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6 posts from January 2009


Newsom Announces SF Bike Sharing Pilot Program

Mayor Newsom Announces San Francisco Bike Sharing Pilot Program

01/27/09 - Mayor Gavin Newsom today used his visit to the successful bike sharing network in Paris to announce that San Francisco will implement a bike sharing pilot program in 2009. San Francisco's bike sharing program is intended to build on the recognition of San Francisco as a gold-level bicycle friendly community by the League of American Bicyclists-the largest United States city to receive such an honor.

"Bike sharing will help connect thousands of residents and commuters to their workplaces and shopping destinations by providing bikes that they can easily borrow," said Mayor Newsom. "This bike sharing pilot project will allow us to test and perfect the bikes and technology that will be used in our citywide network."

The pilot program will include 50 bikes located at five stations on non-city property (as required by a Court injunction until environmental review of the City's Bicycle Plan is complete). Each station will have either nine or 12 bikes and will provide approximately 50 percent more bicycle parking slots to help ensure proper distribution between available bikes and open, available drop-off spots. The stations will be in the Financial District, Mission Bay, the Presidio, Civic Center and the City College campus.

Bike sharing customers will sign-up through an online registration system linked to the website of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), which manages the City's Bicycle Program. Registration will require a valid credit card to charge an annual user fee, hourly fees, and to provide security for lost bikes (which will be the responsibility of the user). A subscription will provide members access to all rental stations and the use of a bike for a limited period of time per day.

"We are committed to the vision of increasing bicycling in San Francisco through innovative programs like bike sharing," said SFMTA Executive Director/CEO Nathaniel P. Ford, Sr.

According to the 2007 Census update, 2.7 percent of San Franciscans commute via bicycle compared to an average of 0.5 percent in the United States and 0.9 percent in California. The SFMTA's 2007-2008 Bicycle Count found a 25 percent increase in bicycling over the previous year, and a 2008 survey showed that fully 6 percent of all trips in San Francisco are made by bicycle.

The start-up costs for the pilot program are estimated to be between $400,000 and $500,000, while the annual operating costs are projected to be $450,000. As provided for in the SFMTA's Transit Shelter Advertising Contract with Clear Channel, these costs are for Clear Channel to staff the pilot program and have responsibility for installation and maintenance.

Today in Paris, Mayor Newsom received a briefing on the history, organization and success of the "Velib" or bicycle share program in Paris, and toured the repair, design and showroom facilities along with the research and development facility. The "Velib" program was introduced by Mayor Bertrand Delanoe as a way to reduce traffic and environmental degradation in Paris by having a shared bicycle program encompass the entire city. Today Paris has over 20,000 bicycles as part of the "Velib" program and it has proven to be very popular and successful.


Newsom Announces 2009 Homeless Count

01/16/08 - Mayor Newsom and the City’s Human Services Agency (HSA) have announced plans to conduct San Francisco’s bi-annual city-wide homeless count on Tuesday, January 27, 2009, from 8 p.m. to 12 a.m. As in past years, hundreds of volunteers will fan across San Francisco counting people living on its streets.

The City’s goal is to cover the entire geographic area of the City and County of San Francisco. On the same night, the City will also conduct a census of homeless persons living in shelters and other city sponsored programs to help establish a more comprehensive accounting of the extent of homelessness in San Francisco.

"Having an accurate count of our homeless community is essential in determining the effectiveness of our homeless outreach efforts," said Mayor Newsom. "We’ve got a long way to go toward ending chronic homelessness in San Francisco, but this count will help us to continue in the right direction."

According to Trent Rhorer, Executive Director of the Human Services Agency, "The count helps us as we refine our plans to address homelessness in our City, and analyze the effectiveness of current programs."

The street homeless count, which is required of all cities and counties receiving federal homeless assistance funding, is conducted once every two years. San Francisco’s last homeless count conducted in January of 2007 revealed that the City’s point-in-time homeless population numbered 6,377.

To achieve the count, planners have divided the City into 150 counting routes. Volunteer counters will travel the routes by foot or by car, noting all homeless persons observed on tally sheets. The Human Services Agency is leading the effort with vital collaboration by the San Francisco Police Department, the Department of Public Health, the Department of Public Works, and the Recreation and Park Department. Numerous non-profit agencies have participated in community meetings to help plan the count and will encourage their staff to participate in the count as volunteers.

