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tv   [untitled]    July 5, 2011 2:30am-3:00am PDT

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contact us. a reciprocity agreement was entered into. we looked at san mateo as the first pilot to try to enter into an agreement. the idea again, looking a major projects at sfo, certainly the puc activities. we have san bruno jail in san mateo county. given we have a significant construction footprint, there should be opportunities for san mateo resident to also benefit from san francisco's program. the concept of the reciprocity agreement was then put forward, really with the idea of taking the existing legislation and making it available to san mateo residents as well. a lot of the materials for how the program will work on construction projects, we have made available to the public at our website,, and i will also be presenting at the meeting that was mentioned
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earlier, that the community advocates are pulling together to get an update. we will also share that information with them there. supervisor cohen: thank you. >> i did know that there were some inquiries with my office, and i had conversations with president chiu and supervisor avalos, as well. i wanted to thnak her for making sure there is a good relationship. is this going to open the door for alameda county, where a number of the puc projects, and potentially other counties, to try to negotiate with us also? >> from oewd's perspective, if the board approves the mou that is before you, we believe we now have a template to be able to work with other jurisdictions where, again, san francisco has a footprint in terms of our construction programs, and in turn, to reciprocity agreements with other jurisdictions.
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supervisor mar: thank you. if there is no other public comment, public comment is closed. can we move items 7 and 8 without objection? the committee report for the meeting of the june 21, 2011, without objection? great, thank you. >> i need to return to the budget committee, so i ask to be excused. supervisor mar: without objections. >> thank you. supervisor mar: please call item number two, the hearing. thank you, everyone, for bearing with us so that supervisor wiener can get back to the budget committee meeting. >> item number two, a hearing on the muni's t-line. supervisor mar: thank you. supervisor cohen: now we get to go to the fund's staff. colleagues, i have called this hearing, quite frankly, to discuss -- to have a frank discussion about this service
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reform and 40 muni t-line. it has been four years, and it is time we step back and evaluate the quality of service that it is providing. many of you know the challenges that we in the city experience in the first half of 2007, when the light was first opened. it is safe to say that the reliability has improved since those trying days, but there's still room for improvement. and muni is taking a proactive approach on these steps necessary to deliver an enhanced level of service. to that end, we have all made a significant investment in this line. the goal of improving access to the rest of the city, from our southeastern neighborhoods, is contingent upon the viability of this t-line. i look forward to an informative and thoughtful discussion today. we have staff and the public to evaluate the success at this
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point, which as been a major investment. i would like to ask staff to come up and make a presentation. i believe we have john from the mp -- from the mta is going to be presenting. sir, thank you. >> thank you. thank you for the opportunity to come here and talk about the t-line and the system, in general, and also, wanted to thank you in advance for your helping us focus with a set of questions and issues that we will try to address as we walked through this. if i may, i would like to just introduce a couple of my colleagues. i am john haley, the director of transit operations bitter i am joined by reginald mason -- i am joined by reginald mason, director of the safety, security, and training.
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and enforcement. and julie is our service planner and is also our expert on the transit effectiveness program. we have a member of our sustainable streets division. i thought it was important, as we go forward and talk about the t-line, while i will submit to you that it is an integral part of the rail system, the unique features that perhaps make the t-line a model for where we want to be with the rest of the system, one of those is the use of a signal priorities to help move the line along. we have our in-house expert on that. with that, if i may, we have put together a brief powerpoint, and feel free to stop me at any time. as i said, i want to touch on both the fact that the t-line is
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an integral part of our existing system, as well as it has its unique features and is the newest line. it was, we believe, well conceived in terms of giving a rail line the flexibility to do some of the things to help it stay on service. i am talking about the t-line high platforms and to the introduction of a signal prioritization. i would say briefly, i know both of you know the basic characteristics of the line, but it is important to point out that the line itself is the longest one in the rail system. a kind of breaks out into four distinct segments. if you start on the k part of it, what you'll see is the first part of the segment that goes to the west travels along in mixed traffic, by city college, along ocean avenue, highly congested.
