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tv   Mayors Press Availability  SFGTV  September 29, 2021 5:00pm-6:01pm PDT

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good morning everyone. who loves transit in san francisco? oh, my gosh, everybody loves transit. who had a great ride? who had a problematic ride? that's actually a pretty good. that's okay. that's good. hi, ktvu. so i am rafael mandalmen. i got to take the j church in with a group of activists who are very committed to getting the j back in the tunnel. my experience on the j was a mix of the good and the bad. so i will say that two years ago, the last time that we did this, i was not actually able to participate on that day but
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i think my staff waited 45 minutes. there was like a three to five minute wait but that was fantastic. i was riding with a woman who recently had hip surgery and now there was a transfer at church and market that there was not pre-pandemic and we had to, you know, i think the experience that a lot of folks with accessibility challenges had where we got off and we have to get across this street that is a very hard street to traverse and then it turns out that the elevator that's supposed to make it possible to get down and make the transfers broken. so then we waited for the s-line which is not as frequent and actually involves a fairly rikdy contraption crossing to get into it if you are having accessibility challenges in getting in. so anyway, it was interesting to see the extra burdens that our system poses for people who may be in a wheelchair or using a walker or a cane and i think
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that needs to be foremost in our minds as we think about how to make our system work for everybody. thank you to the transit rider's union for getting us here after two years. thank you. it's been a rough couple of years, but i do want to just express my heart felt gratitude to the staff of m.t.a., the staff of the transportation authority, the operators, all the workers who have gone so far above and beyond over this last year and a half for operators getting on those buses and those trains at a time when it was not entirely clear what kinds of risks that might pose to your health when people were dying and like chicago dying in and getting sick in terrible numbers. it was a very scary time and yet people showed up to work, kept our transportation system
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moving and we were able to radically in a matter of days transform a system that we had, you know, come to rely on into an emergency system that got our essential workers back and forth to prioritize equity and i'm proud of that. i think our m.t.a. has been recognized nationally for the changes it made in those early days and putting equity first and i think that's something that they can be proud of. as we approach what we hope will be the end of the pandemic, it is clear that we are not out of the woods. many of us, all of us i think are very concerned about the notion that we might be aiming at 85% of the service that we had prior to the pandemic. i think all of us agree that the service we had prior to the pandemic was actually not adequate to the needs of san franciscans, much less the
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needs of the additional san franciscans that will be coming to address our affordability crisis. so 85% is not enough and, for me, and i think for all of my colleagues, a very high priority for the next year is going to be figuring out how to get the revenue that the m.t.a. needs to make sure that we are not aiming at worse service than we had before, but are aiming at better service than we had before. and that has been imperative for all the reasons we all know. it is the right thing to do for equity. everyone should be able to get around this city without a car, but it is also an environmental imperative as smoke is filling our airs -- is filling our air and as we face a global climate crisis, we have to get people out of their cars. so, this is a -- an exciting thing to be back. i love this. i love this event.
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i love that we're doing a month this year rather than just a week, and, with that, i want to introduce someone as a friend who i worked with and thank you so much, cat carter. >> thank you, supervisor and chair mandelman. what a beautiful day for a muni ride. we keep having these beautiful days for our ride arounds in transit month. thank you all so much for being here. thank you all who did the ride along and leaving a good example. i want to quickly introduce our colleague, who worked tirelessly to pull this all together and coordinate everything. he's been doing amazing work and he'll be up here a little later. we talk a lot ant our transit first policy and i think we all continue to fall short of that
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ideal. it's really past time to take our transit first policy seriously. we need to make transit the first choice for people to get around meaning more and better service that's fast, reliable, clean, easy to use and safe. we need to put riders first. we have no more time to waste as supervisor mandelman was just saying, the climate emergency is here. mount shasta has no snow for the first time. fires are causing massive damage across our country. before the pandemic, muni served over 700,000 daily trips while contributing less than 1% of the city's green house gases. back in the '80s, muni served over 900,000 daily trips. we need to figure out how to get that many people back on muni and more. we know some people face dyer services in the coming days and months, but we need to start building the future.
