Skip to main content

tv   Transportation Authority Full Board  SFGTV  March 23, 2021 10:00am-11:01am PDT

10:00 am
10:01 am
10:02 am
>> our clerk is brittany milton. madam clerk, will you please call the roll.
10:03 am
>> clerk: okay. commissioner chen. >> present. >> clerk: commissioner haney? >> present. >> clerk: commissioner mandelman. >> present. >> clerk: commissioner mar. >> present. >> clerk: commissioner melgar. >> present. >> clerk: commissioner preston. >> present. >> clerk: commissioner ronen. >> present. >> clerk: commissioner safai. >> present. >> clerk: commissioner stefani. >> present. >> clerk: commissioner walton. >> present. >> clerk: chair, we have quorum. i will make an announcement about publiccomment.
10:04 am
public comment will be available by calling 415-655-0001, and when prompted enter an access code of i.d. 1872052695, and then ##. once you join, you'll be able to listen to the meeting as a participant. to make public comment when an item is called, press *3. do not press *3 again or you'll be removed from the cue. the operator will advice you that you are allowed two minutes to speak. calls are taken in the order in which they are received. best practices are to speak slowly and clearly. and please be aware there is a 30second day during the course of the meeting. that concludes my announcement. >> chairman: thank you. call the next item. >> item two, chair's report. this is an information item. >> chairman: thank you, madam clerk. colleagues, over the past weeks and months, there
10:05 am
has been a surge of attacks against asian-americans in our city and across the country. sadly, these attacks are not new to this country or this city. i want to extend the transportation authority board's condolences to the families of those attacked killedor hurt. it is important for people to be able to gather in public spaces. this past weekend, many of us attended vigils, marches, and community events at the square in the castro and along market street and heard messages of solidarity and support. this month also marks the anniversary of the start of shelter-in-place public orders. it is a trying time for so many businesses. the transportation authority board continues to work on ways to support essential commuters and travelers, and we want to add our thanks to sfcta
10:06 am
operators, as last thursday was transit worker appreciation day. they have provided safe and reliable transportation for our riders as they travel to and from work and medical appointments and other essential works. i look forward to the presentation today on the transportation recovery plan. with more and more people getting vaccinated, we are beginning to reopen our economy. and we know transit will be key to our recovery. and we had a passage of the third major covid relief bill in washington. thanks go out to speaker pelosi and president biden for passing the "american recovery act," which included $1.6 billion in funds for bay area operators, and about $3.6 billion for transit. it included cal tran electrification, which is set to receive $2 million. and central subway, which should get $3 million, and
10:07 am
bart transportation program slated for $87 million. we are grateful for this essential support and the funds for areas impacted by the pandemic and enable these agencies to avoid layoffs and regrow our economy. now we turn to the infrastructure bill, and i want to thank our staff for working hard on that this month. finally, colleagues, let me close by recognizing the passing of paul homsted. as commissioner ronen and vice president peskin(indiscernable) as the d.c. representative, and was a strong voice for regional collaboration and sustainable growth. we express our condolences to her loved ones.
10:08 am
i'll be adjourning today's meeting in her honor. thank you, and that concludes my remarks. let's open this up to public comment. >> clerk: checking. at this time, there is no public comment. >> chairman: all right. let's please call the next item. >> clerk: item three, executive director's report. this is an information item. >> good morning. >> chairman: good morning. >> good morning. thank you, chair mandelman,and good morning commissioners. we at the staff level also want to offer our condolences as well to add to the board's for ann's family, her husband, and her many, many friends throughout the city government and our partner agencies. we worked so closely with her and benefited constantly from her wisdom and experience. and i will personally miss
10:09 am
her mentorship as well. turning back over to the federal picture, thank you again to our federal delegation, led by speaker pelosi, particularly on the transit side. we also are turning, of course, our attention to the infrastructure bill, which is very, very timely right now, not only in terms of the relief and recovery effort, but for our long-term goals. so we have been coordinated, this week in fact, very closely with the mayor's office, sfmta, and to recognize community-based requests, as well as larger infrastructure (indiscernable), which is a smaller potential federal request that could be part of our local priorities. turning to the larger picture, this may or may not be part of the reauthorization of the infrastructure bill. it is unclear as to yet how congress and the administration will take that up.
