You better have a ticket to ride Muni

You better have a ticket to ride Muni

At the Van Ness station platform on a recent morning, three men wearing Muni uniforms stood alongside others waiting to board the next light-rail vehicle, chatting among themselves. The moment an inbound, two-car J-Church train arrived, the men broke off their conversation and methodically entered through different doors — one at the front of the first car, the second at the rear of the same car and the third at the rear of the last…

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SF cabdrivers vote to unionize as industry continues to take beating from ride services

SF cabdrivers vote to unionize as industry continues to take beating from ride services

San Francisco cabdrivers have decided that it’s time to form a union. The local industry has been reeling for years as venture capital-backed ride services like Uber and Lyft have proliferated and taxi companies’ calls to The City to level the playing field have done little to help. On Wednesday, cab drivers voted to initiate the San Francisco Taxi Workers Alliance, an affiliate of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO)…

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EXCLUSIVE: SF Central Subway tunnel-boring phase reaches milestone

EXCLUSIVE: SF Central Subway tunnel-boring phase reaches milestone

There was no arresting explosion, no sudden, defining crack announcing the breakthrough. Only small rocks – occasionally a large slab of concrete – periodically tumbling down a crumbled wall 47 feet below ground level as “Big Alma,” the second of two tunnel-boring machines excavating San Francisco’s first new subway in nearly a half-century, slowly peered its cutterhead out Wednesday. A few dozen neon-vested, hardhat-fitted workers on the project — from the contractor’s foremen to the…

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Head of SF taxis to retire

Head of SF taxis to retire

Chris Hayashi, head of San Francisco’s taxi industry during arguably its most tumultuous times, told The San Francisco Examiner on Thursday that she would step down from her post June 20. The tall, hard-to-miss, curly-haired blonde took over as deputy director of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s Taxis and Accessible Services Division in December 2008, a time when the industry was in dire need of reform. A lawyer by trade, Hayashi, 51, maneuvered the…

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Tech commuter shuttles riding wave of controversy

Tech commuter shuttles riding wave of controversy

On weekday mornings, San Francisco residents, mostly in their 20s and 30s, many in jeans and hoodies, a few in khakis and tucked-in dress shirts, form a single-file line against a mural-graced wall by the Muni bus stop at the southeast corner of 24th and Valencia streets. They know each other well enough to line up following a system that lacks public signage, but rarely engage in conversation. Here they wait to catch a ride…

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Protesters stage Google bus ‘performance’ hours before pilot program could move forward

Protesters stage Google bus ‘performance’ hours before pilot program could move forward

In the spirit of April Fools’ Day — and just hours before the Board of Supervisors is scheduled to address an issue related to commuter shuttles — several dozen Eviction-Free San Francisco protesters blocked a Google bus at 24th and Valencia streets this morning, handing out fake “Gmuni” passes for San Franciscans to board the vehicle. “The Google bus is going to wait because the bus has a place for us,” a suited woman wearing…

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Bay Area man envisions environmentally conscious home built from old Bay Bridge scraps

Bay Area man envisions environmentally conscious home built from old Bay Bridge scraps

David Grieshaber drove across the idea last year. As he crossed the Bay Bridge with his wife, brainstorming unique ways to build an environmentally conscious house using recycled materials, he thought: What would become of the original eastern span once the new bridge opened? Neither he nor his wife had a clue, so Grieshaber decided to call Caltrans. After being rerouted to a half-dozen representatives, he was informed that the majority of the scraps likely…

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