Page 1

Three-peat Cable Car Bell Ringing Champion Page 4

SFMTA Bike Plan in High Gear Page 6


Car 15 Makes Its Debut Page 5


S U M M E R 2 0 0 9

SUMMER 2009, Volume 5, Issue 2

Executive Director’s Message

fare and fee increases moved forward July 1. This included an increase in all cash fares and monthly passes, with the exception of the Lifeline Pass, and an increase in the paratransit van and taxi services. Special event fares also increased.

We have been busy. Change and opportunity abound. Here are some important issues we as an Agency are addressing:

The economy continues to show early signs of recovery, but the State and City are still in the process of determining exactly how they will balance their respective budgets. Due to the potential impact of further state reductions, including diversion of property tax revenues and the possible elimination of Gas Tax proceeds, we enter the new fiscal year with potentially a larger gap—approximately $17 million—than we initially planned.

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) SFMTA efforts on projects to be funded by the American Recovery SFMTA Executive Director/CEO, and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Nathaniel P. Ford Sr. continue to move forward. Requests for Proposals for Motor Coach Rehabilitation, LRV Doors and Steps Reconditioning, Interim Line Management Center and Bus Yard Workstations have been issued, accounting for more than $31 million of our ARRA funding. Additionally, work has already begun by SFMTA staff to utilize $18 million of Preventive Maintenance funding to preserve or extend the functionality and serviceability of the Agency’s assets. Additional projects will be advertised and procured in the coming months, and I will keep you apprised of those efforts. Thank you to those working hard to expedite these projects, ensuring that we get the most value from our stimulus dollars.

Good People, Tough Jobs Our Transit Fare Inspectors (TFI) have one of the toughest jobs out there, but it is with great pride that I congratulate TFI Romulo Exala. As I shared in Nat’s Notes, TFI Exala resuscitated a customer who lay unconscious in the Powell Street Station, turning blue from lack of oxygen. TFI Exala administered Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation on the man until he started breathing—nearly two minutes later—and comforted him until paramedics arrived to transport him to St. Francis Hospital. It is not every day that these types of situations occur, but it is a testament to the training and fine job that our inspectors do every day. Please join me in congratulating TFI Exala for his heroic performance.

Budget These continue to be difficult economic times for everyone and the SFMTA is no exception. While the San Francisco Board of Supervisors did not reject our budget proposals in May, we still face a number of challenges ahead. As many of you have heard or read in my notes and news stories, our plans to implement

TEP Finalizes Implementation Plan Despite the current challenging economic environment, the TEP implementation continues to be a priority. While the operating budget deficit may slow our ability to implement some service recommendations, the TEP still offers a viable blueprint for future service improvements.

route changes and high priority issues that need to be addressed. This group of changes will be reviewed and refined based on input from Agency-wide employee working groups, established to lead the implementation efforts. These working groups will begin meeting mid-summer.

TEP staff is in the process of finalizing the TEP Implementation Plan and continues to work on reliability improvements and Muni on-time performance. In addition, staff has identified an initial package of

Visit for TEP updates.



Hi-Tech Parking Meters Make their San Francisco Debut There are currently 320,000 estimated on-street parking spaces in San Francisco and 25,000 total metered spaces. The citywide SFpark pilot this fall will include 6,000 on-street meters and 11,500 off-street spaces. The total cost of the SFpark pilot projects is $24.75 million, 80 percent of which is federally funded by a grant from the Urban Partnership Program.

On May 14 the SFMTA and the Port of San Francisco installed and activated the first eight of 100 new parking meters that will serve 1,000 spaces in the Port’s jurisdiction along The Embarcadero. This is a soft launch of SFpark—a first step toward using new technology to make parking easier, reduce doubleparking and improve the flow of traffic and Muni service. SFpark will be implemented in other pilot areas of the City in fall 2009.