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it moves very slowly. when you get to west portal, that is worthy k t-line blends with the rest of the rail lines as the go downtown. interestingly enough, to clear embarcadero, once again, you have the t-line blending with the n-line. it goes to 4th and king to serve caltrans and also for the special events. the last piece of the line, from downtown sunnyvale, is really the only part of it that is a straight pure t-line. so it is both, as i tried to say in the introduction, both a line that has some unique features, as well as being an integral part of the system itself. again, on that the characteristics of the line, on the next slide, we covered some of that. i just wanted to recap on here some of the important things
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about the line. supervisor mar: can i ask one quick question? so the central subway extension of the t-line as it is developed over the next couple of decades, or decade, how is that going to impact -- isn't that an extension of the t-line as well? >> no, if i may, mr. chairman, i would offer -- as it stands right now, i came to talk about the questions on the t-line itself. the central subway will have an impact on both the t-line and the whole system, and the impact will be such that i think it would -- if i may, i would offer to bring both the operating people and myself and the project people to talk about how that will impact. but right now, if the chair pleases, i think it would be better if we stuck to what we
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have today. i could be much more specific in the future on the central subway. supervisor mar: let me ask it differently. is that line that goes to the missoni center to the caltrain station and into chinatown at washington and stockton, is that considered an extension of the t-line? >> yes, it is. supervisor mar: at some later time, it would be valuable to find out how that may impact the t-line, especially as we're talking about the effectiveness and efficiency of the line. that would be very helpful for the future. >> it will impacted, and i would be pleased to come back with the project people to talk about that. some of that is part of what we're working on a collaborative lieely right now, looking at hoe maximize the benefit of the system that we have while we
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extend it. ok, if i may, and again, i just want to recap very quickly on the ridership, because this is some 30,000 boardings a day out of a total of about 150,000 boardings on the subway. my apologies if this does not distinguish between the two. the point is, if you go on the left side, moving towards town, the green ones are people that are getting on. the clear ones are people getting off. the message on this is that as you look at the line in itself, you have got kind of a bi direction of rush-hour. the green line's are people getting on comic going up first to city college, and then to work. and eventually into town.
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and the same thing on the other side, people going into the town or coming into work in the morning, and what you see is a lot of people to ingleside going in and in the reverse direction, not a lot of people getting off. although there are some people in the business district. what we wanted to point out here was to say the potential to grow the existing rights -- ridership, and it is a combination of commuters and people going to work, as most of the other lines have as well, as some on and off traffic and the central business district. the other thing that i think is not reflected accurately in this is the fact that the number of riders the detectives special events over the ballpark. in the corridor itself, the ridership since 2006 in what is
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covered by the bus lines has increased from 2006 to 2010 by some 12% at the same time that the sister ridership increased at 4 % -- increased at 4% over that time. with a combination of things, we can continue to grow the ridership on this very important line. supervisor cohen: i have a question before we move on. can you explain one more time the designation between these circles, these questions? -- these crescents? the next slide, please. >> i did not mean to go so fast. the greens are the ons, riders getting on. clears are people getting off. the reason i speak with such
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confidence about the numbers behind the blogs is this was ridership data that came out of our program. it was developed over a number of years. it was validated. a gives a trend of both specific -- it is down to a stop-buy-stop level. it gives us a snapshot of to is going where, who is getting off at what times, and how that travel patterns influenced. the point i want to make here, because this is the longest line in the system. the running time is 76 minutes. supervisor cohen: how many minutes? >> 76. so there is not a lot of people that are getting on, say, in the morning at balboa park and then writing to sunny delaware. the line breaks down for ridership -- and then riding down to sunnyvale. what is interesting about this