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we need -- we know street priority is necessary to do that and we know sfmta has done a pretty good job of that. we've seen them move very quickly to bring faster, more reliable service by putting transit 1 on the streets. but too many riders are still left behind. we have too much service that hasn't come back yet and we need sfmta to work quickly to improve its network. but to really put riders first, we need to grow sfts. we need to invest in it. this is going to take all of us working together. we need to build a vision of a network of fast, frequent, reliable service that connects every neighborhood that provides real accessibility. we need service that's easy and safe for all. this is the idea behind our 30 by 30 vision to have those fast, frequent routes that travel end to end and that connect all neighborhoods. we need all our city leaders to
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champion the major funding muni will need. we invite you to keep setting an example. keep logging your rides at all month long and tweeting your experience. and, our city leaders need all of us as riders and as voters to keep speaking up and showing up to build the future of muni that we need. thank you again for showing up and speaking up today and every day for the future of transit in san francisco. and now, zack will introduce our next speaker. >> thank you so much, cat. we're going to hear from some of our courageous supervisors who road transit today starting with supervisor mar. >> supervisor mar: good morning, transit riders. it's so great to be here with all of and my colleagues. i'm showing our collective love
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for transit this morning and happy transit month. i rode in this morning on the n-juda and the ride seemed a little bit smoother with fewer delays and quicker than before. so that was great to see and i believe director tumlin and m.t.a. actually have some data to back that up. so, that's been really great. as you all know, we're in a critical moment for public transit in san francisco. we can't afford to debate measures. we can't afford to be divided and we can't afford to drop the ball on delivering the service or go back and forth on the world class transit system that's needed and deserved. we need to put our money where our mouth is. that means we need new revenue. we need to make sure every san
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francisco voter knows what's at stake. we can't go backwards for our climate, for vision 0, for a more livable city and planet and we have to go forward. we need more service not less. more revenue not less. more lines not less. and let's give three car trains on the njuda. let's bring bar to the west side. and, sure, let's tax the rich to fund the bus. and, we need to have the vision to ultimately create fair, free public transit in san francisco because we know every dollar invested and spent on transit pays dividends for our economic recovery, for economic mobility, for our public health and the quality of air we breathe and for combatting climate change and cutting our city's single largest source of green house gas. mobility is a human right and public good in reliable, fast,
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fully funded and ultimately free transit is a north star we all should be working for. let's get the basics right, let's dream big and let's deliver. thank you again, transit riders. thanks to m.t.a. and t.t.a. and just all of the passionate transit advocates in our city and my colleagues and i were with you and we're going to keep pushing forward to create the transit system san franciscans need and deserve. >> thank you, supervisor mar. now i'm thrilled to introduce san francisco's very own mayor. mayor london breed. >> thank you. well, good morning everybody. i am so excited to be here with all of you to really kick off transit month in san francisco and, first, i want to take this opportunity to thank all of the transit drivers, all of our operators, the sfmta staff and
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many of the folks who during this pandemic were essential workers because we knew that during the pandemic, so many people would rely on public transportation and there was a lot of concern about whether or not it would be safe and i've really got to send a shout out to jeff tumlin and the work he did to make sure we were cleaning the buses on a more regular basis and, yes, they have been cleaned on a more regular basis that we were supporting our drivers and the transit riders union, i want to thank you for raising money for masks and ppe for many of our drivers especially because we saw really high rates of covid with a number of our drivers and you stepped in, you supported them and that's what this city is all about. we know how important public transportation is. we don't want to go back to the days when i used to catch the bus in high school and junior high. we would always just look this
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way, look that way, is it coming? we've got to start walking? are we going to be late to school? well, we are new and improved. we have a lot of work to do and part of what the sfmta is trying to do as we speak is to make the system more reliable. make it more efficient. we know what we need, we know it's been very challenging to deliver to san franciscans the service that this city deserves because we're saying take public transit, but we also have to make sure that it's reliable, that it's safe, that it's clean and it's exactly what it needs to be in order to serve what is a world class city especially as we recover. i want to thank each and every one of you today and i'll see some of you on muni. i've been on muni in this pandemic in disguise because i didn't want folks to bother me when i'm trying to get from
