Entries Tagged 'Transportation' ↓

Is the City of Sioux Falls using public transit to REDLINE Sioux Falls?

If you watch the presentation and look at the map above you will see there is a plan to move bus routes out of the ‘lily-white’ neighborhoods permanently, especially North Harrisburg (SE Sioux Falls).

Is this a backdoor way of making sure likely riders of public transit would not have options in affordable or accessible housing in these neighborhoods?

Public transit has been used in the past to redline neighborhoods.

The city council took the opportunity to NOT talk about this obvious glaring problem but to take up most of the Q & A time to complain about batteries for electric buses, because, you know, climate change is a hoax.

Denver, CO sees measurable results from incentivizing E-Bikes

While many people have told me to get off my high-horse about helping low income folks with an E-Bike leasing program, Denver has found that it has measurable results;

Researchers at Portland State University are tracking 65 programs nationwide that are active or that have been approved to help people get on e-bikes, either through subsidies or loaning a bike. California plans to launch a statewide program next year backed by $10 million.

E-bikes, which have a motor and battery to propel riders, can cost about $2,000, putting them out of reach for many low-income families. Denver’s program has two tiers, with one that offers $400 to any city resident — an amount aimed at sweetening the deal for would-be buyers. For low-income residents, the second tier increases the voucher size to $1,200, a sum city officials say should make the bikes more widely affordable.

Two other elements of the program are designed to encourage buyers to use their bikes for transportation: a bonus of $500 for cargo bikes, which can carry children or a large load, while full-suspension mountain bikes used primarily for recreation aren’t eligible.

And after Denver tried this pilot program, guess what they found out;

A city survey found new e-bike riders were riding, on average, 26.2 miles per week, and that low-income buyers were riding about 32 miles per week. Respondents said they had replaced 3.4 car trips each week with bike rides.

“It’s so much faster,” said Rink, who commutes by e-bike. “It’s much less of a chore. There is an element of joy in riding the e-bike.”

I would agree, my main reason I like riding my E-Bike is because it is enjoyable, but if you look at the results of this successful program it is also equitable. I hope the new transportation board in Sioux Falls looks at this.

Mayor TenHaken walks out of the Council Meeting during public input to Tweet

Ironically, PTH had nothing to do with this move. This was recommended by the Public Transit board last month and was actually in partnership with a recommendation from former SF School Board President Cynthia Mickelson after I texted her on November 20, 2021. Cynthia reached out to Councilor Soehl about it and I never heard a peep until last week when it appeared on the agenda.

I’m happy they are moving forward. Many former board members have told me they have been working on this for around a decade.

Sioux Falls City Council will finally approve FREE youth bus rides all year long

UPDATE: Public Transit advocates have told me they were aware of the changes, BUT were never given a timeline when they would go in effect so it comes as a pleasant surprise to them.

If I am reading this correctly it looks like the mayor wants to give free rides to youth on public transit all year long (item #35);

I’m glad to see they will be attempting to make this change. Rapid City has done it for several years. This will also alleviate some strain on the School District’s bussing system. While the mayor is the sponsor, I don’t think there will be any no votes on this.

It is a little disappointing that the council did not bring this forward considering they are 1) the policy body and 2) been urged by advocates for several years to make this change. Apparently the mayor got the message while the council is still hanging out in the cornfields looking for ways to getting out of forming policy on things like the bunker ramp and tornado sirens.

Mayor TenHaken’s SOC Address ends in a very unusual way


You won’t see it on the end of the video we downloaded (it was edited out) but as you can see from the screenshot below it had an unusual ending;


The city did eventually upload to their YouTube channel, but before that it was ONLY on FB. Bruce Danielson who owns and operates the SouthDacola YouTube channel that I link to frequently downloads from FB videos. He does NOT and never has had a FB account, so he was surprised when at the end of the SOC address video post on the City’s official FB page an ad/video for some kind of butt spray paint appears. Not sure why that happened, but it makes you wonder who uploaded the video to FB:) Was it a city employee or one of Paul’s campaign goons? And Bruce, if you are secretly looking for butt spray paint, we need to have a serious heart to heart conversation. LMFAO!



MAYOR TENHAKEN WANTS TO GIVE FREE YOUTH RIDES

I guess I missed this in his address;



TenHaken announced he will be proposing to the Public Transit Advisory Board and City Council to make the public transit system free to kids citywide.


Hey great idea, wonder where it came from? Oh that’s right, I wrote about it here. I won’t take credit, I was alerted about this from a citizen advocate, Cathy Brechtelsbauer, and after I blogged about it I contacted Sioux Falls School Board President Cynthia Mickelson about Cathy’s idea and she started collaborating with a couple of city councilors, as far as I know they have already been trying to draw up an ordinance to do it, but like most of Poops ideas he lifts them from other people, you know like precincts, uh, I mean, report-to-work stations 🙂

Should the Sioux Falls School Board team up with City Council to offer FREE public transit rides for minors?

As I reported in August, Rapid City decided to extend a FREE public transit ride program to students. I think Sioux Falls should do the same, and our cost would be minimal if anything. We already do it during summer months mostly so food insecure kids can eat in the summer.

Recently Congress passed an infrastructure bill that has billions in it for public transit. Sioux Falls could take advantage of this by hiring and training more drivers and extending routes and time of service.

