current data, include information about new technology that's different since a decade ago, integrate incentives and pricing, not just a toll, and reconsider the geography and some other key
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factors that we studied a decade ago. i think there are three key tests that congestion pricing or really any pricing effort in san francisco would need to meet before it could move forward. effectiveness, equity, and economy. the effectiveness is the question will it work. we'd have to work very closely with our partners at m.t.a. to figure out what they would need, both on transit and the streets. the equity question is, is it fair? we would do an equity analysis to see whether pricing would provide net benefits to low-income travelers. and the economy test is, is it going to help san francisco's economy? so, if a congestion pricing passed those three tests and others that you set out, the maps study did lay out several steps we would need to take that are listed on the slide. on legislation, we know that
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senators weiner and bloom plan to sponsor a bill again next year to allow a few city pilot projects, and that legislation may also include additional requirements that we will keep close tabs on. all of these steps would allow you to consider whether we want to keep going or stop. the question now is whether you want to put together on active study to get started. and with that, i'm happy to take questions. >> commissioner peskin: questions from commissioners? commissioner kim. >> commissioner kim: thank you, and by the way, it's always great to see this work continue and i'm sad this won't be here when this gets implemented, but glad to see we're working on a parallel pathway at the state level with state senator weiner on ensuring that we can actually have the ability to legally do some type of mobility management and having had that opportunity to visit london and see how mobility management works in that city and other cities around the world, i really
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strongly support this. and i hope that this commission is able to move forward on it. i thought the polling was very interesting and the surveys. it is a huge turnaround from where this was in 2010, when the discussion first began. it was actually a very controversial topic when i was running for office, and it's great to see there's a lot more support for it now. i wanted to ask a little bit more about the map of the northeast cordon, and i know that there was a lot of controversy in particular putting in some part of fisherman's wharf and chinatown. i was curious why this cordon goes so far north. >> so, my understanding from that, and i wasn't actually here at the time, so i'll defer to tilly if she has more to add, but my understanding was in looking at the cordon, there's attention, you don't want to make it so big, people do lots
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of driving around inside it, but you also don't want to make it so small that you end up having the edge effect, by the diversion of people driving around the edge of the cordon to avoid having to pay the toll. and then another issue was the one that we call legibility, how easy is it for people to understand? and the bay is a really easy barrier for people to understand. they understand that, okay, that's a sensible place to put the edge. that said, i think it's unclear whether now that would be the geography that we would decide on. i think we would end up having to look at it. >> commissioner peskin: you want to add to that? >> that's a great answer. i would just add to the addition of the legibility and the diversions around, there's just a provision of transit within the zone, so there needed to be enough transit to provide a reasonable option for folks, and
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we thought that the northeast quadrant being the most heavily sort of supplied transit zone could support that, especially with central subway coming in. >> commissioner kim: and one of the reasons why, at least in london this was so successful, is because on day one of the mobility management, they vastly increased and invested in service, public transit service, throughout the city. and so i think that before we move forward with the stick, we have to have the carrots in place and guaranteed for residents, and particularly for my colleagues that represent the outer rim of san francisco, they will be curious as to how, you know, curious as to how strong and healthy the alternatives that we'll be providing will be, and so have we started thinking about how we could roll that out and how to invest in service before the revenue comes in? >> so, i think that's a good and
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important question, and one that we would have to address in this process. we would work very closely with m.t.a. to figure out what kinds of changes they would be able to implement and how those changes would occur both before pricing was turned on while we still have the traffic we have, as well as how they would then transition to operate after pricing went into effect and made the buses be able to move faster, which in turn could mean that the same driver and the same bus could actually serve -- do more routes per day. so those are some changes that we would have to make. i would say one thing about london's experience that's notable is that the most significant increases that london saw in the ridership, they saw many people move away from driving, and many of those
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people moved to riding the bus or bicycling, because those were the two big increases they saw. london has a terrific subway, it's world renowned subway system, most amazing in the world. the subway system saw a little bit of an increase, but buses and biking saw the big increases, and that was in part because it was just a much more comfortable and rapid experience to ride a bus once there was less congestion, and it was much more comfortable to ride a bike with less congestion, as well. they also made some significant increases, investments, in their equivalence of our red lanes and bike lanes, as well, and that made some significant difference. anything to add to that? >> just a quick add to that would be even in the case of managed lanes here in the bay area, there's a recognition that, for example, if san mateo were to introduce express lanes, they would want an influx of new bus service at the same time.