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point a to point b. every time. i end up missing my stop. so hopefully i'll see you out there on muni this month. thank you all so much for being here. >> hello, good morning everyone. i'll just be the bearer of all good news. like every year, i rode the 49 to city hall. it was fantastic the ride. it was quick and efficient. we got here within 15 minutes or so. it was incredible. and, that's how lucky we are to have a world class transit system. we're just simply not going to be able to maintain and make it better. that is definitely a priority for me and for all of my
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colleagues on the board of supervisors and i am sorry that i have to leave early, but i have a very good reason that fits into transit month. i am a representative on m.t.c., the metropolitan commission. so congratulations. please get back on muni. it is safe. it is reliable. it is clean. can't wait to see you on the bus. take care. >> thank you, supervisor ronen. so, we have a couple more supervisors coming up. i'm thrilled to introduce supervisor chan from district 1. >> supervisor chan: good morning, transit riders. it's good to be here today. i came to san francisco's chinatown when i was 13 years old. i went to galleio high school
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and the 30 stop was my jam. that was great. i went to u.c. davis, but still used public transit. greyhound and m-track and then when i came back to work to the city, it was getting a little harder. but my first gig in city hall as an aide, i was still living in chinatown and i had the best ride to work. it was on cable car and it was awesome. i love public transit, but at the same time, you know, as my work got more demanding, life was a little bit more demanding, you know, riding around, bus hopping was not easy and for any of you who've done bus hopping in san francisco, you know it takes some time. if you miss that transfer, you know what, you can just get a lot of anxiety going on in you waiting for that next bus. so i know that means we need to
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do better with our public transit. you know, today as a supervisor representing district 1, prepandemic in the richmond, we have one of the highest ridership with 38. 60,000 riders, one direction every day. let's bring back to that level and that's what we need to do and because we know that public transit is public good and we ought to fund it like it is. you know what, i want to also give a shout out to carina chan here from china town trip. she reminded me if any of you have known that her interview with ktvu recently, she reminded me that transit equity is social, economic, and racial equity. let's remember that. happy transit month.
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>> supervisor stefani: good morning everybody. i am catherine stefani supervisor for district 2. i want to thank everyone for all their work on transportation and to the transit riders. thank you for continuing to call attention to this extremely important issue. i see my neighbor steven chun who now works for the sfmta and it's so great. i have a family of four. i have two kids. we took it right to the giants game. it was safe. it was reliable. it was frequent. we want it to be reliable. we want it to be frequent and we are very lucky we had that experience the other day. this morning, i rode the 49 in. and, again, it was an easy thing to do. but, i do want to mention something about families and transit because you cannot
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ignore the fact that it is very difficult for families who have kids to get around the city especially when you have two different school, two different droppoff times, sports, there's so much that families face when it comes to making sure transit can work into their lives. so let's not forget the families in san francisco. i know my former boss used to say transit first does not mean transit last. i want to thank everybody for your continued focus on transit. we are a first class city. we need a first class transit. so thank you for continuing to be here and thank you for your focus on that. happy transit month. >> hello transit riders. i am dean preston, district five supervisor. i want to thank transit riders for putting this event on. thank everyone else for m.t.a.
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and all of the workers making our transit system roll even during a pandemic. this month marks my 28th anniversary as an everyday muni rider and i've just got to say, i just love public transportation, love riding the bus, and, like they say in the movie, you've got to love it to hate it. here we are. but, you know, i took my daughter today to school on muni as i always do, and i thought about the fact that it takes me an hour round trip door to door to do that. and, it would take me 20 minutes if i were to drive. and, in too many ways, we are a car first city masquerading as a transit first city.