10:10 am
whether the long-term five-year authorization bill will be first or whether the infrastructure stimulus package may lead. but, in any case, both are being discussed and marked up particularly on the senate side, so we look forward to working with senator pedilla, who sits on the senate environment and public works committee. and senator feinstein and speaker pelosi are also very, very interested. on the federal side, we're attracting a electrical bicycle bill and a high-speed rail bill. both are important for our overall climate response. as far as the electrical bicycle bill, it would, among other things, provide purchasers a refundable income tax up to a maximum credit of $1500. we look forward to providing input and tracking that bill, as well as many, many others
10:11 am
at the larger level in terms of major opportunities. climate change legislation, also -- excuse me. climate change studies are happening also at the state level, the climate action plan for infrastructure have been released by the secretary's office, and we'll be providing public comment tomorrow to the california transportation commission. this plan discussions a number of initiatives, including investing in bicycling and also in transit, as well as potentially (indiscernable). so we will provide public comment in support again tomorrow, as well as with the city and our regional partners. turning to m.t.c., they have recently announced a regional active transportation grant, a $10.8 million grant, to benefit the fulsom street project. and $7 million for the construction of the fulsom
10:12 am
street project, and $3.9 million for the bike bicycle and pathway on buena island. the california high-speed rail authority's business plan is also out, and we encourage the public to comment on that as well. we are happy to provide public comment at senate transportation committee hearings to support the valley to valley strategy, from the central valley to the bay area, and to support high-speed rail's request for bond funds for $4.1 billion. we want to thank mayor breed, in conjunction with mayor carlo from san jose. caltrans has also begun working on the central
10:13 am
freeway via duct project on i-80, which is the 101 freeway, and the i-80 structures. these are $50 million contracts each, for reenforcement and paint. so they've been working with the city and county departments to ensure there is minimal impact to travelers, to transit service in particular, safe work zones, and ensure that we have good responses for public health for that work. one more regional update: the cal train government committee has met and held the first of four workshops. i want to thank commissioner walton on that. you'll recall that this is parts of the comprise and understanding for passing the measure r.r. funds on the ballot last year.
10:14 am
the board did discuss three types of potential governance changes with multiple offers and paths to consider. to modify the existing cal trains structure, which i think would not work for san francisco, and that would mean to maintain the cal trains roll organizationally, as well as organization of cal trains. and second, to create a new governance structure. and, third, to seek a regional merger option, which has been specified by some members of the cal trains' board with bart. this includes the cost of making changes, the potential for improved transportation and the timeline necessary to make the big changes among some of these options, as well as the ability to provide regional and improve regional connectivity.
