tv [untitled] April 9, 2012 5:00am-5:30am PDT
muni system. [applause] it is actually quite appropriate that i am here today because we're talking about muni, moving people from one place to another, and i just moved from 1013 to 1 037. i am trying to move about 1 million people of the dial, so i have come to learn about doing just the sort of thing. i want to extend a special welcome to the members of the chu -- muni centennial and honorary committee that dianne feinstein has graciously agreed to share. i will be introducing and recognizing members of the committee shortly along with the lady with two hats right here. nice to have you here. absolutely. always part of the day. we also have some very special
guests and extend them greetings. from district four, supervisor carmen chu. [applause] district 8, supervisors got wiener -- supervisor scott wiener. district 10 supervisor malia cohen. district 11 supervisor john avalos, and city treasurer jose cisneros. [applause] front and center. well done. very happy 100th to muni. since its first days of operation on december 28, 1912, this unique public transportation system has attracted and intrigue and amazed and served people from the city and untold visitors from all around the world. at to was the first major publicly owned transportation
system in the nation and today is the seventh largest, carrying more than 200 million people a year. muni was part of the rebuilding after the 1900 sixth earthquake and served as a dynamic catalyst as the city expanded over the sand dunes and down the peninsula. songs and movies often have featured muni. i don't know if you have heard this one -- ♪ to be where little cable cars ♪ [laughter] actually, tony bennett in town a couple of weeks ago to do that song. he did a wonderful job. muni is also a system constantly position to realize its position and step forward in the new strategic plan, which is -- san francisco, a great city, and excellent transportation choices. who better to waive that flag and our new mayor? although he has only been chief executive for a brief time, he,
too, has a vision, which is to make san francisco the innovative capital of the world. he served two terms as city administrator and advanced the city's move to a cleaner environment, most notably by leading the way for green, electric vehicle, and tuesday, his new office of innovation launched improve sf, a new web site to provide a platform for rethinking the role that government and citizens will play. he embraces technology, although, like a lot of us, he was a little slow to grab on sometimes initially as a city administrator. in the day one day, he is standing in front of the shredder, holding a document, frustrated and asks for someone to help them with this thing. an assistant comes over, pushes the button, takes the document, sticks it in. he says, "thank you so much. now can you make me two copies of that."
[laughter] ladies gentlemen, the 43rd mayor of san francisco, ed lee. [applause] mayor lee: thank you. actually, i asked for three copies. welcome, everyone, to the beginning of the celebration of 100 years, the centennial of our municipal transportation system. i am so proud of this system. by thousand dedicated people serving all of our citizens and visitors -- 5000 dedicated people. i want to thank former mayor brown for being here as well. [applause] archie protocol officer -- our chief protocol officer, thank you for being here as well. [applause] someone i learned a lot from being city administrator, our previous city administrator. thank you for being here. i am so thrilled to share the
stage with so many of our elected officials, our mta board, our supervisors, but certainly, foremost in my mind has been our wonderful senator dianne feinstein, who really have the compassion for this system. before i introduce her, i just wanted to just let you know again how valuable this system is to us and what it means to us today, but in recognition of that, before we do that, it still is -- i mean, we've got 63 bus routes that are managed by our mta. seven light rail lines. the historic f line streetcars, of course. 700,000 daily borders of our mta -- daily boarders of our mta. of course, senator, as you so
well articulated just moments ago, no mayor can ever escape a comment on a daily basis about somebody's quality of ride in the city. because it is so much part of our daily lives, but it is also a reflection early generations of innovation. because we go back many, many years ago when the system was created, and, you know, you cannot avoid acknowledgment of history. they used mining technology to create the first cable cars in our system, and today, they have become the iconic representation of our muni
system, that was innovation 100 years ago. and to understand that the mayor in 1912 drove the very streetcar we are about to ride in in 1912 , to yet again represent innovation. we will have not only our ride, but we will also have on board the newest generation of innovators, these technology companies here today that locating themselves on our markets st. riding with us as well because they represent the newest generation of technology that will help muni come into the new generations for many years to come. december 28 of this year, we will be celebrating that 100 years, but we are going to have a lot of events leading up to
that time, and also, to thank the 5000 dedicated people who are here today. i need to thank the chancellor's workers union because they are giving me a driver's pass today. [applause] mr. williams, thank you because a brief drivers has to drive the historic heart is absolutely necessary, one that will represent that i will be as safe as i can be but also as enthusiastic about the system as you and the workers and men and women who are represented here will always be on a daily basis as we transport these 700,000 riders on a daily basis. one of the nice things about sharing the stage with senator feinstein is we can look back at her enthusiasm when she was a supervisor in those years in the 1970's when she declared the city to be a transit-first city.