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we have to do everything possible with urgency to flip that script. and, so when i think about transit month and thank you for extending transit week to transit month so we have a whole month to celebrate transit, but, you know, i think about all the neighborhoods that i represent that continue to not have their muni lines a year and a half later. i think about district 5 families. i think about neighbors who live up on a hill who are seniors. i think of folks who have seen their muni lines suspended indefinitely with promises for the first year that their line would definitely come back and now a process in place through which their line may be permanently and forever gone. i think about how advocates and community leaders in the tenderloin and in the filmore had to fight so hard with everything else going on in the pandemic, had to fight so hard
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to get the 31 balboa back and thank you for fighting that fight on behalf of everyone in san francisco. when i think about transit month, i think about the operators that continue to drive throughout the pandemic as essential workers themselves and transporting essential workers. i think of the transit operators not just here, but in new york city who continue to operate buses and subways in the middle of catastrophic flooding. i think about all the operators from muni, sam trans, and other agencies that went to help in san jose after the tragic p.t.a. shooting. when i think about transit month, i think about the riders, all of you who choose to or who must use muni and how we as a city have not done enough for you all during this pandemic or ever in san francisco. a transit system should be
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based on the principles that more service leads to more rides and more riders and less service leads to fewer riders and fewer rides. that is why cutting service and cutting lines for financial savings is a death spiral for transit. we must win back transit ridership as we recover from this pandemic. and unfortunately and it saddens me to say it, right now, riders are being given nothing to fight for. and, are instead too often being asked to just accept osterity. we must have a more robust vision that inspires people to ride muni and to support the bold funding measures that we need to take to the ballot. we need a vision that includes
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fair relief on a path to free muni. investment in our workers and more reliable service and not strategies that pit riders from one part of town against riders from another part of town. we need a vision of a world class public transit system for our city for generations to come. and, as supervisor mar put it so well, let's tax the wealthy to make this happen. thank you so much. next up is supervisor haney. >> supervisor haney: all right. thank you, dean. i'm going to ask the easiest question that i know the answer to. who rode transit here this morning? all right. how many of you ride transit most days? all right. well, apparently, they're going to be tracking. i already looked. there's somebody who already in september has ridden transit over 60 times, so whoever that person is, if they're here, i think their name is anthony, very impressive. you probably know this person.
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we are going to commit not only this month to ride transit, but to support transit and i want to thank the transit riders union. i want to thank all of my colleagues. jeff tumlin, the mayor, the m.t.a. staff. we always rode over here this morning with a guy named jason from the m.t.a. who works so hard every day 90 this system, to improve it and it has been especially challenging over the lars year and a half and i want to recognize all of them. many of the folks here are involved in supporting this system and improving it and i want to thank all of you, the m.t.a. board as well. one of the things that has been so important this past year as there have been advocates and i see a lot of the folks standing up here who have fought for our public transportation system every single day over the last year and a half and it was
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under tremendous strain. other folks have said this, you know, people were scared to go on because they were worried that they might be sick, that it wasn't clean, that it was too crowded. as people stopped riding the bus and the train, lines were cut. all of that was a huge attack on what we know as one of the most essential parts of our city and people stood up and fought is to make sure it was maintained. and i especially want to recognize the folks who fought for the 31. this was a line and give it up for the return of the 31. people in the tenderloin. people who live in s.r.o.s. families, seniors. we rode the 31 today from district 5. i went over to district 5 with dean preston and a number of folks and we rode it in and it
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is such a critical east west connecter for the district that i represent and i want to thank you all for fighting so hard for it. the last thing i want to say is i'm the budget chair and my colleagues told me i've been authorized to put this up and to say we are committed to funding muni, funding sfmta. happy transit month. >> supervisor melgar: thank you for being here. i'm the supervisor for district 7. we actually share a longer border with district 5 in san mateo county than with district 5 in san mateo county. i will talk about the great things we're doing. we're doing really well in terms of transit. i love muni. muni is now free for all youth thank you to my colleagues and
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to mayor breed for making that happen and, you know, we're committed to training and supporting a new generation of transit riders so that we can have the highest possible ridership and get people out of their cars and into public transit. that's how we solve the climate crisis is to make sure we reduce those carbon offsets and take the bus. that's what we need to do. i am an immigrant to san francisco. i came when its 12 years it cost a nickel back then and muni gave me freedom. it was a freedom that as a kid from el salvador like very few in my generation had in my country, but here, muni alloweded us to just have the entire the world class city that is san francisco at our feet. if you haven't seen the newest marvel movie, go see it because muni is a prominent character.