Hourly Rates and Time Limits for New Parking Meters

The Port’s new meters allow people to pay with both credit cards and coins. Most spaces will have fourhour time limits, some (about 10 percent) will stay at two-hour time limits, and some will have 12-hour limits (up from two-hour time limits). By making parking easier to pay for and extending time limits, parking will be more convenient. This will mean fewer parking tickets and more freedom to enjoy the City. SFpark is a new approach to parking management that combines new technologies and strategies, including demand-responsive pricing and real-time information about parking availability (upon completion of fall 2009 pilot installation), to improve the flow of traffic by reducing circling and double parking.


7 a.m. to 7 p.m

7 to 11 p.m.

Fisherman’s Wharf

$2.50 – 2 hour max

50¢ – 4 hour max

Pier 39 to Broadway

$2.00 – 4 hour max

50¢ – 4 hour max

Broadway to Bryant

$3.00 – 4 hour max

50¢ – 4 hour max

South of Bryant

$1.00 – 12 hour max 25¢ – 12 hour max

In two of the four zones, rates are decreasing and in the other two they remain the same. Metering will still begin at 7 a.m. and operate 365 days a year. Metering in the evening will make it easier to find a parking space, which will make it easier to visit stores and restaurants. After 7 p.m., drivers will pay no more than $2.00 for four hours of parking. Drivers will be able to park along The Embarcadero during special events at AT&T Park. During these events, the price of metered parking will be $4.00 per hour with the newly extended time limits.

Editors’ Note: The evolution of your SFMTA quarterly newsletter continues! The summer issue features a handful of new features we hope you will enjoy. Customer Service Circle recognizes employees who exemplify the SFMTA’s commitment to superior customer service. So Good is a new feature for SFMTA foodies featuring recipes provided by our colleagues. Finally, we’ve boldly gone where no newsletter has gone before with the introduction of embedded sound. SFMTA Sound Bytes will feature a brief audio clip relevant to SFMTA happenings.

A customer uses his credit card at one of the Port’s new meters.

The SFpark pilot projects will allow the SFMTA to perform the first large-scale test of these new parking management practices in the country which represent the only parking-based congestion management program. The SFMTA will carefully monitor and evaluate the pilots to choose the best next-generation parking technology for citywide installation in 2011 and to develop a proposal for better parking management citywide that will achieve the overall goals for San Francisco’s transportation system.

We welcome your suggestions, submissions and comments. If you have story ideas or photos for consideration or information updates on the great job your division or a colleague may have done on a recent project, submit them to Janis Yuen at We look forward to hearing from you! 3

SUMMER 2009, Volume 5, Issue 2

Three Bells for Leonard Oats Cable car grip Leonard Oats, proved once again he was the bell ringer with appeal, by winning the 47th Annual Cable Car Bell Ringing Competition June 9 in Union Square. It was the third consecutive victory for the affable, soft-spoken Oats, a nine-year Muni veteran. Second and third place trophies were awarded to Frank Ware and Howard Woo. Though a favorite to win, Oats faced stiff competition from multiple bell ringing champs Ken Lunardi and Frank Ware. A quartet of talented upstarts, Sullivan Phillips, Joseph Sue, Trini Whittaker and Howard Woo rounded out the field.

Pictured from left to right. Top row: Matt Newcomer/Chief of Staff AAA, Maggie Baxter/Exec. Producer ABC7, Linda Mjellum/Exec. Dir. of the Union Square Association, Gilberto Godoy, David Dubiner/Uncle Vito’s Pizza Bottom row: Nat Ford, Ken McDonald, Heather Jordan/Ghirardelli Chocolates, Lynn Bruni/SF Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, Pilar Alvarez/El Mensajero, Ivy Dubiner (David Dubiner’s daughter), Cindy Chen/Shanghai 1930, Tom Sweeney/Sir Francis Drake Hotel, Wes Tyler/President of the Union Square Association, Debra Johnson

The 2009 victory all but secures Oats’ place in the pantheon of San Francisco’s greatest one-note wonders. Only six other men have won the coveted trophy three or more times: Carl Payne, Byron Cobb, Ken Lunardi, Al Quintana, Al Davison and Albert Ward. When asked the secret to his success, Oats replied, “It’s all in the wrist.”