10:15 am
and we'll continue to support the work of the cal train board members, as well as our board, throughout this importance process. turning now to the local level, there are a couple of events. the first is district 4 mobility studies, with commissioner mar, this saturday the 27th. and this will be another one of the studies outreach meetings where staff will share the preliminary findings for long-term alternatives for configuration of the great highway. it will include walking, bicycling, and other transit throughout the district, as well as the commercial corridors. it includes improvements to access to the three commercial corridors and community shuttle options. please register to attend at our website. and we're concluding some of our work at the golden
10:16 am
gate park. looking at the long-term feature of the j.f.k. roadway. we have held three community working groups already with state holders from the disability community, adjacent neighborhood groups, and citywide neighborhood groups, and park institutions and venues, and bicycle and other advocacy organizations, and the group has been discussing all of the different goals and unmet needs, which seems to be quite a bit of consent iveon those, as they work to shape the various design options for the next phase of the work. so we plan to bring a revised action framework to you all, working closely with commissioner chen's office on this effort. finally, we want to report our january sales tax receipt collections for january. $5.4 million came in, lower than the prior year,
10:17 am
not unsurprising, by about 30%. so this level is consistent, i think, with the year-long look that we're seeing emerge in the .in light of this, it means we'll be bringing our budget to you in april with a decrease of about $12 million, from $93 million to $81 million. but with the increase in vaccination rates and decline in infection rates, we expect to see the sales tax revenues rebounding later in the fiscal year, and we have revised our projections forward with the city's office and the city economist as well, so we have a better picture this summer for our emerging field tax revenue for the reauthorization effort. i want to thank cynthia fong who had a lovely and beautiful baby boy. that is welcome, welcome news this week. so congratulations to
10:18 am
cynthia. we can't wait to see the baby. thank you. >> chairman: great. thank you. i don't see any questions or comments from leagues, fromcolleagues, so let's open this up to republics republics. public comment.>> clerk: there e caller. >> caller: good morning. thank you. and welcome to the youngest member of the authority. thank you for these reports, director chan. the first thing i would like to bring to your attention is there was an article indicating that union pacific had agreed to operate freight. this has profound implications on how we're
10:19 am
going to be achieving our targets moving forward. so, first of all, the implications are enormous because we will no longer need a third track just for freight. but moving forward, union pacific will do pretty much what everybody else is doing: they're sharing tracks with electrified rail, and electrified high-speed rail. the next thing is on the particular pathway, and we really need to start focusing on fresno and not on anything else. when we do, we're going to rediscover a memo for the high-speed rail that was shared. i believe it was in january 2019.
10:20 am
[inaudible] please ask executive brian kelly to restore all of the board meeting's agenda prior to january 2018. the last point is about the merger with bart. i think it is essential for the cal trains board to understand the relationship between bart and the capitol corridor. bart provides the service for capitol corridor, but there i was never a need to do a merger. but i do believe there are a couple of bart directors on the capitol board. thank you. >> clerk: thank you. chair, there are no more callers at this time. >> chairman: great. public comment on this item is closed. madam clerk, please call the next item. >> clerk: item four, approve the minutes of the march 9th, 2020,
10:21 am
meeting. this is an action item. >> chairman: i do not see any comments from colleagues. so let's open up this item to public comment -- oh, vice chair peskin? >> clerk: i was just going -- >> i was going to, subject to public comment, make a motion to adopt the minutes. >> chairman: great. is there a second? >> second, ronen. >> chairman: thank you, commissioner ronen. let's open this up to public comment. >> clerk: there is no public comment at this time. >> chairman: okay. public comment is closed. please call the roll. >> clerk: all right. on item four, commissioner chen? >> aye. >> clerk: commissioner haney? >> aye. >> clerk: commissioner mandelman? >> aye. >> clerk: commissioner
10:22 am
mar? >> aye. >> clerk: commissioner melgar. >> aye. >> clerk: commissioner preston? impea>> aye. >> clerk: commissioner ronen? >> aye. >> clerk: commissioner safai? >> aye. >> clerk: commissioner stefani? >> aye. >> clerk: commissioner walton? >> aye. >> clerk: we have 11 ayes. >> chairman: thank you. please call items five through 10. >> clerk: these items are regarding the march 9th meeting are before the board for final approval. staff is ready to present and will be available for questions. >> chairman: vice chair peskin? >> move the consent agenda. >> chairman: thank you. is there a second? >> second, ronen.