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it's so much part of our identity. i want to thank all of you for your advocacy. t.w.u. and local transit workers who have put their lives and their families and health on the line for the rest of us. we need to keep supporting them and advancing this wonderful public good that is transit. in my district, we have city college, san francisco state, and u.c.s.f. as part of the zoo all of the organizations that rely on public transit to be healthy and expand. we want to make sure that san francisco comes back from this pandemic and public transit is the way. let's fund it. let's fund it adequately. let's pave the way for our future and our childrens' future by having a muni system that's fair, that's affordable and that is open to all. thank you so much. sorry. i was supposed to introduce my
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great friend supervisor ahsha safai. >> supervisor safai: good morning everyone. supervisor safai here. in the past, i have to say and truthfully, i've been a big critic of the sfmta and a lot of that has been justified, but today i want to focus on the positive. i think within the last year, even in the midst of this pandemic, there's been a lot of improvement. there's still a lot of room to grow. there's still a lot of improvements to be made. despite all of the challenges and a virus that's spreading rapidly via air internally, our operators showed up to work. many of those operators live in my district in the excelsior, omy and outer mission and they don't complain. i mean, they do complain, julie, i know you know that, but justifiably, they show up.
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and, if they have complaints, they make it known, but they still show up and do their job every single day. so i had an awesome driver today on the 14r. her name was "dee." we got from geneva and mission all the way to the inner mission and 14th. my daughter rode with me, got her to school in less than 20 minutes. it was a wonderful ride. the red lanes worked. no one was blocking us. the driver drove professionally and, you know, what, the bus was packed, but it felt safe. every single person was wearing a mask. i forgot my wallet at home. she still waited for me. i had to come back but we made it on time and i think there has been a lot of good work done and a lot of that improvement has been the result of the advocacy of the transit riders and those that know the
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system intimately ride it day in and day out. so i'm very happy to say that the part of town that i represent, the essential workers have been getting up every single day to get to work, they're riding those buses. every single one of the buses was packed today. the 14r, the 14, 43, every single one of them. and thanks so supervisor melgar and her advocacy, we have the m-line coming back. that's also serving our district now. that's a really big deal. you know, the 52 excelsior's back. we are making improvements and, yes, my daughter rode for free. thank you, supervisor melgar for your advocacy and mayor breed and the rest of the board and supervisor preston for really making access for those children and youth a high priority. so we're going to continue to celebrate it this month. we're going to continue to promote muni in any way and
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ridership as we can and we will invest in the right way. it also means pedestrian safety and traffic calming. so, anyway, proud to be part of this day today, proud to support this effort and i'll stand with all of you in continuing to make muni a priority. thank you. >> good morning. my name is jeffery tumlin and i'm here to say that public transit is fundamental. 47% of san francisco's green house gas emissions comes from the transport sector and public transit is the primary way we're going to make a difference with climate change. public transit is opportunity and our way to correct for past inequity. public transit is essential for efforts to improve health and safety of our population and public transit is essential for san francisco's economic recovery after this brutal 18
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months. i'm particularly grateful to all of our front line and operations crews particularly our operators who showed up to work every single day through a pandemic to make sure that essential workers could continue to get to work. i'm grateful for the incredible creativity and risk taking that all of our transit planning staff did in reinventing the muni system practically every month for nearly 18 months and i'm really proud of the achievements that they've been able to do with all of that work that they did. we're getting phenomenal speed and reliability improments on all of our core systems. yesterday, we released preliminary data that was showing 20% in speed on the freeway. benefits that i did not think were possible and involved a tremendous amount of risk taking and creativity among our
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crews. i'm grateful to our traffic engineering team who has invested in designing 20 miles the in order to hold on to all the speed and reliability improvements we've gotten during covid. and i'm grateful to the operatoring crews who on our frequent lines shifted to headway management which has meant that our buses are more reliable than they've been in all of the decades than we have data to support that. i'm so grateful to our riders union who've put up with all of the changes that we've made. the stumbles that we've made, the corrections that we've made in order to try to deliver the best possible transit system despite the challenges we are facing. i'm also here to ask for your help. i think has been made clear to all of you, muni is facing the worst financial crisis in history. we're so thankful to the government for getting us through last year and this year. what's clear from all of the