The organizers of this year’s Homeless Count still need volunteers to help count homeless persons and to perform administrative and clerical tasks on the night of the count. Those interested in volunteering can contact or call (415) 558-2346. Further information about Homeless Count is available at


Expansion of City's Free Wi-Fi Network

Mayor Newsom Announces Expansion of San Francisco's Free Wi-Fi Network

More than 2,200 residents in the Sunnydale housing development now have access to free Wi-Fi

01/15/09 - Mayor Gavin Newsom today announced the expansion of the city’s "Network of Community Networks" free Wi-Fi network to residents of the Sunnydale housing development. Outside Sunnydale’s new technology lab, the Mayor highlighted the city’s progress expanding free wireless Internet access throughout San Francisco Housing Authority (SFHA) developments and other affordable housing sites.

"To improve our economy, it is critical that we bridge the digital divide," said Mayor Gavin Newsom. "The launch of this free Wi-Fi network at the Sunnydale housing development is another step forward in our goal of providing free Internet access to all San Franciscans."

Over the past year the Department of Technology (DT) has created and coordinated the development of free wireless networks covering 2121 units at SFHA developments and at over 1200 units at non-profit sites. At the Sunnydale housing development, the city’s Communities of Opportunity (COO) teamed with the technology nonprofit, One Economy to establish the free network.

"At One Economy, we believe quality information is central to quality of life," said Dave McConnell, senior vice president at One Economy. "We are proud to be part of this effort to use broadband to connect hundreds of families with the tools they need to improve their lives."

The free Wi-Fi network at Sunnydale was funded through the AT&T Foundation.

"AT&T is a strong proponent of broadband infrastructure as a critical component of our 21st century California economy," Ken McNeely, President of AT&T California. "We remain committed to doing our part to make affordable broadband even more widely available, so we're pleased to be able to partner with One Economy and the City of San Francisco on this important program in Sunnydale."

In addition to free Internet access, DT has engaged partners to ensure that residents served by the city’s free Wi- Fi network, especially low-income and disadvantaged residents have access to complimentary training, low cost computers and support.

For additional information visit SF TechConnect website for more info.


Newsom Launches Green Rental Car Incentive

Mayor Newsom Launches Green Rental Car Incentive Program

01/13/09 - San Francisco International Airport (SFO) is launching the nation’s first Green Rental Car program that rewards customers for renting "green" alternative-fueled vehicles and rental car companies for increasing rentals of high mileage and alternative-fuel vehicles. The innovative incentive program is expected to eliminate more than 4,000 tons of CO2 emissions each year.

"San Francisco is a leader in developing creative, sustainable programs that benefit the environment," said Mayor Gavin Newsom. "The Green Rental Car program is an innovative, market-based incentive program that will produce very tangible results in a short period of time. The benefits of this program extend far and wide – travelers, rental car agencies and the environment all gain through this program."

Customers who rent hybrid cars that achieve an EPA rating of 18 or higher will receive a $15 discount at the counter. Cars in this category include the Honda Civic Hybrid, Nissan Altima Hybrid or Toyota Prius.

Likewise, airport rental car companies will qualify for a 20 percent reduction of their airport rent fees if they achieve a goal of increasing the percentage of their overall transactions to 15 percent for rentals of hybrid cars or high mileage vehicles – those with an EPA rating of 17 or higher. Cars in this category include the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord and Ford Focus, as well as the hybrid cars. By offering these incentives to customers and rental car companies, SFO hopes to increase the total number of high mileage and hybrid cars in the rental fleet to more than 15 percent.

"The Green Rental Car program is the first of several green initiatives the airport is rolling out in 2009," said John L. Martin, Director of San Francisco International Airport. "We’re committed to making SFO the sustainable airport of choice for California travelers."

Local business are supporting the program, including Gap Inc. "At Gap Inc., we’re always looking for ways to do business better," said Kindley Walsh Lawlor, senior director of social responsibility and environmental affairs, Gap Inc. "This program with SFO is a natural collaboration for us as we build on the wide roster of environmentally friendly transportation alternatives we currently offer our employees. We appreciate the opportunity to be a part of this innovative program to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the Bay Area."

The San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau is also publicizing the program to tour groups and conventions. "The San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau applauds SFO for their commitment to place San Francisco at the forefront of the green movement," said Joe D'Alessandro, president and CEO, SFCVB. "This discount will encourage visitors to rent hybrid cars and by doing so, join in the effort to reduce our carbon footprint."

About San Francisco International Airport

SFO ( provides nonstop service to more than 65 US cities on 21 domestic airlines and to 32 international points on 27 international carriers. SFO offers twice as many non-stop flights to the New York area than all other Bay Area airports combined – making SFO the Bay Area’s Airport of Choice.


Family Appreciation Day, Sunday, January 11

Family Appreciation Day 2009


Mayor Gavin Newsom's 4th Annual

Sunday, January 11, 2009

San Francisco families with children ages 0 to 18 years old
ENJOY 32 museums and other attractions for FREE!

For more information, visit: