YPT SF Bay Transit Manager Bonanza Event Recap

Hey YPT! Anybody else have a few too many YPTinis last night? Oh yeah? Me too! What a great party YPT SF Bay threw last night. YPTinis aside, thanks to the SF YPT Board and our special guests Michael Scanlon (SamTrans/ Caltrain), Ed Reiskin (SFMTA), Grace Crunican (BART) and Michael Gougherty (WETA) for such a great kick-off to 2013!

Where to start? I can’t even recount how many awesome conversations people had at this event- I talked with friends and new friends about 2nd Street, Market Street transit and bike conflicts, pedestrian safety in the Tenderloin, CEQA and my newest bike acquisition. Special guest Grace Crunican even moseyed her way over to one of my conversations, and answered some seriously burning questions about BART – Dustin asked her about potential for 24 hour service, and Grace said that closed hours are needed for maintenance, and without a parallel track system (like NYC transit has everywhere!!), it just isn’t realistic. I asked about no bike blackouts on BART, and Grace talked about the next steps from the August pilot, working with the BART disability community and the changes they are making to the cars (both the current ones and future ones) and at the station level to better accommodate bikes.

Grace Crunican charms even the most stone-faced bloggers

On the panel, it was really great to see four such interesting transportation professionals talk with candor about topics relevant to so many of us in the room- there’s too much to report on, but I’ll share my favorite take-aways-

Michael Scanlon was honest about the bottom line needs for SamTrans to provide feeder service to BART over commuter express service, and I am glad that he’s spearheading the charge for CalTrain electrification. I agree that high speed rail is a non-negotiable, and it was inspiring to see passion from him (and Grace too)  on the topic. Michael starting working as a transit professional in 1967, and when my mom was still in high school, wearing flower prints and buying the latest Beatles record. Hey, Michael, if I bring your sort of spark to work more than 40 years from now when I’m in your position, I’ll feel like I am living up to your legacy.

I loved that Grace shared how difficult it was to get Portland to take on transit in a real way – I know how hard it for planning efforts to move forward in my career, and the snail pace feels like we’re doing it wrong- but nobody talks about how hard it was to get past successes, and it’s nice to know that things I take for granted took blood, sweat and tears from our current leaders. I also am stoked on Grace’s description of station area plans for BART- it’s important to remember that BART is so much more than just running trains, but also a major land user in the region that can influence the type of development that we will have in the future.

Esteemed panel of self-proclaimed Aging Professionals in Transportation

Michael Gougherty taught me all about WETA- apparently, they just can’t fix my plumbing- but they took on the unique task of consolidating disparate ferry providers under a single authority, and are providing the blue prints for how that might go forward. Additionally, WETA is thinking about their role in emergency management and ferry oriented development (FOD!). It’s pretty awesome to think about the mulitmodalism in the Bay Area, and how ferries are a key component of transit here.

Lastly, Ed Reiskin shared some of his trans-curious background- did you know he’s a map geek? Me too Ed! He also talked about potential reforms to CEQA to keep transportation projects moving forward but retaining the intent of the law.

Thanks to all of our guests for their humor and time!

Frankly, it was great to hear news from BART, SamTrans and WETA since all I do is think and talk about Muni. Maybe that’s my favorite take-away- San Francisco, despite all effort to the contrary, can’t exist in a bubble, and beyond our local transit service we need regional rail, multiple modal connections to neighbor counties, and high speed connections within the megalopolis to make SF the city that it is and will become.

Well, this has become an epic piece of literature. I’d like to give a huge shout out to YPT SF Bay’s first annual sponsor, TaxiMagic! Thanks TaxiMagic- whenever my bicycles break down and my heels are too high for Muni, I’m definitely going to grab a cab with your magic app! And golf claps and thank yous to the evening sponsors: Infusion Lounge and Scoot Networks! Most importantly, we can’t do it without all the amazing SF Bay YPTers-  including 20 new members from last night! There are so many more events coming up but we’ll save that for later. Also, holler at your blogger if you have questions, comments, want me to chat with you at the next event or have bribes of free tours of your transportation facility or use of your awesome transportation system. Until next time, yours in trans-curiousity,


Your 2013 SF Bay YPT Board!