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data from the counselor and the controller's office is we're expecting at least another four years of huge covid related financial losses. particularly to two of our three biggest sources of revenue, parking fees and transit fares. we're going to need a lot of help to find ways to fill those gaps. we, all of us on muni staff believe that we were delivering far inadequate service back before covid. we need dramatic expansion and improment in the frequency, the number of lines, the speed, the reliability. we need a world class transit system for san francisco and we're going to need help from all of you. i'm also so grateful to all the board of supervisors and have offered their help to find ways to fill this gap to fund mu nshgd eeushgd and to finally deliver the transit system that san francisco deserve its and
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need. and, with that, i'd like to introduce our sfmt academic board chair. >> thank you so much for that, jeff. i'm so grateful for our staff, the leadership of jeff tumlin in helping to reconfigure transit. our operators were essential workers and it was a really tough time for many of them as they struggled with things in their family. they showed up;, they persevered and they served this city. what was also so illuminating at that time was our riders were essential workers. in those areas where we had a lot of essential workers. i really want to thank the transit riders, you guys have made such a large difrnts. because so many of our riders are essential workers and can't come up and show up at a hearing and testify and support the need for transit, the voice
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that you provide is super powerful and i'm so grateful bringing this up, celebrating for a month. we need to tell all san franciscans, public transportation is essential ask we need them to support our ultimate ballot measure which will come in the future for our funding needs. i want to thank the leadership of our board of supervisor, also our transportation authority for all committing here to support our funding in the future. it is really critical. the biggest challenge public transit has is it's not as sexy as so many other areas and it's very costly. especially to maintain the reliability and the service. we want to bring back as much service and all the lines that we can but it's crucial because covid really battered our revenue sources and we really increasingly depend on the general funds. we don't have the advantage of generating most of our revenue but that means it's more critical that we need your
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support. we need all of our elected leadership, everyone in the public. the transit riders and everyone to champion us for a future that we can provide the visionary network that everyone wants and deserves and, without it, our city will struggle. i invite all of these people who've been off of transit to come back. we need you to come back to survive and thrive. i need you all to evangelize it taking muni is safe. tell them about our faster service. i live on the 14r, 49 line. i take those buses almost every single day and i have to say i've been so impressed whether it's 1:00 in the morning or 5:00 in the morning. thank you for your advocacy and let's fight together for public transit.
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>> thank you, director boarden. director tumlin, director chang. all the supervisors and mayor who made it out here today to celebrate transit month. and all of you who are standing in the sun for the past hour showing your commitment to a better transit future. thank you, everyone. public transit is at the core of san francisco's economic recovery. muni kept us going during the pandemic thanks to the work of the transit operators, our safety ambassadors and all our front line workers who risked their health to keep our city going. roger moranko is unable to be here today. thank you muni operators and members who kept us going during this pandemic and keep us going today.
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now, more than ever, we know that muni is more than just a line on the map and more than just a yellow sign post at an intersection. it's a sense of belonging and freedom of movement it's access to education, to jobs, to all the opportunities san francisco has to offer. from the bay view to the richmond. just because i owned a fast pass. but supervisor melgar, it was $0.35 when i was a kid. it's a little bit more today we're gathered here today to celebrate transit but we also know how much further we need to go. many lines remain suspended with their futures uncertain and sfmta doesn't have the funds it needs to invest in
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21st century transit needs. i have hope to reinvest and fund a world class transit system here in san francisco. hope that when we raise our collective voices together, anything is possible. we're the people who make this city hum. the people who never stop riding during the pandemic. who know what's at stake should we fail to invest. but we're also the ones to make this change happen. in fact, we're the only ones who can. so, thank you all for gathering here today. thank you for your energy, for your spirit and for celebrating transit not this month, but every month to come for a world class transit system here in san francisco. thank you. so that is the end of our rally and press conference. if you have not yet go to ride
5:44 pm to sign up and track your rides this month. we're giving out prizes for winners. we have a ton of events coming up at and we hope you'll join us throughout the month and going forward in the future. so if everybody can come up here for one last picture, that'd be great. thank you. kids, night terrors. we see again, across -- -- >> you're watching coping with covid-19 with chris manners. >> hi.