10:23 am
>> chairman: thank you. let's not open that up to public comment. we've already heard public comment on all these items. please call the roll. >> clerk: commissioner chen? >> aye. >> clerk: commissioner haney? >> aye. >> clerk: commissioner mandelman? >> aye. >> clerk: commissioner mar. >> aye. >> clerk: commissioner melgar? >> aye. >> clerk: commissioner peskin? >> aye. >> clerk: commissioner preston? >> aye. >> clerk: commissioner ronen? >> aye. >> clerk: commissioner safai? >> aye. >> clerk: commissioner stefani? >> aye. >> clerk: commissioner walton? >> aye. >> clerk: we have 11
10:24 am
ayes. >> clerk: item 11, san francisco transportation recovery plan. this is an information item. >> chairman: well, i believe we have director tomlin and julie criston, director of transit, and tom mcguire, director of the streets commission. and i believe we're going to start with commissioner chan. >> thank you, chair mandelman and colleagues. back in february, i called for this hearing, and i really appreciate chair mandelman for scheduling it, and for all of you to be joining this hearing because as we begin to recover from the pandemic and we open our economy, really our communities on the west side, we really need to see a concrete
10:25 am
plan from sfcta showing it is safe and efficient to get from point "a" to point "b." we also need to ensure that by committing, you know, to a permanent landscape, changes to our street, especially some of the temporary measures that have been put in place on the west side, like great highway and the park and shared space. we really need to see improved safety and efficiency. so, colleagues, i think today you will see that there are many different opinions across various community groups and stakeholders, and coming from public comment. one thing that, you know, i do hear, and continue to hear, and i think some of my colleagues -- actually supervisor mar and supervisor melgar have heard, we cannot go back
10:26 am
to the way it was before. we have a unique opportunity to reen envisionor transportation plan. with different modes of transportation, we can keep our neighborhood walkable, bikeable, and connected. let's be mindful that pre-pandemic great highway, there were 20,000 cars traveling through great highway on a day-to-day basis, but, also, we have more than 60,000 people traveling from the richmond area to downtown area through public transit. and so what does that mean now for us to reopen our economy? and i really do believe with the possibility of more people working from home, a hybrid work schedule and work situation for a lot of people, and our schools, hopefully, are slowly but
10:27 am
surely reopening -- all of those people have probably changed the way they travel around our city. we do see an increase of traveling from the north to north/south direction. and i really look to sfcta. how do we make sure we track these travel patterns and changes and be able to offer adequate and efficient and responsive plans to respond to these needs. so thank you, and, again, i really appreciate director chan and her teamworking for sfmta and for sfmta to come to us today. >> chairman: thank you,
10:28 am
commissioner chan. let's hear from the sfmta. sfmta. >> jess, did you want to make any remarks before tom and i start? >> you are our subject matter experts. i'm jeff tomlin. and here this afternoon or this morning we have tom mcguire, who is the director of streets, and julie kerfong, who is the director of transit. they're here to lay out the framework of strategy that i hope will address commissioner chan's meetings, as well as speak to all of you. we certainly understand the necessity of coming together at this time to hold on to the best of the experiments we have created during the covid period, but also recognize that the city has changed, travel demand patterns have changed, and many of the temporary measures that we did during
10:29 am
covid -- all of them are pretty good. some of them, i think, warrant sticking around. others, it may be time to let go of. in any case, we need to understand the unintended consequences of the experiments that we put forward and make adjustments, recognizing that we are still a long ways from full recovery at the sfmta. with that, let me turn it over to jill. >> good morning. board members, can you confirm that you can see the presentation? >> chairman: yes, we can see it. >> great. well, this first slide shows just a snapshot glance of all of the tremendous work that the sfmta team to support transportation recovery. we started shifting to a
10:30 am
recovery mode as early as last summer, really looking at how we could support both the city's mobility and economic recovery needs. everything from our shared spaces program to our slow streets, we were able to install temporary transit lanes, which will protect us from congestion has the city recovers. and it may be a little less known, but we also, throughout this pandemic, have been processing hundreds of requests for dropoff, loading very early on when we were in our strictest of recovery, and people were only allowed to go to the curb for their pharmacy needs and their groceries. up to the most recent standing up of the city's
10:31 am
vaccine sites. i just wanted to express a tremendous amount of gratitude for the staff across the agency, and in many cases across the city, and something like shared spaces has been a really comprehensive program that came together to stamp things up quicker, i think, than we've ever done. this work was all housed in our department's operation center, which was also a tremendous case study within the agency for breaking down silos, pushing through bureaucracy, and i think a lot of really positive momentum and lessons, which will move us forward, alone with many close relationships and partnerships that staff have created. also, in addition to supporting the city's recovery, we absolutely
10:32 am
needed to focus on covid safety for our staff and for our passengers. i think that we have one of the most extensive programs in the country. the first thing that we did was really look at the vehicle cleanliness. we are currently cleaning our vehicles twice a day so that all operators are going out with a clean bus. that's been important not just for covid safety, but also for the fear that a lot of our operators felt. we were also very fortunate that we had operator barriers in all of our buses, and that provided an additional level of protection. we have been tracking for many months now our mask compliance and have had extensive compaigns around mask compliance. our mask compliance is over 95%, and we've had months as high as 98%.
