Plans to shake-up transportation in San Francisco with new transit director

San Francisco's transit agency has a new director of transportation. The new SFMTA director is taking a hard look at the city's transit and is promising changes. 

Hundreds of thousands of people moving back and forth and through the city of San Francisco and now the city has a new director of transportation.

 Mayor London Breed made the announcement from her office. "The SFMTA board will be recommending Jeffrey Tumlin as the next director of SFMTA," said Mayor Breed.

Tumlin previously served as the city of Oakland's Interim Director of Transportation and brings 25 years of transportation experience to the job. 

The new director acknowledged that many who live and work in the city are frustrated and agreed that San Francisco's buses, street cars and trains need to serve the city better. 

"I would argue that the fastest way to rebuild trust is to deliver on the 100 small projects that really make a difference for our day to day riders," he said.

Tumlin said improving the safety of city streets for everyone, drivers cyclists and pedestrians is a priority. He added that he will explore all options to make that a reality, which could mean dropping the speed limits in some parts of the city and even changing the city's streetscape possibly taking away parking in some areas to make room for everyone. 

"So the street widths are fixed, streets are not getting any wider," said Tumlin. "We have to make difficult choices about how to allocate the public right of way for the public good."

The new director is taking over an agency that is overseeing major infrastructure projects including the central subway and the Van Ness improvement projects which are overdue and overbudget. 

"Those projects are at the top of my list for things to go deep into to make sure that I understand the nature of those projects and everything we need to do to deliver them successfully," Tumlin said.

San Francisco's new transit director also addressed the chronic shortage of operators. He wants to explore how to pay every SFMTA employee what he called a living wage, making it a not only a disable job, but one where workerd can afford to live and raise their families in the city.

Tumlin is expected to officially begin December 16th.