rang while his KBLX Steppers sashayed for the crowd. It was a day destined for repeat winners as Scotty Bastable retained his amateur bell ringing crown with Janelle Wang finishing second and Aaron Jones placing third. Comedienne Debbi Durst moderated the event in her usual colorful fashion, decked out in a San Francisco Giants road jersey and a pair of rainbow colored socks. In between “dings” the crowd was entertained with the vintage soul sounds of the Slot Blades and some amazing feats of athleticism from the Epiphany Production’s Trolley Dancers.

Three-peat Cable Car Bell Ringing Champion Leonard Oats poses with Nat Ford and Gilberto Godoy, crafter of the coveted first prize bell.

The difficulty in creating a musical work of art using just a C-note became evident during the amateur portion of the competition, which featured representatives from local media outlets. What the amateur contestants may have lacked in substance, however, they made up for in style.

Front: 2009 Cable Car Bell Ringing Champion Leonard Oats along with third place winner Howard Woo (left) and second place winner Frank Ware (right)

Muni’s 47th annual Cable Car Bell Ringing Contest was presented by the SFMTA with the generous support of its long-time partners the Union Square Association and the Friends of the Cable Car Museum.

KOIT’s Scotty Bastable arrived with an entourage that featured a quartet of martini-toting socialites, and a pair of head-spinning hip-hop dancers. View from the Bay’s Janelle Wang was able to corral the San Francisco 49er cheerleaders for her routine and Aaron Jones of KBLX

SFMTA Sound Bytes. Click on the link below for a snippet of Leonard Oats’ winning performance: http://muniweb. 4


SFMTA Fleet Welcomes Its Latest Arrival On June 22 the SFMTA and the City of San Francisco celebrated its latest arrival with bells and whistles. At a press conference marking the 25th anniversary of the return of the City’s iconic cable cars, SFMTA Executive Director/CEO Nat Ford and Mayor Gavin Newsom introduced newly-constructed Cable Car 15 to a star struck group of onlookers. Constructed from the ground up by SFMTA artisans using original blueprints, Car 15 is one of only 15 cable cars built from scratch by the SFMTA Cable Car Refurbishing Program since 1962. The colorful fleet addition features an 1890 Powell-Mason color scheme of bright yellow, red, white, buff, gray and maroon.

Cable Car artisans pictured left to right. Top row: Larry Lau, Kevin O’Brien, Antoni”Pete” Cunha, George Triantafillidis, Lester Lamug, Mike Chan, Ken Russi, Dale Nordbye and Bob Harris (far right on cable car step). Bottom row: Christopher Hill (standing), John Barberini, Vince Matushenko, Patrick Ho, Larry Harris, Efren Bernal, Frank Camilleri, Tom Hidayat, Sam Chan, Talib Mahardja. Right side of car, bottom left to right: Jane Koski, John Stenson and Dave Valstad.

down to Lombard Street, where the first family members were whisked away by auto for a drive down the “crookedest street in the world.”

Photo by Mike Kepka, courtesy of The Chronicle

“It’s a work of art,” Christopher Hill, Muni’s manager of cable car maintenance, said of the new eight-ton Historical Landmark. Nearly 30 artisans from the Woods Carpenter Shop, the Cable Machinery Support Shop, the Special Machine Shop and Running Repair Shop contributed their unique talents during the construction phase of Car 15, which took over five years to complete. “The talent of our dedicated crafts workers ensures that Car 15 will continue to grace the hills of our City for the next hundred years,” beamed Nat Ford.

Below are the names of the crafts workers who built Car 15, the first brand new cable car since 1991.

Woods Carpenter Shop Jane Koski David Valstad Antoni “Pete” Cunha Eduardo Barrosso Mark Sobionevsky

Shortly after the unveiling ceremony, Muni’s latest addition made its maiden run as part of the Powell Street Line. Car 15’s premiere was timed to commemorate with the 25th anniversary of the return of the cable cars. The entire system was shut down from 1982-84 for extensive refurbishing under the leadership of then-Mayor Dianne Feinstein.

