tv [untitled] October 29, 2011 4:30am-5:00am PDT
on the platform signs to say that a train is only going to go to 19th avenue, and we want to continue to repeat that message. i think in terms of the notification, there is kind of -- as we talked about before, their three things we have moved forward to. one, i will provide you the data on the the adherents of the train behind it. second is to reemphasize, with our staff, the operators making the announcement. and there is to take advantage of whatever technology we have to get information to people. if we're having a particular, you know, using it in the platform. the fourth thing, and this is something that our new director is emphasizing and has pushed for us to move faster across the board on, is getting delay information up on the website. we started a program now what twitter to get real-time
information to people. so one of the things that we all believe is that in a system like ours, there will be daily challenges, given the nature of the system. but to the extent we can manage through them, part of it has to be the information to the public. this is something that you as a body had been very consistent in demanding that we do it, and we're doing our best to improve in all these areas. just a quick overview of some of the things that we're doing on a regular basis. we have talked about the line management center. it is our first opportunity, and we have been using it about a year now to manage the system on a real-time basis so that we can see what is going on, make adjustments. we mentioned that we have accelerated the hiring and training of operators. one of the things that we did
back in june, the n express service, we will make a recommendation to our director and to the board in the next month about the continuation of the service. but it has been a very effective service in terms of being able to support the demands of riders on the n line, and we want to move forward with that. we also made some schedule adjustments that went into affect recently. one of the things, for example, there were previously, on the j line during rush hour had waits between nine minutes and 13 minutes, and people would be confused. so we have leveled the change. we extended the n on weekends as well. so we're continuing to look at opportunities within our existing service to improve the day-to-day operations.
that is the and nec -- the nx bus. this is something we have paid and an extraordinary amount of attention to a continue to do so. they're one of our biggest assets. at the same time, we have to deal with them effectively. we have an overall program. we're rebuilding the propulsion and brake systems. the fourth step -- the fourth one down is very important. some of what we have been able to do is take existing what we call mru's, mobile response units, and they're basically mechanics. you will see them during rush hour in the subways. their job is to try to rescue trains. they can troubleshoot and tried to keep the train service. finally, we have pushed, after a long time span, to accelerate the overhaul of some of the
rail cars that have been out of service for lit -- for a very long time. many have structural damage. previously, we had them under contract. we recently have an agreement in principle to move forward and get some of these vehicles repaired. that could mean we will have an additional vehicles of the last two years that will be able to better support the service. there are a number of actions we're taking on the vehicle side. and the facilities side, and this are very important, infrastructure with our aging uses, we have a few slow zones in the subway. one of the key ones is that eureka curve. we're working on that and night and overnight on weekends when we have a longer wanted to replace the rail there. when it is replaced, it will allow us to evaluate and determine the speed of the subway a little bit higher.
this weekend, we started both the long-awaited rebuild of church and dubose as well as made in terms adjustments to improve the reliability there. we're looking at the announcements that we're making in the system. this atcs software upgrade, the uniqueness of our system, one of the things we have done to improve the reliability of the trains and the subway is to improve the interface between the signal system and the vehicle itself at the portals. supervisor avalos: atcs is automatic traffic control system? >> automatic train control system. it is the system that directs
and spaces and moves the trains in the subway, where it is phillippe automatic. the operate -- where it is fully automatic. finally on third street, you may remember with the introduction -- whenever we do projects of a significant nature, even though we have an older system, we try to take advantage of existing technology. the vetag system automatically provides a pre-emption of ford vehicles -- for vehicles. it was all up and down third street and in a couple other locations. going to church and dubose. there had been some issues with these signals, both from what is on the ground in the interface on the train. it had about a 10% failure rate. we're working with our signal shop on the other side of the
agency, and we have been able to work together to get a clear picture of when the failures occurred, get on them faster, and we have made significant progress. the system is much more reliable. which means the trains go a little bit faster. going forward in terms of what we expect to see -- i am sorry. we have hired 13 supervisors better training right now. that is a very important. there will be out on the line, as well as some in the line management center. this may seem insignificant, but when you look at the causes of delays, for example, you have three lines, n, j, and f, and they all pull out over the j line right of way.
so we will look at the distribution of pull outs between mme on third street and green. we will start to move a portion of the f line over to mme. and putting some others over as well. our whole approach of using the facility between green and mme has got to get looked at. breda is the manufacture of our rail cars. those trains will be repaired. finally, the signal loop replacement in the subway. this is significant. given the nature of our operation, we have occasionally had long delays caused by something cutting or penetrating the loop cable that carries the signal. when that happens, every single time the system has failed safely. what that means is while we find
and repair the cable, the trains operate on line of sight with the operators. that means they operate very slowly. sometimes, depending on where the cable delay is and how it can be found and repaired, it can take several hours. we have started the project already to replaced the live cable. it will be more reliable. i will underscore that it has been incredibly reliable, over 99%. it has also functioned effectively. again, this is our position for the system to grow and carry a heavier load it in the future, as well as to make it more reliable. with that, i am willing to and available for any questions you may have. we wanted to provide you a snapshot of what is going on with the rail system over the past several months and some of
the actions we are doing to improve the service. supervisor chu: thank you. i have a few follow up questions. with regards to something that we had in a previous presentation that was helpful, you had laid out what the causes of delays in the system more. whether it was a mechanical error or something that happens to the trains are vehicles versus, you know, whether it is a blockage of cars are other things that happens on the rail lines versus facility breakdowns or something. so i do not have a choice -- do not have a sense of how that has changed, whether some of the equipment failures have been addressed. i am glad to hear about the project and the mechanical changes. i think that really does help. i am tried to get a sense of, are we still seeing that a large portion of delays that occur are related to things that we can control? our vehicles breaking down. what does that look like?
>> ok, i am happy to provide that chart. i will make a note of it. last time we spoke, the distribution -- what we did, i think, was present you with muni and non-muni delays to the description was about 70/30. the majority of delays were caused by us, muni-related items vs things like traffic, police action, fire hoses, those kinds of things. what i suspect the data will show is in the spring into the summer, the number of delays by vehicles anprobably represented more like 75%. a should be coming back down.
it is in that two-thirds one. we would like to get it in the two-thirds, one-third range. based on what we have seen in the spring and the trending right now, i think the delays, principal causes of delays remain operator and mechanical problems with the vehicles, as opposed to -- maybe 25% of the delays were caused by factors outside, you know, people driving into portals, illegally parked automobiles, those kinds of things. it passed -- if that is sending a lot on a regular basis, that is easy for us to get. supervisor chu: thank you. two of the large muni-related factors, the maintenance of vehicles is one factor in the second factor is operators. you had talked about the issue of hiring and how it was we had a delay in getting more folks
on. can you tell me a little bit more about what we're doing in terms of the operators and then equant maintenance? are we seeing any major investments board changes to how muni will be dealing with maintaining vehicle so we do not see the break down? and how are you addressing operator issues and hiring? that is a director question. >> on the vehicle side, two pieces of the very simple equation of beating surf -- service outcome of vehicles and operators. on the vehicle side, john hit on the things we're doing, getting the metlife overhaul stun or a portion of them, focusing them on the components that are showing the failures, such as
doors and steps. that would go a long way of extending the life of their vehicles and reliability. that is funded and under way. we should soon see improvements, because some of those vehicles are now coming back out onto the street. adding more vehicles, which john also referenced, by getting some that have been out of service because of previous damage from getting them back on line will help in terms of the overall numbers to make sure we have the minimum out for service every day. with regard to operators, there are no work changes per se that are happening. mainly the hiring pipeline that we're very much focused on, we have been focused on the bus side in terms of getting part
time operators that were negotiated as part of the new contract up and running. this coming wednesday is the first day that the first batch of those folks will be out at one of our divisions. we have another batch falling next month. at the same time, we have been working to get more lrv operators onto the system. we had, i think, six or eight, last month, and we're continuing to work on training to get those numbers up. beyond that, we have been focusing within the agency on overall operator availability. while we do have constraints within our pipeline in terms of being able to train folks enough to get them operating, we do have a number of folks who are already trained but who are off for various reasons such as workers' compensation and family leave, and we still have a high number of unexcused absences.
we have been focusing very much as an agency in with our labor partners to drive those numbers down, so we have a greater availability of operators on the street. based on what we currently have in place, that will only be supplemented by the additional operators that we bring on line through training. all of those things should get more vehicles to more operators available, which are two key components to the reliability of the system. supervisor chu: thank you. supervisor avalos: if you could talk about what the impact is on the switchbacks on the bus service, switchbacks on the lrv line, how it impacts the delivery of bus service for the mta? does it have an impact? where does it degrade our ability to meet our timelines for bus services as well? does it take away resources from the bus services as we're trying to use buses to replace parts of the lines that the
switchback is on, like the l line from west portal or the n service? >> the switchbacks are largely unrelated. i know it is an issue of concern and we shall never be switching back without adequately communicating people that we're doing so and without a vehicle close behind. even five minutes is a lot. the point on communication and adherence to our own policy is very well-taken, and we need to make sure that we are there. i found the data i have seen, i believe we're doing that fairly well. but to the extent that we're still getting complaints, that is an area of concern. supervisor avalos: is it possible to switchback only when there is a vehicle right there? >> we would have to look at the data and see what five minutes
would mean vs three. i do not know off-hand. but i think it would be a good policy and good direction. to get led off a train and have to wait even five minutes seems like a lot and feels like a lot when it happens to you. >> then there's the discussion of the balance and the balance for the people further from downtown. the balance is to make it balance for people getting from the central part of the city versus people who live by further parts of this city. because it is not balanced. >> when john said balance, it generally balancing is basing the train on the line. we are trying to move the resources to where there are the
most people. as an example, this morning i got on and outbound n that came about three minutes after the previous outbound n. train was fairly empty. on the way out, going through in a sense that, i saw boarding platform several very full of people. to me from an operations perspective, a good operational move, and that may well have happened, it would have been to switchback one of the outbound trains. to take a big two-car train with three people on it and all the way up to the end of the line and you literally have hundreds of people waiting on the inbound side is not a good use of resources. and running every train and every bus to the end, every line on every run, it just does not make sense given where the population is in terms of ridership. there are some bus lines and
