Next Week is SF Transit Week!
Originally published in The Bay City Beacon in September 2017.
Next week – Sept. 25 to Oct. 1 – the SF Transit Riders group is hosting Transit Week, an annual citywide celebration of public transit and its riders.
“Transit Week is the one time a year we really stop to appreciate transit riders and their contribution to a greener and more vibrant San Francisco,” said Rachel Hyden, Executive Director of SFTR. “This year’s Transit Week is really exciting because we’re expanding our reach to not only riders on Muni, but BART and Caltrain riders too!”
The new organization, alongside a dedicated core set of volunteers, has worked all year to plan a week of events meant to show the fun, communal aspects of transit and “to solidify the self-identity of being a proud transit rider.” SFTR will be collecting #WhyIRide stories from transit riders to paint a more tangible, evolving picture of Bay Area transportation than the static service that comes to mind.
“I'm excited about transit week because transit is an unsung hero of our lives,” said Armand Domalewski, SFTR volunteer and host of Transit Week’s Wednesday night “Better Bayshore” event at the Visitacion Valley Library, which features Senator Scott Weiner as a speaker. “We berate BART when stations smell of poop; we moan about MUNI when it's delayed. All of that's totally legitimate—we need better transit—but sometimes it's nice to celebrate the role public transit plays in our lives.”
SFTR will collect #WhyIRide stories all week at designated transit hubs, planned events, and online via social media. The hubs have been chosen to the organization can reach riders in every corner of the City.
“This is going to be the biggest Transit Week yet,” said Matt Cleinman, SFTR board member and project lead for Transit Week 2017. “I'm especially excited about our ten Transit Week Hubs. We'll be at busy stops all over the city, introducing people to our organization and the work we do for riders.”
Transit Week will cap off with Family Fest during Excelsior’s Sunday Streets, a full streetblock of transit-oriented activities to engage current and future riders. The activation hub will include Muni bus tours, a Mini-Bus Madness game, stations to create personal Muni art, resources from Safe Routes to School to help plan trips to-and-from school, giveaways, and a raffle.
“I’m really looking forward to the Family Fest at Sunday Streets - a block-long, kid-friendly celebration of transit and the families who ride it,” said Hyden. “Most importantly, stop by our hub and share your #WhyIRide story. Tell us why transit matters to you and your family, or how we can make it better.”
When asked what each would improve if they had the power to make one change tomorrow, they responded:
Hyden: “More subways! Muni is constantly stuck in traffic. It’s important we continue to roll out transit priority treatments on our surface routes, but we should always be digging.”
Cleinman: “As more and more people move to San Francisco, we must keep transit moving. Both above and below ground, we need to make trips speedy and reliable.”
Domalewski: “The one change I'd make to public transit is to make it more affordable! Funding transit is really important, but that Clipper card eats a lot out of my paycheck every month!”
Transit Week begins Monday, September 25 at noon on the steps of City Hall.