Robert Harris Harry Jew John Barberini Ronald Garnica He Du

Tim Reilly (retired)

Special Machine Shop

The timing could not have been better for the nation’s first daughters, Malia and Malia and Sasha Obama (seated, second and third from Sasha Obama, in left) enjoy a ride on Cable Car 15 during a brief visit to San Francisco. San Francisco for the day along with their grandmother, Marian Robinson. President Obama’s daughters and mother-in-law were treated to a VIP ride from Muni’s Cable Car Barn

Lester Lamug Douglas Niec George Triantafillidis Kevin O’Brien

Sam Chan Theron Obi (retired) Dale Nordbye Filemon Guerra (retired)

Running Repair Shop Patrick Ho Talib Mahardja

Frank Camilleri Ken Russi

Efren Bernal

Larry Harris

Cable Machinery Support Shop Larry Lau Mike Chan


Vince Matushenko

SUMMER 2009, Volume 5, Issue 2

SFMTA’s Bicycle Plan in High Gear with Board Approval

Parking and Traffic Tackles One of City’s Toughest Thoroughfares

The long-awaited Environmental Impact Report (EIR) certification has put the SFMTA’s landmark Bicycle Plan on the fast track. On June 26 the SFMTA Board gave the green light to 45 of the Bicycle Plan’s 60 near-term improvement projects.

San Francisco’s busiest—and possibly most challenging—traffic corridor is about to become safer and more pedestrian-friendly thanks to the work of the SFMTA’s Division of Parking and Traffic. Five years after launching the initial design phase, the Parking and Traffic’s 19th Avenue Signal Update Project is nearly two-thirds complete. Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the project entail upgrading 26 of the 34 signalized intersections along the 5.2-mile route with pedestrian countdown signals and more visible mast arm mounted traffic signals. The new mast arm signals extend overhead into the traffic lanes and feature 12’’ signal lamps, significantly larger than the 8’’ signal lamps on the older post-mounted signals. In addition, accessible pedestrian signals that provide audible and tactile information for sight-impaired customers will be installed at four intersections.

These near-term projects, defined as those with design options already developed, will constitute the most significant wave of bicycle route projects in San Francisco history, and will nearly double the number of miles of improved streets in the Bike Route Network. By finishing the connector routes that allow access to all parts of the City by bicycle, the SFMTA will take a bold step toward completing the Bicycle Route Network. This commitment to sustainable transportation follows in the footsteps of a number of San Francisco policies, including the Transit First policy, the SFMTA Climate Action Plan and the San Francisco Better Streets Plan. Dedicated funding, in the form of local, regional, state and federal bicycle facility grant programs, has already been acquired for many of these projects. For more information on the Bicycle Plan, the nearterm projects or the Bicycle Plan EIR, please visit

Heart Walk Call for Captains

New mast arm signal at Presidio and Clement

Has heart disease or stroke touched your life? These diseases kill more men and women in the United States than all types of cancers combined.

When finished, the 19th Avenue Signal Update Project is expected to improve the safety record of this key state highway thoroughfare and regional connection. From 2003 to 2007 there were more than 589 collisions, including 64 involving pedestrians along 19th Avenue. Studies show installation of the countdown signals decrease pedestrian accidents by 25 percent. Mast arm vehicle signals will offer improved visibility for motorists along the vast stretch of roadway.

The SFMTA is participating in the 2009 Start! San Francisco Heart Walk on Friday, September 18. The Heart Walk is the American Heart Association’s signature event to raise funds in the fight against heart disease and stroke, while also encouraging Americans to be more physically active. The SFMTA has committed to raising $25,000 with 150 participants this year. Will you help us meet our goal? The Heart Walk is a perfect opportunity for us to do something about these statistics by raising funds and becoming more active ourselves.