that was a wonderful thing because that has guided us for so many generations, and it has guided me to today that we are still a transit-first system. this is why we invest in our chances system. while we are going to make sure it is not only serving all of us, but that it welcomes in the new route we are creating that mayer brown has worked so hard to get established. now, with the help of senator feinstein and the help of so many of our delegation and state representatives, we will start and finish that central subway that will also be the complement of the third street light rail. that will be another admission that we look forward to our transit system representing, to connect up eventually to what we have already started at the transbay terminal so that all of our muni transit system can connect up to the wonderful
world of high-speed rail. that will be in our lifetime. not just a wish. we are taking steps to make sure that is a reality. that is our future. we cannot risk the inability to have our transit system connected up to all of our areas. and then, to help muni establish the bus rapid transit systems along geary, venice, that will be done in a very short time, and we got some help because today we announced the rebuild of our hospitals, and they are contributing to the rapid transit systems. senator, with your leadership, for so many years, and your help and such wonderful leadership, i also want to acknowledge -- this transit system runs on hydroelectric power from our hetch hetchy dam, and we know that. we have felt that. we have used that.
in addition to the wonderful water system it has, our our shaughnessy dan generates this power -- our shaughnessy dam. for anyone to suggest that we should tared that down and be irresponsible to generations of people who are dependent on this innovation that occurred hundreds of years ago is to be irresponsible to our whole city. [applause] so i will tell you today, we will protect that dam. we will protect that innovation, and we will do it in the spirit that all of our and the raiders are today, that our spirit is rich enough to help everybody to make sure that we reflect everybody's lives. this trends assistant touches all of people's lives, whether you are a struggling immigrant, a small business, or the largest business in san francisco. it touches everybody's lives,
and she knew it when she was supervisor when she declared transit first. she continues to help us in so many ways. she has been my mentor, and she has been a continuing to be a great representative of our city. if i may welcome to the podium, our senator, senator feinstein. [applause] >> thank you. thank you. thank you very much. thank you very much. thank you. thank you. thank you. well, it is always nice to come home and get one good round of applause. kind of my morale boost for the week. this is a trip down memory lane for me. as a 6-year-old, i used to ride the f3 car from where we lived
around beach st.. i could not read, so i would have to ask the operator to tell me when this streak came up, and, of course, he did, and i am still here. it really developed a tremendous fondness in me for these mechanical giants. then, as willie will know and rudy will no -- rudi was deputy mayor for willie, deputy mayor for me, we're joined by a distinguished public utilities commission of that i had the honor of nominating and putting on the commission, dr. flynn, if you would give him a round of applause. [applause] as rudy knows well, the problems are either how you fix it when something goes wrong or how you fund it because public
transit systems are expensive. when i became mayor, one of the first things we found was that there was not a staggered bus line. do you remember that? one half of the fleet, which was around 300 cars, was breaking down continually. that got my attention very quickly. i think we did do the first staggering purchases for the muni railway so it would never happen again. thanks to the good stewardship of mayer brown and others and the good stewardship of ed lee, it never is going to happen again. then, in around 1983, into my office what gordon swanson, then the head of the chamber of commerce, and rick, who
suggested doing and historic trolley festival, and that historic trolleys festival was set to just operate during the tourist season from fisherman's wharf down to castro just for four months. the next year, 1984, was the democratic convention, it was easy for me to convince him to continue that that year. then, it was expanded to a five- year plan, and it existed for five years. well, it has been a few decades since then, and the historic trolley festival is still going on. [applause] now, i understand the route is going to be extended. one of the great things about this city is you have people who
really do care, not a year in and year out, but decade after decade after decade. rick is one of those people, so you would do me a great honor if you would give him a big round of applause. [applause] i will tell you a little story -- we were standing in this little museum, which you all have to go in and see. i asked him if it was his idea, and he said, "no, it was your idea. [laughter] really not so. another great event during my tenure was the cable car refurbishment. cable cars are amazing. the last remaining cable system in the world, and the cable itself is very complicated
because it is still with -- steel with hemp in the middle, and as you know, it is of the marijuana family and there are not a lot of legal producers. we had to find hemp to redo the cable and also restore those cable cars. we went out and we ask the business community if they could raise $10 million, which was our match, for the federal money of, i think, $42 million. i will never forget, in walks ken of chevron with a million- dollar check. not ask, just walked in, believe it or not. those were really the good old days. i asked if he would lead the
effort, and he did. that raised the $10 million. the federal grant was forthcoming, and the cable grant system was restored. today, it is the significant symbol of our city. today, you have not only the millions of riders that were mentioned, but i guess you have at least 700,000 a day on this system. it is incredible. it is special. it needs care, concern, funding, fixing, and that is really what all of this is about. for all of you that are here today to say happy birthday, but also we want to be part of the solution, not part of the problem, i want to thank you. what makes city's great are people who care. never forget that. so in this room, you have a heritage, and you have a legacy,
and that is, i think, the finest and most unusual public transportation system in the united states of america. let's keep it going, strong, fixed, and funded, for the next 100 years. thank you for letting me be part of it. [applause] thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you very much, senator, for being here. if you and the mayor would come over please, we would like you to unveil the logo here. this is the muni centennial logo, which will brand our yearlong celebration. ready n began. go!