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is that it is from a rush-hour perspective, you have got workers, for the most part, and some students, coming in from both the ocean avenue side and from the sunnyvale side, coming into downtown to work in the morning. of course, you have also got various activity coming out of downtown, going down third street and down ocean avenue. but the greater and the river sunday evening. during the mid days, you have got some people getting off. as you can see, on and some of the -- when you go past the ballpark part of it, on the third street site, some folks that are going to the central business district along third street. supervisor mar: for the audience that is not familiar with the lingo of the mta and muni, tep is the transit effectiveness of project. some of the data that goes into these graphs and other things
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you're using are based on community meetings, studies, and analysis based on the tep or the transit effectiveness project. >> yes, and my apologies for using an akron that without adequate explanation, but you are right on point. supervisor cohen: i know this is everyday knowledge for you, but you have got to slow down. this is the first time many of us are hearing this information. it is important for us to have this valuation. for a point of clarification about the tep program, you say you collected data. it is a curious to know if the data was disseminated, the questions or disseminated in any other language, any language other than english? >> if i may, i believe it was. but let me defer the question to julie. >> yes, the tep materials were
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prepared in english, spanish, and chinese. when we were developing the recommendations, we had workshops across the city providing translation in spanish, english, and chinese. in our visitation valley workshop, we also had mandarin. in our district one workshop, i believe we did just cantonese. supervisor mar: i was at its session at the jewish community center, and a number of consultants held out to make it very multilingual and very sensitive to communities. supervisor cohen: thank you, ok. >> ok, if i may, the question had been asked of -- what kind of systems have been put in place to work on improving the service? one of the things i wanted to
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point out, the single biggest customer complaint that we get about this service, in general, but including the rail services is about travel time and why we cannot go faster. interestingly enough, the t- line is, in fact, the fastest line in terms of travel speed. again, i said earlier that the t-line may be a model for the way we design lines. it is faster, even though it has cut congested areas in part, because we have got exclusive right of way. we have got a signal priorities. it has less stops than the other lines. in fact, while it does have some segments that can slow it down, not just mission rock to folsom
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in that area that is highly congested threw the ball park, but when you get down on the third straight line, when you clear the bridge, you have the fastest rail travel in the system. i think it was important that one of the things went third street was designed and implemented, part of what we tried to do was to get out of the way of the traffic as best we could. from a travel perspective or travel time perspective, we're headed in the right direction. at the same time, the on-time performance for the t-line is 58%. that is not where we would like to be. and again, part of the reason i walk you through the scope of the line and where people are getting on and off and said it
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is 76 minutes travel time is some of the biggest issues on on-time performance, for example, we measure it at west portal. the biggest delay on this particular line, on the the k-t line is if we have a gap in service or if there is a train missing or a train is significantly late. normally we try to make an adjustment. when you go from west portal, there is no switch or no physical plant that allows us, beyonce st. francis circle -- so from st. francis circle to balboa, you would not be able to make an adjustment in the train service to put it on time. that is significant, especially when you look at the bottleneck in the travel, the stock plans -- the stop signs and lights along ocean avenue, that has a significant impact on the on- time performance of the whole line. i think part of the other bottleneck for congestion on on-
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time performance is the area around fourth and king, not just because of the ballpark, but because we are occasionally impacted by the bridge going up, and some of the congestion that occurs around caltrain and off the freeway. in terms of operating challenges, there are some bottlenecks on that the system from traffic and congestion. there is some flexibility that exists on the third street site, but not on the k-t side in terms of our ability to adjust the service. the biggest operating challenge we have right now, not just on this line but the whole subway system, is the age and condition of our fleet. i wanted to show you this. this is the last five months of delays. the total delays greater than five minutes is 302.
