I stumbled upon this excellent set of posts by “Eric” on his Transbay Blog. If you’re interested in BRT in San Francisco, these are an excellent read:
- Part 1 – Van Ness BRT: Why We Need It
- Part 2 – Van Ness BRT: Design Alternatives
- Part 3 – Van Ness BRT: Service Plans
But, this begs the question. Will the Van Ness BRT line go down with a fanfare of failure just like the abysmal T-Third line? MUNI’s strong suit isn’t implementation. Frankly, I don’t think MUNI has a strong suit.
What if MUNI were to not implement this line and instead contracts were offered to private entities to operate the line? Of course, this would never happen give the structure of the city agencies, but work with me. Imagine: the Van Ness BRT line run as a separate entity given clear performance goals, free of unions, horrible bureaucracy, and general incompetence.
How well would a private company operate this line? Answer: very well. Look at Google’s implementation of its free commuter buses for its employees. The instant Google sees trouble with Bauer’s performance delivering its highly paid employees to work safely and on-time, Bauer’s is out. The City has no option like that. MUNI can’t be ‘fired’. Maybe that needs to change.