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i'm chris manners, and you're watching coping with covid-19. today, my guest is an infeshttious disease specialist and leading the covid disease tracing team for the san francisco department of public health. she's here to talk about the city's contact tracing program and how to slow the spread of the virus. doctor, welcome to the show. >> thank you so much for having me. >> can we begin by talking about when the city's contact tracing program began and what are the services? >> sure. so we began contact tracing on the first day that we had a case here in san francisco, so that was march 5 of this year. the purpose of our program is to provide comprehensive services to people who are close to and diagnosed with covid. this includes anyone who's newly diagnosed gets a phone call from our trained health professionals in which we talk
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more about their diagnosis, make sure that they have accurate information. we then go into understanding a little bit more about their symptoms and trying to better understand when they first may have become infectious to others. as part of that, we will then talk about anyplaces they may have visited for an extended period of time and people they were in contact with. we then seek to better understand the individuals that they were in touch with by collecting names and phone numbers so that then we can reach out to these individuals and make sure that they have the information that they need in order to quarantine and get access to immediate testing for covid. >> how does the program work? how many people are actually acting as contact tracers, and what do they do? >> so we had over 100 people activated with the city to provide active contact tracing
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actions for san franciscans. so this team is highly trained in being able to provide everyone diagnosed with covid with information about what this means to them and make sure that they know the resources that are available to them so that they can safely isolate. this team then also has worked with several social workers as well as other city departments to make sure that this individual has wraparound services in order to complete their isolation in quarantine. in general, we have staff that represents all diverse backgrounds in san francisco, and they are also able to provide linguistically appropriate services to make sure we are able to meet the needs of the people being diagnosed. >> that's great. when we run a huge program in the mission district, what role did contact tracing play in that effort. was there anything notable?
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>> so previous to this pandemic, san francisco public health has been tracking communities disproportionately affected by covid-19. we provided a large community-based testing campaign in the mission. as part of this campaign, we found that while latinos made up 44% of the people who were tested, they made up 95% of people who ended up being diagnosed. we also found that 90% of the people who were diagnosed with covid-19 could not work from home, suggesting that this disease is impacting communities that may be unable to work from home or have the resources to stay at home during their shelter in place order. so as part of these activities, it's really a reflection of what we're seeing citywide in that we need to make sure that people who are at the greatest
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risk for covid have the resources needed in order to take time off of work as necessary, as they're diagnosed with covid. >> i think as we've seen in new york, density is a huge factor, so it makes sense that there would be quite a few cases in the mission district. >> yeah. we did find that the median size of the household was greater than three, and the majority of people who had been diagnosed with covid, so this does go back to the fact that covid is really likely to transmit within households, and we need to make sure that households have the information that they need if somebody is diagnosed with covid, and that they can appropriately cleanup, clean their spaces, and they can self-isolate, and as necessary, they have access to city funded hotel rooms where they can safely isolate or
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quarantine for the required period of time and reduce their risk of spreading covid to others. >> just to confirm, these tests are completely free, right? what kind of turnaround do we have? >> so fortunately, san francisco offers free testing to san franciscans who have even one symptom consistent with covid-19. what you need to know about this testing is that you have to schedule it on-line, but that you don't need any medical insurance, and you don't need a doctor's note. in addition, testing is available to all san franciscans regardless of immigration status. you'll be able to get your test results in just one to five days after getting a test, and you'll get follow up through the health department if you're found to have covid-19, including access to all of our tracing activities that i've talked about today. so if you have an opportunity to test for covid, i recommend that you go for it because it's important that we all really