The heavily traveled 19th Avenue/Park Presidio (California Highway 1) route carries over 80,000 vehicles a day and another 20,000 passengers on the 28 19th Avenue Muni Route and the M Ocean View Line. The project, a joint effort between the SFMTA and Caltrans, will wrap up its first two phases by late fall. A separate project (Phase 3) will upgrade the remaining eight intersections and is scheduled for fiscal year 2013.

If you are interested in helping recruit walkers as well as helping to raise funds on behalf of the SFMTA, please e-mail Janis Yuen at 6


SFMTA Co-Sponsors San Francisco Symphony’s Out of this World Summer Concert Series This year’s San Francisco Symphony summer concert lineup has something for music fans of all ages—and all galaxies.

images from the video game, Final Fantasy, cartoon icon Bugs Bunny and special fly-bys from Star Trek’s George Takei and Star Wars’ James Earl Jones. Sandwiched in between are a septet of greatest hit performances from Beethoven, Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Vivaldi and other classical composers. Additional highlights include two free outdoor concerts July 5 at Stern Grove and July 19 at Dolores Park. Most performances feature tickets starting at $20.

The far-reaching “Summer & the Symphony” program, co-sponsored by the SFMTA, features 15 specially themed shows that span space and time, real worlds and virtual worlds while managing to squeeze in a sevenset series of the “music of the masters”—all in less than a month.

SFMTA employees receive substantial discounts. For concert information, performance dates and times and special employee pricing go to “SFMTA Employee Discounts” on the intranet and click on “San Francisco Symphony.”

The “Summer & the Symphony” series shines from June 25 through July 24. Real world star Bernadette Peters, internationally renowned musical group Pink Martini and heartthrob jazz trumpeter Chris Botti share this summer’s bill with computer-generated

SFMTA Places Second in Shape Up Competition Shape Up teams celebrated at the Sports Basement on May 27. The event included congratulations from the Mayor’s Office along with food, music and a raffle for a YMCA gym membership, yoga mats, free bike rentals, sporting equipment and more.

We salute the SFMTA BackFirst Shape Up participants for placing second in Mayor Newsom’s Shape Up San Francisco 2009 Walking Challenge. This year’s program began March 9 and ended May 15. During that time City employees had the opportunity to walk. And walk they did. Citywide, 2,672 employees collectively walked 232,478 miles— more than nine times around the earth!

The Save Kezar Runners took first place logging in 21,598 miles. Our SFMTA Back First team took second place with 110 Operators, Mechanics and staff reaching 20,225 miles.

Winners received trophies and gift certificates from the San Francisco Symphony, Wok Wiz, Sports Basement and The Fruit Guys. Thank you to our SFMTA Shape Up Coordinators Jan Hennefer, Michael Leary, Lolita Sweet and intern Judy Chea.

Note that your commitment to walking should not stop just because the Shape Up program has ended. The SFMTA BackFirst team will continue sign ups and distribute great prizes throughout the year for Shape Up participants. Also, the Heart Walk benefiting the American Heart Association takes place on September 18. To find out more about joining the SFMTA team, participating in the three-mile lunchtime walk, becoming a recruiting captain or making a pledge, please e-mail Janis Yuen at

Winners for the SFMTA BackFirst Shape Up Program are: First Place Al Gonzales with 1,732 miles, Flynn Division Second Place Sam Khuu with 1,216 miles, Kirkland Division Third Place Robbie Crosley with 1,199 miles, Woods Division Fourth Place Robin Hippler with 1,120 miles, Flynn Division


SUMMER 2009, Volume 5, Issue 2

SFMTA and Bay to Breakers: Together for the Long Run

to and from the event by creating two new express routes to return customers downtown after crossing the finish line. A custom co-branding slogan, “Muni: Your Partner for the Long Run,” reinforced the Agency’s commitment to the event and to its customers, now and in the future. A number of SFMTA divisions from Operations, Parking and Traffic, Security and Enforcement and Administration each combined forces to contribute to the improved customer experience, which online newspaper SF Appeal called “startlingly effective.”