Transit Manager Bonanza Event – YPT SF Bay 2013 Kickoff Event

Happy 2013, YPT! Before we all get to party at TRB, the SF Bay Chapter is super excited to present our first major event of the year. We have a full deck of esteemed guests from some of the largest transit providers in the region who will share thoughts, funny stories, and whatever else we can get them to spill this coming Wednesday at Infusion Lounge, 124 Ellis Street at Powell Muni/BART, 6:00pm-9:00pm. These transportation celebrities are:

  • Ed Reiskin, SFMTA Director
  • Michael Scanlon, General Manager and CEO of San Mateo Country Transit District
  • Grace Crunican, General Manager of BART, and 
  • Michael Gougherty, Planner/Analyst at Water Emergency Transportation Authority

Our guests are excited to discuss your questions. Feel free to submit your questions for our featured guests on our facebook page or tweet to us!

Here are some of my questions, just to get you started:

  • What does it mean to manage siloed agencies when Bay Area travel patterns are regional? What are 3 easy things we could do to improve regional transit connectivity?
  • What’s your favorite transportation project underway that’s not in your jurisdiction?
  • How trans-curious were you before you got your job? Please answer on a Kinsey scale.
  • Don’t you think it would be awesome if we had a funicular from Twin Peaks to the Bay View? Why don’t we have one of those? I would totally ride it.

Space is limited and as spots get filled, current YPT members will get priority. RSVP at our EventBrite: http://yptsfbayanniversary.eventbrite.com/

DC Job Alert! Transportation Planner & Senior Transportation Planner at Foursquare ITP

Foursquare Horiz 2 Logo Type rgbFoursquare Integrated Transportation Planning is  looking for a qualified Transportation Planner and a Senior Transportation Planner / Project Manager to join its dynamic and growing practice. Foursquare ITP is a transportation planning and policy analysis firm with a focus on regional transportation planning and coordination, public transit planning, strategic planning, and transportation demand management. The company is based in Rockville, Maryland, outside Washington DC, and works with a diverse range of clients concentrated primarily in the Mid-Atlantic region.

For learn more about the two positions and how to apply, please visit http://foursquareitp.com/WP1/careers/

For more information about Foursquare ITP, visit www.foursquareitp.com

YPT SF Bay GrubWithUs Recap

Hey YPTers! Long time no chat. Actually this is my first official post as YPT SF’s unofficial blogger for 2013. I’m stoked to report on the news of the day, the news of the Bay, and all things young, trans-curious and interesting that gets sent my way.

Since the YPT SF Board election last fall, the new Board has been hard at work coming up with a full slate of events that will keep calendars booked from here until 2014. The first event was a sold-out dinner at Poc Chuc in the Mission on December 19. SF Board Chair, and transportation superstar Paul Supawanich, reports that the group of diverse professionals from government, start-ups, non-profits and engineering conversed on topics ranging from “shared interest in transportation, the culinary scene in SF, whether the world would end with the end of the Mayan calendar (it didn’t), and whether the new Megabus service from Potrero can beat air, rail, or driving to LA.”

This dinner was coordinated through the web platform GrubWithUs, and supports one of YPT’s goals for 2013: to expand programming and also find new ways to hold smaller group events to really enable members to connect on more of a one-to-one basis. YPT SF looks forward to hosting more dinners this year using GrubWithUs, which takes all of the hassles out of hosting, figuring out a menu and splitting the bill. Since you’re reading this, please consider signing up for the next YPT GrubWIthUs!

The YPT dinner was preceded by a visit to San Francisco’s Harvey Milk Photography Center, which is hosting two transportation related exhibits through Jan 5, 2013: “In Transit”, photo accounts and stories from San Francisco’s 100 year old Muni system, and “The F-line Inside Out,”, which showcased photos over the years of San Francisco’s historic streetcars. Paul reports that it was “transit-nerdy to the max, but a great prelude to an evening discussion about transportation!”

Of course, YPT SF is hosting its 2013 kick-off event next week, so we hope to see you there! Until then, keep it transcurious!