10:33 am
and then we continue to advance on that program. we're currently testing, for example, 25 mask dispensers, so if somebody does come on board and is not repaired to meet our requirements, they have a mask available to them. our car cleaners and custodians, they are really the heros of this pandemic. they have showed up every day to support our staff. but we also, at our facilities, have staff from across the agency pitching in and keeping things clean. so it has been a tremendous undertaking. i'm also very proud of our contact tracing program, which, again, is helping to make sure that we really minimize any staff-to-staff infections, and keep everybody informed as things go.
10:34 am
i'm very excited to report that in the last 10 days, we have not had any new staff covid cases, and i think that is attributed to both the overall decline that we're seeing, as well as the massive vaccination efforts that we've had for the m.t.a. staff, which we're incredibly grateful to the mayor and to the city for enabling. for service restoration, we have kind of a number of key constraints that i wanted to walk through because it will kind of set the framework for what we're able to do and not able to do. safety during covid, as i said, has been critical to allowing us to provide mobility, but it also represents some significant constraints as we move forward. i'll also be talking about state of good repair, our revenue and financial picture, and then hiring and training. this is kind of just an example of our biggest covid constraint right
10:35 am
now, which is our capacity on each vehicle has been cut by approximately 70%. we're only putting about 20 people in a bus right now. we do see that easing. we have received permission to go to three-foot bus spacing from the department of public health, but we need to work with them to continue to move towards pre-covid spacing as the city continues to recover. we also, as you know, have gotten a tremendous amount of state of good repair work done in the subway, along with, throughout the whole system, cable car service track. this is some photos of our overheadlines current work. what they're working on is a slow zone that they were
10:36 am
able to eliminate at castro station. not only when we open up the subway will we be more buffered from state of good repair issues, but customer-facing issues, like slow zones, will also be significantly addressed. so i'm really grateful for the subway task force, which is a combination of engineers and maintenance staff that have come together and have solved some of these difficult problems. we have also, as you know, had to close the subway in august, in large part due to defective splices. we have replaced all of the defective splices and significantly reduced the number of splices in the subway by running 10,000 feet of new wire. so some very significant work. i do want to point out, though, while we think about constraints, that while this work has been significant and really a
10:37 am
once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, it is only a down payment on the larger need. we did, for example, two weeks ago, had an automatic train control issue in the subway where part of our equipment why was malfunctioning. it it was very difficult to detect. it took a day and a half to diagnose, and it was only because a staff person noticed a half-second flicker on our power control source. we were able to deliver the service on the "t" line with minimal customer impacts because just going to embarcadero, we can operate in manual mode. but had we had that same issue two months from now, it would have significantly impacted subway service. so we need to continue, and are committed to continuing, to work on the larger state of good repair issues, the biggest
10:38 am
of which being the train control replacement, and the second of which being the track and the special track work between embarcadero and castro station, which is approximately 40 years old and dates back to the original muni bart tunnel work. the third constraint that we face is on the revenue side. we are very fortunate and very grateful to be receiving such a tremendously generous federal relief package. and that is allowing us to have a service restoration discussion. but, as you can see from this chart, over the next several years our budget is essentially balanced by 30% one-time funding sources. so it is not a sustainable path for service, and it exposes us to a significant amount of risk as we move forward. and then the last constraint is with hiring and training. the muni working group,
10:39 am
which we're very grateful for, was led by supervisor mandelman and supervisor peskin. one of the biggest things that that study identified was how hiring impacts was preventing m.t.a. from delivering quality service. going into covid, we had almost a 15% vacancy. that vacancy allowed us to survive the fiscal crisis of covid and to very quickly, by eliminating overtime, to get through the worst of the crisis without having to do layoffs of our staff. it is also what is going to complicate our recovery because not only do we have the 15% vacancy we had going into covid, we have not hired, in a significant way, over the last 12 months, nor have we created civil service
10:40 am