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and so the state has funded a portion of that already, and the idea would be to conceptualize a pricing program, a mobility management program here, that would absolutely include day one transit service, most likely express bus services as well as the bicycling and pedestrian projects that jeff mentioned. and in the case of new york, there was a time when the federal government was active in federal grants in this area, and they were offered about $300 million of new bus services and capital improvements at the time. that money did not happen, because that project did not happen. and, in fact, that funding went to los angeles to do the buses for the los angeles express lanes that we just toured. >> commissioner kim: is there -- sfmta has seen an influx of revenue that it really hasn't had historically over the last couple of years, and have we been able to demonstrate how much improvement we've seen in our service with the influx of revenue? i only ask this question because i think there's still continuing
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to be some doubt that revenue is the only reason why our transit isn't as strong as it could be. it's kind of a two-part question. one, how do we spend revenue before it comes forward. [ please stand by ]
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>> thank you for highlighting the importance of really e evaluating the effectiveness of our investments. all three operators are bursting at the seams. we saw the introduction of two-car trains on new muni metro lines. the buses, commissioners ronen has mentioned have lengthened. all the new money that has been able to be provided to muni, to b.a.r.t. and to cal train are being very well utilized. there's so much demand for transit. we saw that in the public comments we got during the prop k five-year program updates and there's tremendous need for more
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service. that comes down to buses. we could capitalize those costs and seek state fund if the federal government is not a partner. we certainly will work with the state. there's potentially sb-1, cost cordon funds and measure free bridge tolls. a tax that could be approved by voters as well as new revenue sources. >> supervisor kim: commissioner brown has questions as well. how do you get people more excited about the bus? people are always more excited about trains and subways. this is again not based on any study but just my general, the response i get from constituent when we talk about transportation. i don't know why that is. i have guesses. but has this ever been studied and can we think about how to get people more excited about
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riding on buses? >> i hear a lot of excitement and enthusiasm for buses and i love buses. i suppose i look for that. >> supervisor kim: i think for people that don't really ride -- i'm not talking about people who are already on the bus. >> right. i think the frequency. often times it comes down to the experience. is it rerieble and present. if you have to pad your trip by half an hour to get to your destination, that is not an experience you want. we have not shown sort of the quality of sort of rail like experience that can come with riding the bus. it hasn't really captured folks' imagination or persuaded them that's a reliable mode they can be confident in in terms of having an excellent experience. except for a few cities where in north american and primarily in the bigger cities and canada. but they have been really been able to demonstrate that. i think we are still working on
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it. but the rapid network is trying to do that. folks along the 14 x and i have heard from riders and commissioners that is truly a superior experience now that we have created those conditions to provide bus reliability and rapid connections. >> if i could adjust one other point of information about that. in london's experience, i mentioned that they had a significant increase in bus ridership and that was because you had buses coming more frequently and moving a little bit faster. there's just a really big difference between moving 14 miles an hour instead of 18 minute. -- miles an hour. it makes a significance. in london right now, their fastest growing group of bus riders is young professionals. so, that gives a little bit of
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an idea that the bus can be sexy. >> chairman peskin: commissioner brown. >> supervisor brown: thank you, chair peskin. i have a few comments and then a question. and i want to say i agree with supervisor kim about having the service first. i think if we do something like congestion pricing -- and thank you for the update. i'm really excited this is coming forward again and we're talking about it and to be a part of it. but i just feel that we need the service, reliable service in place to make this work. i feel that if we don't address that first or we're going to have pretty much a disaster in some areas of the city not being able to get in and there's going to be a lot of complaints.