The SFMTA and organizers of the 2009 ING Bay to Breakers struck a new alliance this year that will tie the Agency to one of the City’s most popular annual events for years to come. This year marks the first time that the Agency has been an official sponsor of Bay to Breakers, San Francisco’s notoriously kitschy, east-west border-to-border run that took place on May 17. “We felt we really needed to step up our presence and be a part of this event,” said Deanna DeSedas, SFMTA Marketing Manager. “By supporting this 98-year tradition we were able to not only improve the event for our customers and for the people of San Francisco but for race participants as well.”

This year’s sweltering version of the 12-kilometer run attracted an estimated 60,000 runners, and 100,000 onlookers gathered along the route to see the funky floats and (un)usual suspects. Making a return appearance were a school of upstream-swimming salmon, a gaggle of misplaced Hawaiian hula-types, a colorful pack of non-melting crayons and the expected group of revelers decked out in nothing more than their birthday suits.

Along with deploying its substantial arsenal of marketing assets, the SFMTA sought to improve service

Customer Service Circle SFMTA employees take pride in their jobs and strive to provide excellent customer service. Keep your eyes on this new newsletter feature as we acknowledge our fellow co-workers for work well done. Kelvin Vong provides excellent customer service. Kelvin Vong, a 1634 Principal Account Clerk with the SFMTA Customer Service Center unit, co-supervises the accounting section. Among other duties, he tackles difficult problems relating to refund and payment-research areas brought to him by co-workers and customers.

SFMTA employees and family members march on Market Street during the SF Pride Parade.

SFMTA Connects San Francisco with (SF) PRIDE The SFMTA continued its partnership with the annual San Francisco Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride Celebration that took place on June 27 and 28. With the help of the SFMTA, the SF Pride committee was able to promote their two-day outing with an even larger, more comprehensive campaign than in previous years. The SFMTA slogan, “Connecting San Francisco with PRIDE” reflected the Agency’s commitment to transporting customers to scheduled PRIDE celebrations throughout the City as well as its commitment to celebrating diversity. This year also marked the first time the SFMTA participated in the parade down Market Street.

A satisfied customer submitted this feedback: “This is so unexpected from (the) City of SF! (Mr. Vong provided) such timely and thorough research with evidence, a clear explanation and a quick solution! Mr. Vong is commended very highly by me for his speedy resolution. I will always use the SF Web site from now on for payments thanks to his added explanation! That will save everybody time. Thank you Mr. Vong!” Richard E., San Francisco 8


City’s Taxis Now Under SFMTA Umbrella

Seismic Wave Hits San Francisco

Director Oka pictured in front of new hybrid taxi.

Now that taxi regulation is a part of the SFMTA, the Agency is now responsible for operating and managing the entire ground transportation system for San Francisco, which encompasses pedestrians, bicycles, transit, parking and traffic.

Kerstin Magary, Gail Stein, Nat Ford and Jason Gallegos unveil San Francisco’s new solar-powered “Seismic Wave” shelter at Geary and Arguello boulevards.

York Kwan to Lead Cable Car Division

Not all of the City’s cabs, however, are authorized to operate in San Francisco. Here are three ways to tell if a taxicab is legitimate: • “San Francisco Taxicab” sticker on the side and rear of the vehicle • A small colored “license plate” visible in the front window, which is the “medallion” that authorizes that vehicle to operate • The driver’s photo identification should be visible from the back seat The risks associated with illegal cabs are: • No background check of the driver

York Kwan, Superintendent, Cable Car Division

• No guarantee of insurance

A native of San Francisco, York Kwan joined Muni in 1987. He worked his way up the ranks operating motor coaches, trolleys, LRVs and Cable Cars. He was an Inspector for Street Operations and Metro Rail Operations, manager for Metro Rail Operations, Central Control and Safety manager for Training as well as a Rail Training manager. York accepted his new post as Superintendent of the Cable Car Division in May.