train lines, or at least a bus lines, where there is a big amount of people that are at the terminals at the end and those would be less likely to switchback. but on those were there is a gradual tabor or sometimes a sharp tabor, it really does not necessarily make sense to always run to the end of the line every time. i think building scheduled switchbacks into our system would be a good thing. unscheduled switchbacks really reflect where we have had a service failure and we need to adjust. that is what we want to minimize. when we have to do it, we want to make sure we're communicating it well and that there really is a train or a bus right behind. so these switchbacks per se, i do not believe really impact the bus service. were service failures can impact the bus service is where you bring in a bus to sub in as we
sometimes do on the l. have buses and operators available, extra beyond the service they are providing. it could happen that we are pulling from one less traveled line to move more people. to the extent that happens, we would be having some impact on bus service, but we are always trying to weaweigh how we can me the most amount of people given the amount of time. supervisor chu: thank you. if there are no other comments, let's go to public comment. i do have some final comments for the mta. supervisor avalos: two minutes. >> thank you. first and foremost, i have been
following mta for a long time from michael burns, michael ford, and now head reiskin. thank goodness we have somebody like john who did not jump ship. at least to try to address the issues. what supervisors have failed to understand is whether you really have the clout. you agree to a proposition where your hands are tied, and literally, the mta does not need to come to you for anything, except for superficial meetings like this. you have no clout. having said that, we really need to understand, as it john stated, the software, those lines that are operated manually, some explanation about
the automated control system, which we need to further look into, not just casualty -- casually. as far as the third street light rail is concerned, i take public transportation all the time. we still have to work on it. as far as those services provided to the sunset, mr. ed reiskin admitted that we needed to fine-tune the services. ed is not very well versed with the transportation system, but he is a quick learner. he has done good things with dpw, 311. in the given circumstances, we need to support him, but i'm going back to the proposition that our hands are tied. people come here, a kind of a
presentation, you folks can do nothing with the mta. >supervisor avalos: thank you. any other member of the public that would like to comment on this item? seeing none, public comment is closed. supervisor chu? supervisor chu: thank you, everyone for patients. i want to thank the mta for your commitment. it is tough with any issue with the mta, considering our influence over the organization. however, i think these conversations are fruitful to help us better understand how to convey information to our constituents and convey information to the mta as well. i want to say thank you to the mta for a couple of things that did work. in terms of the nx service, we have heard nothing but positive things. they are able to get downtown if
they live in the outer avenues without having to worry about delays. i wanted thank you for that. it has been nothing but positive, in terms of feedback, from what we have heard from our constituents. it also helps with the large number of boardings sometimes when we did not have the express service. i also want to thank you for having the real time information. i have get to see how it will look yet, and oftentimes people will be calling our office to see if there are any issues within the system. i know john haley is looking at a process to analyze different bus lines to see what we can do to improve operations. i do want to thank the mta for looking at these things and starting working on those things that we can control. a couple of things that are still problematic, in terms of the turnaround service, i understand the flexibility the
mta would like to have to readjust the system, but as super out -- supervisor ablow is mentioned, it does matter what time of day those switchbacks happen. when you have three train going downtown, it could be a different scenario. but often, when we hear complaints, they are when people are coming home from work, when it is the evening time, and dark. the five-minute policy, we have been asking for information about the adherence to that. supervisor at avalos also talked about that. is there a way to have a different way of implementing it so we know there is another line close behind? that would be an improvement. finally, one other comment. in terms of the outline, this was something new that came out of the presentation, how often the l line is misrun because it
is easy to replace with the service. i understand that, but is there something that could be done to make it more fair? is the l line always the one that gets bus service, misruns? i would like to work with the mta to address that issue further. if we can, i would like to request that we continue this item to the call of the chair. i think there is additional information the mta needs to address, but i think we have moved forward from where we first started. supervisor avalos: ok. thank you, supervisor chu. i appreciate your bringing forward this item. we can continue this to the call of the chair. i want to thank the mta for your
presentation. while there is a lot of frustration passengers have, i have, i understand the constraints you are working under. however we can be of assistance, please rely on us. we will continue this item to the call of the chair. supervisor avalosmadame clerk, m 2. >> item 2. hearing on the budget analyst report on san francisco's banking system and options for leveraging san francisco taxpayer dollars and city revenues in financial institutions that can stimulate our local economy. supervisor avalos: thank you. this is an item that was -- i had requested the budget and legislative analyst and to the report. the idea of municipal banking in san francisco. it was something that was on my radar for a few years.
when we got to see how our recession is still ongoing, continuing, the urgency behind how we can use our public dollars to help stimulate our local economy has gotten much greater. especially now that we have a parallel to what is going on now, frustration to what is being expressed around the country about our financial institutions, specifically, how our financial institutions have failed us, especially after getting bailed out in the latter part of 2008, 2009. there is a general feeling that our economy has not been supportive as greatly as they can be by our major financial institutions around the country.