Now, don’t be fooled, this cannot just happen with a stroke of the pen. The devil is in the details. I encourage the school board to sit down with the city council in a public work session to discuss how to move forward. Let’s face it, there would have to be some route changes and other logistics, but it’s doable.

A candidate for mayor put it best recently in a FB post;

Regardless if it’s a “public school issue,” the shortage of bus drivers is a community problem. Many SFPS students also use public transportation, and as our city grows, the need for a robust public transportation system is a must.

A lack of planning on critical issues like this is why we end up with parents being asked to drive school buses. We can and will do better.

As they point out, different branches of local government CAN work together on this for a solution. I reached out to a school board member and a city councilor last night about the idea, hopefully talks will happen soon.

Some may not know this, but I actually consulted and encouraged a city councilor to start the FREE summer youth rides when they asked me if their idea was worth pursuing. It was then and a broader approach should be pursued now.

Rapid City offers FREE transit rides ALL-YEAR long to youth


While Sioux Falls only offers this service during the summer so kids can get to their friends house across town to play video games, Rapid City offers all year so kids can get to school;


As parents and students scamper to buy school clothes, sneakers and supplies, one of the key boxes on the school checklist that impacts many families is reliable transportation to and from school.
The City and Rapid Transit System (RTS) is again offering the ‘Youth Ride Free’ program for the 2021-22 school year.

What a concept! I have felt for a long time it should be all year and anyone 17 and under should be able to swim for FREE at the outdoor pools. Instead the city has cut their transit routes and are looking to cut back on our bus system more and more each year. The reason ridership numbers are dwindling in Sioux Falls is because we have terrible service. Maybe we should just terminate SAM, sell all the assets and buy anyone without a car or driver’s license an E-Bike?

Update: Public Transit Advisory Board meets in person on Monday

Update: the meeting was cancelled because it was not properly posted.

I was forwarded the agenda by an official, but when you go to the city website, the agenda is NOT posted.

As of 3:40 PM, July 25, 2021

I’m not sure if they legally can have the meeting since the agenda is NOT posted on the city website (24 hours in advance). I’m sure they will argue like they did in the past that the agenda is available upon request, but I still think it should be on the city website. We will see if the meeting happens.

City of Sioux Falls Tidbits

After an incident over the weekend where SFPOs were caught cussing out suspects, the Chief of Police claims there is nothing to see, move along. As I have been saying for years, further proof we need body cams, but as he said last week, no policy changes. Shocker. They also need some diversity training and paid physical fitness time.

Sales taxes are in the crapper, but no surprise. As about 15% of the workforce in Sioux Falls lost their jobs and nobody was spending any money – we saw this coming. I just hope the budget hearings that start tomorrow prepare for this.

Speaking of money, the city could get up to $41 million in Covid money but Mayor Multi-task doesn’t think we need it. The covid crisis is far from over, and as you noticed, the cases in SD remain on an even keel and are NOT going down. If this continues into the fall and winter, we may need some of that money to combat the crisis further. Nothing wrong with planning ahead, wait, this administration doesn’t know what that means. Let’s just keep the libraries and pools closed, that’s the ticket!The Public Transit board met today but no one really knows what is on the agenda because it wasn’t posted on the agenda page. Of course this is a violation of open meetings laws not having the agenda posted (except in this mysterious zoom document). But they have been violating those rules for a couple of years now, why do anything differently?

UPDATE: Advocacy Group to Speak at PTAB meeting on Monday

UPDATE: I have been hearing from several sources and city officials that the on-demand service may never happen. The first problem is that the guy who cooked it up left. The second problem is that many in the innovation office are dropping the ball, and skipping important meetings. Thirdly there isn’t any real funding for the program in the transit fund for it, so they will have to subsidize it somehow. And lastly the union representing SAM says there is no deal on running a pilot on Sundays unless their contract is revised. They basically are saying if anyone would be willing to work, it would be like holiday pay. But the biggest problem is they really don’t have enough staff to administer it. So if all of these issues are solved, they will pretty much have to contract with another private transportation provider to accomplish the pilot program. My guess is this thing will die quietly in the night. Oh, and the below meeting has yet to publish their agenda online, which will be a violation of State Law. That seems to be a habit lately with the city, and the Sioux Falls School District, who didn’t have ANY public input at any of their public boundary task force meetings. I think it is time to start filing some complaints with the Open Meetings Commission. They could probably have hearings for about a week with all the violations.

The Advocacy Collective will be doing a presentation at the PTAB (Public Transit Advisory Board) meeting, Monday, February 24th, at 3:45 at the new City bldg.  

The presentation will be in support of enhancing our current fixed-route system vs. implementing an on-demand system which is scheduled for a pilot project this summer..

I know, I know….. ‘the train has already left the station’, esp. with PTH wanting to promote the on-demand system as ‘his plum project’ for the Harvard Bloomberg Initiative.  In spite of this, we will be continuing to speak out against this ill-conceived revamping of our public transit.

Many in our community are not even aware this major redesign of Sioux Area Metro is taking place. We have been speaking out (PTAB meetings, Stehly Report, etc.) for the past several months.  Those who will be part of the presentation Monday are individuals who have amassed decades of advocacy for SF vulnerable populations.  These are the people who have had ‘boots on the ground’ for many years working with segments of our city’s population who are reliant on SF public transit for both their work and personal lives.

The meeting will take place at 231 N. Dakota Avenue across the street from the Downtown Public Library.