• No training • Takes away business from legitimate drivers who follow the rules and are professionals in their field


SUMMER 2009, Volume 5, Issue 2

Fall Prevention at Work and Home

But balance can be improved with simple exercises such as the following:

Most of us believe that a slip and fall will happen to somebody else. Unfortunately, slips, trips and falls constitute 15 percent of all accidental job-related deaths, second only to motor vehicles as a cause of fatalities according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Falls are a major cause of injuries in the United States—over 30,000 daily. “Restore+ Rehabilitation staff, the sister program to BackFirst, sees an average of one or more recordable SFMTA injuries directly related to a slip or fall each month,” says BackFirst Physical Therapist Michael Leary. “These injuries occur in both offices and Division yards. Fortunately, they are preventable.”

Stand barefoot or in supportive shoes. Raise one knee up toward your chest. Maintain that position. You should be able to do so for 10 or more seconds. Next try the same position with your eyes closed. You may begin to lose your balance. Be safe and immediately open your eyes and drop your leg if you are unable to maintain this position. Your goal is to hold this position for 10-12 seconds on each leg without wavering. Follow these tips and be safe.

SFMTA Celebrates Thanksgiving in September

To prevent falls: • Place briefcases or purses on a desk or chair or tuck safely away in a corner

In partnership with the Chinatown Merchants Association, the SFMTA will join the Chinese community to celebrate the 19th Annual Autumn Moon Festival September 19 and 20 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. along historic Grant Avenue in San Francisco’s Chinatown.

• Close drawers and remove clutter from the floor to avoid tripping • Avoid tipping backward in a chair

Similar to Thanksgiving, the Moon Festival has long been an occasion to give thanks for the bounty of the land. The two-day event will feature numerous Chinese delicacies such as moon cakes, bubble tea drinks and dim sum along with tea sampling, live entertainment, arts and crafts and parades.

• Do not use make-shift ladders such as chairs • Wipe up any spills on floors • Look before you walk. Be sure your pathway is free of trip hazards such as electrical cords • Always use a handrail when climbing stairs

As part of the partnership package, the SFMTA Marketing and Community Outreach section will help promote the event and will participate in the festival by providing a booth to distribute information about our service and programs. Our theme for this year will continue to be: Connecting people. Connecting Communities.

In the rail and bus divisions there are extra challenges to maintain safety and prevent injuries. “During the winter months, streets and bus steps are wet, creating an environment ripe for a slip and fall,” says Leary. “I’ll commonly see an injury from an Operator who loses his or her balance and falls while descending the bus steps.”


Whether we like it or not we lose our ability to balance as we age.

San Francisco Mayor Joseph Alioto (1968-1976), second from left, and an unnamed official present medals to two mesmerized Muni cable car Operators in this shot from the late sixties.

Presidio Operators Vincent Giles, Charles Martin and Ronald Turner work with BackFirst Physical Therapist Michael Leary to get a leg-up on fall prevention.



Pavement to Parks: San Francisco’s New Street Scene On May 13 the SFMTA joined Mayor Newsom, the San Francisco Planning Department and the Department of Public Works to launch the new 17th Street Plaza as part of the “Pavement to Parks” pilot initiative. The 17th Street project is the first of the City’s “Pavement to Parks” program, transforming a small stretch of 17th Street in San Francisco’s Castro neighborhood into a car-free pedestrian plaza.

run along tracks in the middle of the street and will continue to do so. The program is inspired by the recent success of similar projects in New York City, where plazas and seating areas have been created in excess roadway simply by painting or treating the asphalt, placing protective barriers along the periphery and installing moveable tables and chairs.

The trial closure will provide spaces for seating and informal public gatherings and improve pedestrian and bicycle safety around the area. The new plaza, the first of four, will be about half a block long and will be located on the west end of 17th Street between Castro and Market streets. The F Market historic streetcars

Officials will conduct an evaluation of the trial program based on traffic flow, foot traffic, public response, crime, sanitation and how the plaza impacts surrounding businesses. After the trial period, this temporary closure could be made permanent with community support.