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i also think i like both the subway and the bus and i think my view is you get into construction and all of the construction or just all of the traffic congestion and it slows down on a bus. where if you can get the train underground and there's no delays and nothing's happening like a door is stuck or something like that, it's so much faster. so, i think that's one of the reasons that, you know, if i can, i will go underground -- i will take the underground before i take a bus. and then the other is the bikes. i think having more of a citywide bike plan is really important. especially with our bike share program. now you don't have to worry about riding your bike and then figuring out where to lock it up and if it is there when you come back out. and then also with them offering electric bikes, a lot of people
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are able to ride bikes and not have to worry about the topography of the city and trying to get up a hill. so, i definitely think we should have a much more robust citywide plan and protected bike lanes. when you talk about the equity part of this study, how did you go about with the equity? what department did you talk to? what groups of people did you talk to when you studied the equity? thank you. >> so, i will preface my response by saying it was ten years ago and i wasn't here. so, i wasn't -- i wasn't rattle off a list of community groups that my predecessors talked to. i don't know whether tilly can. but i do know that they talked with a wide range of groups from across the city. some of the same groups that are
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still very involved now. obviously the bike coalition, walk s.f. and transit riders. but i should really turn it over to tilly to give more response on specifics. >> thank you for that question. we had an extensive working groups and they were comprised mostly in this topic area of the transit organizations. we had the cbos active in each of those communities of concern and folks like the cdcd and colemans and folks who are on the ground working with communities. we had transform. i think we met with power, which has since transformed into another organization. we also talked with neighborhood groups. just neighborhood groups and to talk to the leaders and the members of neighborhood associations from haze valley
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all the way out to the avenues and to the bayview and the mission. we just talked to folks on the ground and one of the feedback we heard was the idea of a $3 charge can add up. my household makes multiple trips and that's where the idea of the cap came up where you would not charge i don't know two trips. we have also heard, for example, that certain neighborhoods were fine with the idea of a border say, the western border at laguna. but they didn't prefer the 18th street. they felt like it was going to divide their neighborhood and we absolutely understand that and that's why we would need to come back and really reconsider some of those types of design issues. at the time, 16th street we wanted to make sure we were sort of keeping that within the zone because of the big job centers that were being developed in
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mission bay. >> supervisor brown: if we moved forward, would you have another equity study? >> absolutely. >> supervisor brown: i would also suggest that you involve the human rights commission because that is one of their priorities that they have set forth is equity as you are moving forward. >> absolutely. great suggestion. >> chairman peskin: so, maybe you can also share with us, mr. hobson, what the actual infrastructure entails, what the cost of installing the infrastructure is and what the experience is to the good or the bad in other cities around the world, whether it's singapore or stockholm have had. have there been glitches? how much does it cost? what's the backend look like? >> there have been a variety different types of infrastructure installed in different places. some places have gone with the
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transresponder approach as is used with fastrack and the toll bridges in the bay area. others have gone with license plate recognition and there seems to be a move towards that over the past couple of decades, 15 years that cities have been doing this. so, that seems to be the more recent use. so, that simply involves having cameras. my understanding is you can usually do that on existing infrastructure. there may be some needs for new poles and wiring and such. but you are just putting cameras up. there's also been talk of using other kinds of technology. at this point, those are not yet in widespread use, but there are people who have talked about whether you could do a cell phone based technology if you
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have ubiquitous, enough cell phones. but that is as yet unproving and that's the sort of thing -- unproven and that's the sort of thing we would need to look into in a study of this sort. >> again i will respond to the question of costs and benefits. early on in london which was one of the first meter cities, the operating cost was about 50% of the revenues and that's because the license plate survey was expensive and they had to check it and double check it. their program design was a zone where any time you drove within the zone you would be priced. not just pricing folks over the cordon. we have learned from that and since that time the accuracy and cost of processing has gone way down to the point where the golden state bridge doesn't rely on it. it is all license plate and fastrack. now the cost profile i think would be around the 30% range, sort of international best
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practice. no longer in the 50% range. and in terms of the efficacy, we saw in london there was a 15-20% reduction in trips and stockholm similar. over time, london's traffic built up for two reasons. number one, that's the tendency how we drive and behave. such a strong tendency to drive. but the other reason was because london actually locked in the benefit of that 20% trip reduction by using the revenues to expand bicycle lanes, sidewalks and transit lanes. that's a way to say we still have benefit in the first generation. we know there's this tendency for traffic to rise to fill up the available space again, but what we wanted to do at the time, london, was lock in the gains physically. they took road space and dedicated that right-of-way to those other modes to promote the
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more efficient modes. >> chairman peskin: commissioner cohen. >> supervisor cohen: thank you very much. i think this is all incredibly ambitious and as a representative, i think there's a lot of nervousness and consternation. supervisor kim mentioned it was a hot topic when she ran for office. i too remember when i ran nine years ago that it was also a hot topic, congestion pricing. so, my question really has to do with what are the realistic time lines we are talking about? when is it going to be studied in a meaningful way? when are we going to start to see toll roads if at all? i think there's been light touches in terms of community neighborhood meetings that we have held. but what can i tell people that will be watching this and email me and ask me some follow-up questions? i just wanted to know what are the take-aways i should be
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relaying in talking to people about it? >> we don't have an active study yet. so, we haven't even developed a timeline yet. we are at a very early stage in this. i was going to make a dating analogy. maybe i won't. [laughter] >> we are just having coffee stage. and so, when the map study concluded and asked the board in december 2010 whether to go forward, the timeline at that point was a five-year timeline from there to turning on the system. and including confirming the design and going through getting state authorizing legislation and going through environmental clearance. it is hard for me to imagine that we would do it much faster than that now and there are lots of things that could make it take more time.