lists, nor have we be able to do a lot of training. so we have a number of challenges that are going to prevent us from being able to recover quickly. what we plan to do is invest as much as possible in our foundation now, so that when we do get to the june 2022 ballot and hopefully have positive results, we're able to scale up service more quickly, but it is going to take a significant upfront investment. one of the places we're seeing the biggest challenge on is hiring -- is training rail operators. that is not a hiring issue because our rail operators all start as bus operators, but it is related to a hiring issue because our rail operators promote into supervisors. and we haven't hired supervisors in over two years. and supervisors are
10:41 am
critical for running our transportation management center, for getting the service out each day from our division, for managing the service on the street. what this chart shows is we also are seeing unusually low attrition during covid. it could be for a number of reasons, one of which is that people just can't go do their dream retirement trip. there is not a lot to do right now, so people are working longer. we think that that could also have a shoring up and see a bigger than expected retirement at the end of the fiscal year in june. and then, as i said, we haven't been able to train rail operators over the last year because it requires the service to be running, which it hasn't been. so we are putting as much resources as we can into training, and we're going to continue to look at all
10:42 am
of these issues very closely and hire in a prioritized way. over the past 12 months, we have been able to restore service gradually. in april of 2020, when we went down to 17 core routes, we were only delivering about 45% of our service. we went down that significantly because there was so much fear and uncertainty around covid that our staffing levels were dropping on a daily basis. we didn't even have basic p.p.e., like masks. because we were able to really address operator concerns, because we were able to get all of those programs in place, we have seen a significant return of operators and strong staff attendance. that has enabled us to,
10:43 am
over the last year, go up to about 70% of our pre-covid service. as we make decisions about service, one of the questions that supervisor chan has asked is, you know, what are the driving metrics? how is data driving these decisions? and data has really been at the core of our work, along with equity, really making sure that when we have difficult choices to make, that we're connecting neighborhoods that have the least choices and are currently making the most trips. the performance metrix that have really been driving the transit recovery have been looking where we have crowding and pass-ups, as well as looking where we need coverage, and trying to find that balance between not leaving essential workers at the curb, but also not isolating costumers. this is a snapshot of our data.
10:44 am
this just shows an average day, march 3rd. where you start to see the orange circles, that's where we're starting to get pretty full in terms of bus service. and that has been guiding us as we look at adding service back, really trying to reduce, if not eliminate, the red and orange from our map in order to not to have pass-ups. and we've been tracking a crowding over time. even as we increase service, we still see that service very quickly get absorbed because of the kind of increased demand for mobility. what we're really excited about is because of the accelerated pace of vaccinations, both for it's sfmta staff, which we are so grateful for, and for the riding public, combined with the federal stimulus, we're now able
10:45 am
to have a conversation about how do we get to service restoration past the 70% that we're currently at? and it's going to happen in kind of a few different tronches. in may, we'll be extending the "t" line all the way to west portal, and we'll be restarting the enjuto rail, which will also help with the current challenge we're having, which is not having enough articulated buses on the weekend. so converting the enjuto to rail will free up buses to again close gaps in the system. we're also going to be restarting the historic "f" line. we currently only have enough operators to operate one shift, and we're working with merchants along the corridor to really understand what hours or going to be the most beneficial to support businesses. i do want to flag that the
10:46 am
"f" line is really the full line from castro to fishermans wharf, which is a summer-only restoration. we anticipate with the better market street construction scheduled to start this fall, which we'll be removing track and overhead, that the "f" line will then drop to the lower part of market street, along with the wharf. but we haven't been able to confirm that we believe we'll be able to get trains to about palo station. and, finally, we'll be continuing to increase frequencies for crowding management this may. and we will be restarting a new circulated route that will cover a majority of the 36 line, plus the 52 line on diamond heights, and we're very grateful to supervisor melgar and supervisor mandelman for really flagging that we have a number of seniors that are stuck on that hilltop and
10:47 am
