Paving the Future for Bay Area Public Transit

KCBS Radio In Depth
Thursday, October 11th
It hasn't been an easy few weeks for public transit. On the first day of what transit advocates recently dubbed "Transit Week", two San Francisco Muni underground lines broke down and the next day the new Transbay Transit Center was evacuated due to cracks in support beams. But as KCBS reporter Holly Quan found, this only fuels the fire for one of San Francisco's newest rider advocates. For five years Rachel Hyden worked for the agency that runs Muni, and now she advocates for the tens of thousands of riders who rely on it. "It's not working that well for people right now," Hyden told Quan during the most recent episode of KCBS Radio's In Depth. "So when I say hey, you know, give up your car and take the "T," the "T" doesn't show up on time or it takes an hour and half to get across town. Why wouldn't you just drive your car. It's probably going to take twenty-five minutes. So those are the challenges we're looking at. To one extent, getting people out of their cars, to get them onto transit, but we don't really want to push that message until we can actually deliver them the product or a service that's going to compete with the car." According to Hyden, another challenge is safety or quality of life. "What we really need people to do is be more respectful. I hear a lot of people complain about music, drinking and drug use on transit and those are the types of behavior that make riders not want to ride. So, if you don't want to be up close to somebody who's drinking a can of beer at 8:00 a.m. you'll just hop in your car or ride share." Ultimately, Hyden talks to Quan during In Depth about the overall push to convert drivers to riders.