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so, this is not something that is imminent. but it is something that if we were to eventually be able to do, we do need to start at some point. >> supervisor cohen: one thing that i also wanted to echo. i read in the article that supervisor kim had made these particular remarks about being in favor of congestion parking but not in a specific targeted neighborhood -- or district that you were interested in. is that correct, supervisor? >> supervisor kim: we are currently working on a mobility management plan for treasure island into the downtown area. my biggest criticism of the plan, although i support the concepts of the plan, is that we are singling out one neighborhood to pay into a mobility management scheme in order to pay for like the ferry and bus services and we are not doing this to all neighborhoods. what i support at the cta is
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presenting today which is a cordon of all of the downtown area so that anyone going into the downtown area is equally impacted driving into the core and not just treasure island. i think it's just odd that one neighborhood in san francisco has to pay revenue to get better public transit and other neighborhoods don't. i want to address the equity issue. it is true that we should study how mobility management pricing will impact our lower-income consumers because it is a flat rate. but we also have to evaluate the equity of our lower income residents most impacted by bad air quality and environmental injustice and they are overwhelming impacted by cars driving but their neighborhoods more than other residents are and less likely to be able to afford nice air filters like i have in my house in the south of market. when you talk about inequity,
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you can't talk about how it is going to impact the driver but how it impacts all the residents that live with the congestion and bad air quality that exists here in san francisco. >> supervisor cohen: it further accentuates the point i was going to make. i think about two freewares that bisect the community. and it has the residual effect of having particulate matter from the cars and soot on the windows and window sills which forced me then to offer other pieces of legislation that would require new construction to have certain filtering systems inside a home. the point i'm trying to make really has to do with transportation and i'm thinking about also the southeastern part
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of district ten and 101 tail that goes into the -- down the south bay. and where are our regional partners, transportation partners, where are they in discussion about congestion pricing. because the challenges san francisco is facing, not so much -- the responsibility rests on their shoulders but the regional issues. our friends refusal to build affordable housing is having an adverse effect on us in san francisco. i think about homeless issues. something we need to be able to address multiple boards of supervisors and county councils need to come to the table and start to think about this. can you talk to me a little about where our folks south of san francisco, where they are in the congestion pricing conversation? thank you. >> so, we haven't had specific
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conversations elected officials or transportation officials in san mateo county about congestion pricing per se. however, i do know that since the map study was done and san francisco said this is something that we should do at some point, and we put it into our county wide transportation plan that we updated in 2013 and again in 2017 and we put it into san francisco's submissions for the regional transportation plans that were updated in also 2013 and '17. the region took those submissions and included them into our regional transportation plan and i though that, in fact, they actually play a key role in those regional transportation plans because if congestion pricing is in place in the horizon year of those plans, it will -- it would cause a
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reduction in car use and a reduction in ghgs that is actually essential for the region being able to meet its goals. so, from a regional policy perspective, the bay area needs san francisco to do congestion pricing at some point as part of helping the whole region manage our congestion and our global warming -- >> supervisor cohen: you said the bay area. that includes i'm thinking of san josé. >> that's the nine county. >> supervisor cohen: okay. thank you. >> chairman peskin: commissioner mandelman. >> supervisor mandelman: thank you, chair peskin and i want to thank the t.a. staff for this presentation. i guess from my perspective as i hear from my kconstituents wheni hear about their frustration, the notion of a potential plan that is going to take five years
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plus to institute is not great news. i know there's a lot that needs to get thought through and what needs to happen here. i would urge transportation authority staff to move as quickly as possible to set this up for conversations at this board. i do think as i'm thinking about folks from district eight trying to get downtown, we have tremendous train service. but the trains remain also a tremendous frustration for folks who rely on them. so, as this conversation goes forward, i think we are going to need to be having a parallel conversation about how to get the j and the k and the l and the m and n all carrying people -- and the t, carrying people into the core. thank you. >> chairman peskin: thank you. colleagues, before i open it up to public comment, am i gauging us all correctly that we would like to have our staff update