really need some immediate coverage to be able to reengage. as you know, we have the e.t. c. program, which is one of the most exciting things to come out of covid, and is providing some support for people making limited trips and don't currently have coverage. but this additional service will provide more options. >> can i ask a question? >> chairman: sure. >> i have a point of clarification about slide 13. when it comes to the ridership data, you know, i just want to make sure this is really trackk the trackingthe service that is currently available. for example, some of the bus services or bus lines that have stopped and are
10:48 am
not restored. we're not able to track them at this point, right? i think, for example, for outer richmond, where we don't have the 18, and then, you know, along with increase of private vehicles increasing and people driving -- while we know the ridership probably increases in an area, if a bus line is not restored, there is no way to track the ridership level and the need for it? >> thank you for that question. the ridership does not track it, which is why it is so important that we have our second metric, which is coverage. so map here, in dark pink, shows all of the areas of the city that are currently the residential neighborhoods that are currently within a quarter mile of a transit stop. and, as you can see, we have some gaps,
10:49 am
particularly along corridors like the 18 line, which makes north/south connections between the richmond and the sunset. in august, when school re-starts, we will be focusing on closing those coverage gaps. so the august map will get us to 98% coverage of our kind of surface residential area. that's the balance that we've been making. so as we add that route, it reduces our ability to address crowding, but it also provides important coverage for people that doesn't otherwise have transit service. so in august, we anticipate we will no longer be stuck with
10:50 am
putting 20 people on a bus. and where we're running a three-minute service, they can comfortably go to five-minute service, which is still an excellent amount of service, but it frees up enough extra buses for us to be able to close the citywide gap. so throughout this process, we've been adding service back. we went from 17 lines to now having about 30. when we get to the august changes, we're really going to be focused on closing those remaining coverage gaps. so bringing back routes like the 18. bringing back routes like the 57, which is serving the lake merced area. we wouldn't be able to do everything, so there will still be routes that are parallel to other routes that may not restart, or a route like the six parnasis, which used to go along the hilltop and into
10:51 am
the downtown area, might just cover the hilltop and make connections, for example, on irving street. we'll still be limited in what we'll be able to do, but we believe we'll be able to do enough to really close these coverage gaps and give people the transit choices that they need. the big focus in august will be on closing coverage gaps. we do not anticipate we will have enough rail operators to further start rail service, but that could change. we have a lot of unknowns with the rail operators because we don't know how many are going to promote to these supervisors. we don't really know how many are going to retire. and we're very committed to keeping this board and our board up to date as that changes. so basically how our two metrics balance each other out. we're focused both on closing coverage gaps, and continue to do that
10:52 am
through august, when school starts, and addressing the crowding so that we're not leaving essential workers at the curb. by the end of the year, we will have had enough time to hire and to train, and so instead of reallocating service, like the nine, we will actually be able to add service back. and going from about 70% pre-covid levels to about 85% pre-covid-19 levels. we may have discussions on what that looks like. and we're going to be taking a deep dive into neighborhoods like the richmond and really working with your office to help make those tradeoffs. so, for example, we could invest in stronger, you know, north/south connections, like the 29 rapid is something that we've really wanted to do for a long time and have gotten a lot of feedback
10:53 am
from groups that focus on equity and focus on school travel, that having frequent 29 service, having a quicker option in addition to the local service, would really help with connections. we also could consider reintroducing some of our parallel service, so routes, for example, like the 21 haze. we're currently on track to restore the high power line of the cable car in the fall. we could also think about how do we restart the full system. we also know that covid has taught us how important it is to make connections outside of the downtown area and keep those connections strong. we also know that downtown will continue to rebound, and so reintroducing
10:54 am
