Transit News Digest: SFPD, Spotted on Muni? Nat Ford — Stay or Go?

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It sure was a busy weekend on the wires for transit news. While we would’ve loved to have been out in the cold, breezy sunshine, instead we were stuck indoors, with our eyes glued to the wires. Here’s what we found.

SF Appeal followed up with answers to their question, Have you ever seen SFPD on Muni? The article includes an interesting field report from Steve Rhodes. And San Francisco Citizen caught wind of a wicked photo of a Muni bus that had been co-opted by the police during Saturday’s war protests. Still trying to get to the bottom of the bizarre SFPD-SFMTA-City and County of San Francisco love triangle. We’ll let you know what we and others find.

Just before we left the office Friday, we noticed this article on Streetsblog, picking up on this report from The Examiner, which asks the pertinent question: Should Nat Ford stay or go? The original reporting in The Examiner’s post sounds like Ford’s departure is a done deal. It seems to us the rumors of his leaving serve as its justification at this point. Better to get someone new in who’s committed to not using the position of general manager as a stepping stone, we say.

Moving on to a flurry of BART news, first we find this report from Streetsblog that the BART board will soon consider raising the parking fees at its suburban stations. While we don’t necessarily like to see expenses go up for anyone, especially those who are using public transit, we’d be okay with an increase. The agency is strapped for cash, and perhaps this will force more sensible design in and around those outlier stations.

Speaking of the ‘burbs, an Alameda County Superior Court judge on Friday refused to issue an injunction halting funding for a BART extension to the Warm Springs district in Fremont. For the long-planned BART line into Santa Clara County, it’s one step forward …

In the wake of the Oscar Grant shooting, BART is exploring changes to its use-of-force policy, including the possibility of stripping officer’s of their weapons. Stay tuned for more on that. And on the topic of BART cops carring guns, SF Gate reports that the officer accused of killing Oscar Grant, Johannes Mehrserle, could see his trial delayed in light of Saturday’s killing of four Oakland police officers.

And finally, Sustainable Cities Collective has an opinion piece arguing for a rethinking of how the government doles out transportation dollars.

Have a great week!

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