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this decade-long plan and then based on that, march forward with congestion pricing? all right. i'm seeing nobody freaking out. we will open this up to public comment and ask staff to do that. i have one speaker card, mr. finebaum and if there are any other individuals that would like to testify on item number nine, please come forward. thank you for your presentation, jeff. first speaker, please. >> public: good morning. jim bob, the president at save muni. on september 29th, together with the coalition for san francisco neighborhoods, we sponsored a conference in an auditoriorum on the future of transportation in san francisco. and as part of that conference, we had presentations on congestion pricing. i'm not going to reprize that,
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but -- , i would point out on our website, we have a very interesting video featuring jonas elias, who is the director of transportation for the city of stockholm and he talks about the stockholm experience. it is about eight minutes long. you might be interested in that. one of the things that jonas pointed out in his talk is that they brought in -- stockholm brought together a whole bunch of stakeholders throughout the region to develop the plan that they were talking about. and i think supervisor cohen put a very good point on the table, and that is we really need the best minds in the region to be participating. i support a study by the c.t.a. i think jeff should be updating
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this. but i think also he might value an advisory committee of regional experts and political leaders who can provide input into his study. thanks. >> chairman peskin: thank you. next speaker, please. >> public: good morning, commissioners. i'm from san josé but before moving to san josé, i used to live in london. i would like to share a couple of my experiences with congestion pricing and i extremely like it that you are starting the conversation in san francisco. it is unclear if you can have congestion pricing over the weekend. in london, we didn't. it is only monday through friday and it is from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. it is a flat fee. it is actually $15 and you are found anywhere in the zone, you pay the fee. other fee, we have the gateways
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and the cash license plate at that point. but if any car is detected anywhere in the zone. the only exception is street parking. these cars will be picked up that are similar to the [indiscernible] that take discreet pictures. in closing, buses. the reason they use buses in london is because it is so congested and i believe a lot of people do the same thing. they use the buses so they can breathe. it has become lack -- a real rat hole. and i think we will know one way or the other whether this is a fact when they open cross rail next year. see whether people move on to that instead of using buses. the last point, uber in london, by 2025 they will be fully
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electric. thank you. >> chairman peskin: thank you. next speaker. >> public: good morning. jim -- i'm jim patrick, patrick and company. i'm not until favor of congestion pricing. if you take a look at uber, stand on a corner of knew montgomery and market street, uber is about 50% of the vehicles. congestion pricing? 10-year-old study. uber. come on. this is not rocket science. so, are you surprised? i'm not. around the border, i recently rode a muni bus and saw people not paying. i ask the bus driver how many people they on your route and he said 50%. i said 50%?
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that's astounding. i personally don't think it's that high. but collection is a big problem. we will have congestion around the perimeter as was referred to. it will be a big problem. nobody wants to park because they don't want to pay whatever that price happens to be. you are moving the problem out. you are not solving the problem inside. i'm definitely against moving the problem around. i think there are better solutions. i didn't come prepared to talk about this, but i will put my mind on it. thank you. >> chairman peskin: thank you. next speaker. >> public: hello commissioners. ian williams. i have been spending a lot of time lately on the streets in the downtown cordon. but in all seriousness, we have about 9,000 members who work within this zone and we are
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quite open to the idea of congestion pricing. i just want to urge that in further study we pay especially attention to the large and growing section of our service industry that works late nights and early morning. especially without 24-hour train service and jobs that people, 2,300 workers are out on strike right now to change that fact, but jobs that are leading people to work multiple jobs, work late into the night. it just isn't practical to get to a job at a hotel as a cook at 5:00 or 6:00 a.m. on fisherman's wharf without driving. and it is going to make that even more difficult. likewise, there are janitors and other service sector workers who are working more and more into the late night hours and having to commute further and further away. we should very much take those folks into account and assess whether there's a way to structure this so it doesn't
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land dispropositionally on people who don't have a choice but to park there. thank you. >> chairman peskin: thank you, mr. lewis, for those comments. next speaker. >> public: hi. i live in couperty no. i took a car and train to get here today. i would have preferred to take my bicycle but i have done it before and it is not safe. i'm excited you are talking about protected bicycle lanes. my question around congestion pricing, how is that going to impact or what do we already know about how that impacts neighborhoods in terms of people parking or stopping and then entering. i didn't hear anything about that yet. thank you. >> chairman peskin: thank you. next speaker. >> public: congestion pricing. you are going to charge people to go to work in an area where their work is because that's