express service will also been needed at some point. so these are some of the tradeoffs that we'll have as we move forward. so that's basically the kind of bulk of the transit service and the transit restoration. it leads, i think, in an important way, to roads and streets and roadway safety. i'm going to turn it over to tom so he can talk about some of the investments and how they connect, and you'll have an opportunity at the end to talk to us both on kind of how our work programs inter-relate and support one another. >> chairman: okay. thank you, julie. >> as julie said early on, this is the year in which the m.t.a. has worked as seamlessly across all of the different domains and divisions within the
10:55 am
agency more so than i've ever seen in my almost seven years here. the streets team, the taxi team, the taxi team, all focusing on maintaining a level of improvement that people need in response to the pandemic. as the long-term duration of the covid crisis became clear last spring, it also became clear to us that our streets needed to adapt to serve more and different ways of getting around and getting through the cities than they did before covid. covid really has changed how people move through the city, as well as how they use the streets. with physical distancing on transit, with schools and offices closed, and with people spending more time at home, we knew that people needed more opportunity and more space to walk, roll, and just recreate within their neighborhoods safely. and the work we did with neighborhoods and
10:56 am
specifically with just about every supervisor and commissioner on this board -- yd us adapt the concept of slow streets and make it work in san francisco and make it work for san francisco neighborhoods. we developed the slow streets program, which includes connected corridors over 40 miles of streets throughout the city, which give neighborhoods like the richmond and sunset, opportunities to get outside and travel within their neighborhoods safely. and, again, i'm very much in partnership with communities and with you and your roles as commissioners and supervisors. and we also have worked closely with partners at rec park department to bring slow streets and promenades to m.l.a. drive and golden gate park. and as you can see on the map, we've created a car-free or slow streets all the way from the starting building to the zoo. that is something that has never existed before. we pushed the limit of how safe our streets can be
10:57 am
and how they can be used for more than just moving cars. it is critical to the response of covid and it will be critical to our emergence and recovery from covid. next slide, please. so these slow streets -- actually, julie, can go back one slide. thank you. as we recover from the pandemic through '21 and joined, car-free connections are going to continue to play a critical role in our transportation system. as people return to work and schools reopen, we need to give people as many options as possible. people need to be anal to able o get around their neighborhoods by walking and biking and rolling. and they'll continue to need to use their streets for physical activity and public health as we recover. as we navigate through the muni constraints that julie discussed and
10:58 am
hopefully will see lifting, the slow streets will pick up the slack and provide mobility options for people who can't or are not able to use muni for their essential trips. next slide, please. as we make these changes, however, we're also working to make sure that once the residents who continue to need to drive will continue to be able to do so. we're trying to address and prevent gridlock and address the new changes in traffic patterns are that emerging in response to the new less office work but more school and interneighborhood travel work. and also changes to the traffic network that has happened as a result of construction or as a result of the multi-level streets we're building. you see the northbound traffic that existed pre-covid. it is a very robust grid and can move large amounts
10:59 am
of traffic. 19th avenue, sunset boulevard, and grand highway, and those are for regional drivers, who need to get out and south of the city, and those routes lead into skyline boulevard, lake merced boulevard, and the stretch of 19th avenue. there is a grand total of eight lanes that can flow through the west side. but because sunset boulevard is fed in many cases by lower capacity, one-lane streets, we don't see eight full lanes of traffic moving, and we didn't see eight full lanes moving before covid. next slide, please. so what has happened during covid? in the green, you can see all of the terrific things we've done together to make streets safer for non
11:00 am
motorized travel. but the heavy blue lines, how real traffic moves through the city, continues to be important. without the upper grade highway in the network, that closure, we have to acknowledge, initially did cause friction for drivers who used to take the route from the far west side all the way down the great highway to skyline boulevard. however, as traffic -- we're tracking traffic data very closely throughout the pandemic, and what we found is because the west side is a grid, and because sunset boulevard has never carried as much traffic as it is designed to be able to carry, the system is actually quite resilient. a large amount shifted to sunset boulevard -- go to the next slide, please, julie. the date that that the transportation authority has been tracking very closely, traffic is flowing better on sunset boulevard -- or rather i