Transit-News Digest 2.3.09

Bad news on BART tonight, as two trains collide beneath downtown Oakland. Reports of minor injuries and 15-minute delays systemwide.

The agency today announces that a third-party vendor will provide wifi on its entire system, a welcome addition. Now, if wifi weren’t such an iPhone-battery-killer. And in other press-release news, the agency announces ways in which it aims to deal with budget cuts.

Meanwhile, KPIX reports on the latest from the Oscar Grant hearings, in which a BART cop’s lawyer claims his client was provoked shortly before another officer shot and killed Grant.

Greg from N-Judah Chronicles does his civic duty by announcing an open invitation from Assemblymember Tom Ammiano to drop by and discuss budget matters at Ammiano’s downtown SF office.

On the stimulus front, now that the bill is in the more-esteemed chamber of Congress, surely it’s about to become more intelligent where mass transit is concerned, right? Wrong.

Ahead of today’s vote on an amendment prescribing transit-infrastructure spending in the bill, TPM’s Elana Schor analyzes what the bill would and wouldn’t do. Shortly after the amendment’s defeat, Schor comes back with a few nay-saying senators‘ forked-tongue responses, including a Democrat who voted “No.”

And finally, because we need a little humor as it appears that No We Can’t, we thought we’d throw this gem from Jason Linkins at Huffington Post. Apparently, our war-criminal ex-secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, had a little trouble boarding a bus in Washington, D.C. Join the crowd, Rummy.

Transit-News Digest 1.27.09

It’s been a busy few days, mostly with up-and-down news concerning transit budgets. Greg at N Judah pointed to a possible sign of hope amongst the doom and gloom of DC/Sacto cuts to Muni, while on the national level, TPM, Transit for America, and Matt Yglesias all discussed the cutbacks mass transit is suffering as the so-called stimulus bill keeps getting watered down in Congress.

KPIX and SFist continued their coverage of the fallout from last month’s BART Police fatal shooting, including some new footage of the Fruitvale incident.

And finally, in our favorite local transit-drama story of the week (so far), we have reports of Mayor Newsom in France extolling the virtues of high-speed rail (yes, yes, we’ve been saying so all along), then comes news that Newsom has ordered a temporary halt of the Transbay Terminal (which would serve as the terminus for said high-speed rail) construction project. And conveniently for us, Greg from N-Judah tars and feathers Newsom for giving French high-speed rail a stroke while virtually ignoring Muni here at home. Come to think of it, can San Francisco even be called the governor’s mayor’s home any more?

As always, if you’ve got more news from the past three or four days that should be mentioned here, let us know.

Transit-News Digest

Welcome to the first of what we (who have day jobs) hope will be a semi-regular feature on Muni Diaries: The Transit-News Digest. The aim is to compile these lists every few days or so. Yes, some of these stories have been commented on already on the site, but for what it’s worth …

And as always, let us know if you have news we missed!

Construction affecting 31BX, 38, 43, Jan. 26-Feb. 16, 2009

Riders will pay for BART budget deficit

Regarded criminal attorney to defend ex-BART cop

Fare evaders beware — no cuts planned to Muni inspectors

Muni pares back service on new CultureBus line

Music’s over for Muni station’s future as jazz club

S.F. Insider: Commuter benefits law in effect

BART fight! BART fight!

So you think Muni riders have bad manners? Looks like BART can very much hold its own in the bad behaviors category. I came across a blog post that made me laugh:

The fight began, as all things worth fighting over do, with a heated discussion over WHO REACHED THE LAST AVAILABLE SEAT FIRST. The aggressor, a man who looked as though he worked in an auto shop, began by pushing and yelling at the unfortunate businessman who had chosen to cross him, “What the fuck!? What do you think you’re doing, man?” The businessman, who was equally incensed over the situation, screamed repeatedly, “You’re crazy! You’re crazy! I’m calling 911 on ou!” The lame verbal argument degenerated into a physical fight, complete with both men windmilling their arms and slapping at each other in the manner of two teenage girls.

Read the rest of Bart Adventures: Grown Men Slapping Each Other.

Oh how I love a good, awkward fight between male urbanites … kind of reminds me of that scene in Bridget Jones’s Diary where Mark Darcy punches Daniel Cleaver in the face and the two clumsily wrestle each other, tumbling into that Greek (?) restaurant.

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