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their population where their employment situation is. that's outrageous. how are you going to charge a person for being in a congested area because that's the job site location where they work in order to support themselves? then you flip-flop and you never charge our tax the high-tech companies. twitter and five other high-tech companies have gotten over $300 billion of tax free money. you are always picking on people who don't have nothing to do with the god damn problem. it is disgusting. you over supervise. what is the logic? you are going to charge people for being congested? how about we charge you because you are congesting the chamber. why don't we charge you? your job here is at city hall and city hall is congested. all your officers is taking up
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too much space in city hall is congested so we need to put a tax on that and charge you because you are taking up too much space where your job site is located. you over supervise all the time. all the time. all the time. you want to charge people for going to work and supporting themselves. [bell] >> public: how come you don't use that towards twitter? come in here and plea and testify how they get along with m.t.a. and they should be exempted for not paying payroll taxes. then you tell cherry company because they are nice and get along with m.t.a. they can't be exempted from payroll taxes? how come you don't use that philosophy for twitter and other companies that has got a minimum of $300 billion of tax free money? [bell] >> chairman peskin: seeing no other members of the public on this item, public comment is
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closed. commissioner safai. >> supervisor safai: i want to be clear on what we are authorizing and what we are not authorizing. >> chairman peskin: this is an information item. >> supervisor safai: they are going to come back to present what would be studies? >> chairman peskin: mr. hobson gave us a list of alternatives and ways -- paths forward. the bottom line this study is now a decade old and what i was suggesting is that staff bring that into the dawn of -- the later dawn of the 21st century and update that. ms. chang or mr. hobson if you would like to respond to that. >> we will gladly come back with a proposed scope and budget with a refreshed feasibility study. >> supervisor safai: okay. i'm okay with that. >> chairman peskin: all right. the congestion pricing discussion has begun again. commissioner kim. >> supervisor kim: when will
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that be done, director chang? >> we will get it to you as soon as possible. [indiscernible]. >> chairman peskin: your mic was off. >> we will endeavor to bring that back to you as soon as possible. [indiscernible] >> supervisor kim: we heard you will endeavor to bring it back as soon as possible. i think it is important to right size the scope and i hope this commission doesn't over study this issue because it has been studied so much and i would hate to see this get killed by too many studies because we have to implement something. the current state is just not acceptable. and we have to really move forward with making our city greener. and i think we should look at this less as a congestion pricing study and more making the air quality of our city improved for all of our residents. and i think we are really accountable to the health needs of our residents and certainly
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for our city reaching a carbon neutral goal which we have all talked about. this is a key piece of that and i think this is as much of an environment policy as it is about us managing traffic. i hope that we can right size that scope and move forward on this as quickly as possible. >> chairman peskin: all right. could you please call items ten and 11 together. [reading agenda item] >> chairman peskin: so, i want to thank mark from the transbay joint powers authority for joining us today.
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he was not able to join us when i wanted to schedule this at our last meeting. and let me preface these two items by saying that we all realize the transbay terminal is in a tough spot right now and it is not happy for anybody whether members of the tjpa from alameda county and from san mateo county as well as here in the city and county of san francisco. we are aware, obviously, of the cracked beams and painfully aware of the huge cost overruns and delays associated with transbay. and the reason item 11 is on the calendar is because i think we need to learn from our past practices and really have a strong vision going forward for
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what is actually a much more complicated, much more costly project. and that is bringing cal train and eventually high speed rail into that box that is 80 feet below the surface underneath what is now or hopefully in the months ahead will again become a bus station, but hopefully will be an intermodial transit hub for the entire bay area. i want to make sure we get phase two right and i think that conversation begins with an analysis of what the oversight structure ought to be for phase two and i'm far from convinced, no offense to the staff and many of whom were not here when many of those cost overruns and delays were incurred. but i am dubious that the current structure is the right one going forward for phase two, which we know is