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what is significant about that is if you go back to the front, you will see how many trips that is. you'll see the impact of that. what is significant here is if you take of those 302 delays, over 200 --there is one listed as automatic train control, which has to do with the interface between the train control system and the equipment, and those are chiefly responsible for the delays. this is something that is within our control. it is not something that is caused by anything other than the aged and conditions of our fleet. we purchased the the fleet all at once. beginning in 1997, the cars did not have a midlife overhaul. we want -- we run rail service
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some 21 hours a day. the level of service has increased, not just for a third street, but over time. we have a number of programs that we're putting in place in terms of overhaul programs. we want to fix some of the lrv's that are wrecked, and we're also introducing a program to do a key component rebuilds. on a typical weekday, we have some 15 delays per day that are caused by problems with our vehicle systems. the principal cause of 40% of those delays have to do with doors and steps. doors and steps. our equipment is particularly complicated in the sense that it is unique, and when it operates on the surface, it is in full control by the operator, and the
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doors and steps, except on third street, are low. when you get into the subway, the doors and steps are up by an automatic train control. it is a very complicated system, and it has become, as the equipment has aged, it has become a problem. that is something that we need to get after. we will talk about that in a moment. when we have delays, and i have talked a lot about -- talked to various supervisors in committees about switchback. we provide a monthly letter about switchback as simply a service management technique that is available to us to try to recover from a delay. we do not have things like express tracks. we do not have the extra cars were we can store trains and plug in if we have delays. if we have a significant delay,
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what we can do is make an adjustment. the thing i would like to point out, two things to point out. number one, we do switchback a relatively small portion of powertrains, number one. number two, if you look on the box this says off-peak, what that tells us is the overwhelming number of switchbacks occur after the rush hour. so we're trying to get people to and from work and then it rebalance the line. get the trains in the right place. supervisor cohen: can you tell us what the hours are for rush- hour? >> yes, generally what we consider to be rush-hour is 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. in the morning, and the evening is a little bit longer, generally from 4:00 p.m. tuesday 6:30 p.m. or 7:00 p.m., depending on the line -- to say 6:30 p.m. or 7:00
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p.m., depending on the line. >> we're talking about the t- line. i am curious to know which one it is, 6:30 p.m. or 7:00 p.m.? >> i would say 7:00 p.m. and one of the things that i also want to point out and go back to is what i was saying earlier about the design, the way that third street was perceived. on third street, there are, on what i described as third street proper, went to get over the bridge, there are four places where we can make switchbacks. that gives us considerably more flexibility in management -- in managing service than we do have on other lines. that is simply a service management technique, and we do not have a goal with switchbacks. what it tells you is the less switchbacks, and this is what we talked a lot about, the need to
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do a switchback is a reflection on the quality of service. so the less switchback you have, generally the better the service. that means you do not have delays. you do not have spaces or what we call it gaps in its lines. if a vehicle is supposed to be there every 15 minutes or 10 minutes, it comes. but at the same time, with the collaboration and oversight of your board and its members, we have been able to double-your colleagues and you have done an excellent job of holding as accountable, so that we now have much better defined protocols for when we do switch frames, we have adjusted signs in the subway to make announcements. no more than five minutes behind it is a train so that passengers are off-loaded and get on a second train. we will continue to follow-up
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and report on our progress with that. the biggest challenge would switchbacks for us that remains is making sure that we help the operators of the passengers know what is going on as early as possible. we're doing it to the extent we can with signs, but that is an area where we need to continue to emphasize and make improvements. supervisor cohen: i have a question. supervisor mar: please slow down. supervisor cohen has a question. supervisor cohen: thank you. >> i am sorry. i do not have another appointment. i did not want to dominate the time. i am sorry. supervisor cohen: no, no we invited you here. i have all afternoon. we're in no rush. you talk about switchbacks and how you notified the passengers. how do you notify passengers that do not speak english if your operators only speak english?
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>> a couple ways. what we did, i guess during the holidays, december-january, because this was something that has been an ongoing problem. what we do is try to use the existing systems, like next muni in the trade patrol system to get real-time information to manage the system. there are two things of significant that have helped us a great deal with switchbacks bit of the first one was in december or january, we finally have the destination sites on the cars, the overhead signs in the station, and then that woman's voice from new york who comes on and says "next train is coming in two minutes." they are in sync now. that was an ongoing problem for a while. the point of that is not just to
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notify people, but to try to notify them as early as possible. because sometimes if we make a decision -- say a train is leaving in embarcadero, if we make the decision to switch the train back, we can let people know at embarcadero, so they know that either they are going to be asked to get on it the following train at balboa or 19th avenue, wherever. so that is one thing. the second thing is that we had -- and this has allowed us to monitor and report to you on a monthly basis, the fact that the biggest complaint about switchbacks was that it put me off my train and i had to wait 10 minutes for another train, and that does not seem right. what we have done since then is that, and we're able to track this with something called the line management center, which