Street in the Portola district in the days before Mansell was a street and Burton High School was a park with horse stables. Walter says that some call this recipe succotash or a thick jambalaya. His mom taught Walter and his six siblings how to cook this because it was inexpensive and easy to make. Walter added the shrimp to the recipe.

Food is love. We love these people and have asked them to contribute one of their favorite family recipes. For our first edition of So Good, we turned to Bond Yee, Director of Parking and Traffic. With a little help from his wife, Alice, Bond has provided us with this tasty appetizer recipe for stuffed mushroom caps. Bond enjoys this recipe and says, he’s “taste tested it many times and is still alive.”

Scott’s Own Slop (SOS) Ingredients: 1 lb ground beef 1/2 lb shrimp (small) 1 (hot) link sausage, sliced and halved 1 green bell pepper (chopped) 1 14 oz. can stewed tomatoes 1 11 oz. can corn 1 clove garlic (chopped) 1/2 cube butter

Stuffed Mushroom Caps Ingredients: 2 dozen large mushroom caps 1/2 cup soy sauce 1/2 lb. ground beef 1/4 cup green pepper (minced) 2 tablespoon bread crumbs 1 egg yolk 1 tablespoon minced onion 1/2 clove garlic (chopped) 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Preparation: Brown ground beef in large sauce pan. In another pan melt butter and then add garlic and shrimp. Sauté for a maximum of three minutes on medium heat. Turn off heat, and leave pan on burner.


In another sauce pan sauté chopped bell pepper and link sausage over medium heat until bell pepper is al dente (about 5 to 7 minutes). Drain fat and add peppers and sausage to ground beef. Drain liquid from shrimp and add shrimp to ground beef mixture.

Marinate mushroom caps in soy sauce. Mix ground beef with all other ingredients. Drain caps and stuff with meat mixture. Add sugar to remaining soy sauce and use to brush tops. Broil 8 to 10 minutes. Serves 6-8.

Add can of stewed tomatoes and can of corn to ground beef, link and shrimp. Stir well. Put on low heat, cover and let simmer for at least 30 minutes. This concoction can be served over rice, noodles or bread. Enjoy! Serves 4.

We asked Walter L. Scott III, Secretary-Treasurer of TWU Local 250-A to share a main dish recipe. Here is a recipe from his childhood days, growing up in the City on Goettingen


SUMMER 2009, Volume 5, Issue 2

End of the Line

Starfleet Academy members race from their “San Francisco” headquarters as enemy forces fire a laser drill into the Earth’s core in a scene from the new Star Trek film. After an exhaustive internet search, SFMTA super sleuth Eric Lavina discovered that the “San Francisco” Starfleet Academy, as portrayed in the film, was actually the Oviatt Library on the California State University, Northridge campus (Photo Inset). What we haven’t figured out is how they were able to mysteriously transport the edifice to a destination somewhere north of the Marina. Courtesy of Paramount Pictures/Industrial Light & Magic. Courtesy of Leigh Lopez. Copyright 2009. Copyright 2009 by Paramount Pictures Corporation.

Debra A. Johnson: Chief of Staff/Director, Administration Murray Bond: Deputy Director, External Affairs Janis Yuen: Manager, Internal Communications & Editor Chimmy Lee: Graphic Designer Carmen Magana: Photographer Mark De Anda & Kristen Holland: Associate Editors If you have a story idea for the SFMTA Newsletter, send an e-mail to Janis Yuen at Thank you to: Lulu Feliciano, Chris Hill, Eric Lavina, Michael Leary, Jay Lu, Corey Marshall, Matt Reeves, Walter L. Scott III and Bond Yee for their contributions to this publication. En Route is the official employee publication of the SFMTA. In an effort to keep our City green, this newsletter is distributed in an electronic/printable format. A limited number of hardcopies is available in reception areas and Gilley rooms.


Spring 2009 Newsletter  
Spring 2009 Newsletter  

I wrote the cover story and numerous other stories for this edition. This edition featured a new concept that I introduced--sound embedded i...