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understand that testing is part of our new normal and a really important pillar for our fight against covid transmission here in san francisco. >> now, some communities have been responding differently to the virus. some have been asking their citizens to keep a diary so they can remember who they've seen, while others are encouraged to download an app to their phone so they can keep track of tracing. have we considered any of these steps. >> so a major part of tracing is to talk to someone about where they've been and who they've been in contact with prior to developing symptoms or on the date of their test. this requires jogging somebody's memory, and as we all know, it can be hard to recall all of the things that one has participated in days -- in the past several days. so we recommend that everyone
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pay attention to what they're doing as we lift our shelter in place orders, and we are carefully looking at the possibility of being able to support and being able to understand where someone may have been and who else may have been exposed to covid. but as part of that, we're keeping careful caution and doing our due diligence to ensure that people's privacy and confidentiality is maintained. this is the number one priority for us in the department of public health. we want anything that we offer through an app to be supplementing instead of replacing our currently contact tracing efforts. >> so it seems like any app-based program the city might offer would be on a strictly opt-in basis? >> absolutely. we would want people to choose whether or not they want to participate in any of these
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app-based programs, and it would strictly be voluntarily if they were diagnosed with covid and they wanted to share information with the department of public health and others. we really want to make sure that any app that we recommend as a department is completely confidential and maintains the highest levels of privacy, and also is able to supplement our current offering of contact tracing and not become a distraction whereby people are getting notified that don't have contacts or information that they need in order to take the appropriate next steps. >> yeah. i think it would address people's concerns if it's strictly voluntarily whether you use the app or not. so finally, what would you say to our residents is the best way to stay safe during this pandemic? >> well, i like to boil is down to a short little phrase. cover your face, test early, and trace.
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and what i mean by that, as well as our shelter in place restrictions, we really want people to continue into their new normal life wearing a mask. we know that this is a very protective way of preventing the spread of covid, and we want everyone to adopt this practice in their life as they move forward. we also want people to pay a lot of attention to their bodies as we begin to get back into the world as well as any symptoms that may be consistent with covid-19. fortunately, we have the tests here in san francisco to make sure that every san franciscan can access a test if they have symptoms. so if somebody is experiencing any symptoms, we want them to seek out those testing services immediately and isolate and note their results. and finally, if somebody is diagnosed with covid-19, we want to make sure that they have been paying attention to
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who they've been spending time with in the days prior to their symptoms or the days prior to their tests. so that includes an element of tracing your foot steps, as i like to say, and being mindful of your actions, particularly any interactions where you may not have been masked or may have been spending time with people over ten minutes and less than 6 feet apart. by keeping track of people you may have been in contact with, it'll be much easier to work with the health department and reach out to those individuals to make sure that they know that they were exposed to somebody with covid-19 and they can get the appropriate testing and quarantine so we can ongoingly reduce the risk of transmission to others. >> that's really fantastic information, doctor. i really appreciate the time you've given us today.
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i know you're really busy. >> yeah, i appreciate the conversation. >> thanks again. that's it for this episode of coping with covid-19. for sfgtv, i'm chris manners. thanks for watching. >> everything is done in-house.
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i think it is done. i have always been passionate about gelato. every single slaver has its own recipe. we have our own -- we move on from there. so you have every time a unique experience because that slaver is the flavored we want to make. union street is unique because of the neighbors and the location itself. the people that live around here i love to see when the street is full of people. it is a little bit of italy that is happening around you can walk around and enjoy shopping with gelato in your hand. this is the move we are happy to provide to the people. i always love union street because it's not like another commercial street where you have big chains.
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here you have the neighbors. there is a lot of stories and the neighborhoods are essential. people have -- they enjoy having their daily or weekly gelato. i love this street itself. >> we created a move of an area where we will be visiting. we want to make sure that the area has the gelato that you like. what we give back as a shop owner is creating an ambient lifestyle. if you do it in your area and if you like it, then you can do it on the streets you like.
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will come to order. this is the september 29, 2021 budget and finance meeting. i'm matt haney, joined