What You Need To Know About California’s New Daylighting Law

At the end of 2023, California Governor Gavin Newson signed into law SB 413, making it illegal in California to park within 20 feet of the approach of any marked or unmarked crosswalk, whether or not there is a red curb painted or a sign. 

What is the ‘California Daylighting Law’ is all about?

The new law (SB 413 or the ‘California Daylighting Law’) amends Section 22500 of the California Vehicle Code, adding a new section to the law prohibiting stopping, standing or parking of a vehicle within 20 feet of any marked or unmarked crosswalk or within 15 feet of any crosswalk with a curb extension.  For now, cities can only issue a warning if the law is violated, unless the area has already been painted red or a sign erected.  On January 1, 2025, violators can be cited.

Daylighting, or removing visual barriers within a minimum of 20 feet of a crosswalk or intersection, makes everyone on the street easier to see.

Why do we need this law for pedestrians?

Until AB 413 was passed, California was one of only 10 states that did not have a law restricting parking near crosswalks, despite the high rate of pedestrian injuries and fatalities.  The law allows cities to implement a pedestrian safety concept called daylighting which increases visibility for both pedestrians crossing the street and drivers approaching an intersection.  With daylighting, pedestrians no longer have to edge into the intersection to try and peek around parked cars for approaching traffic.  Daylighting increases safety for drivers too as it gives drivers a clear view of the intersection, allowing them to see if someone is waiting to cross, well before they reach the intersection.  This also helps drivers more readily identify children, who are less visible at intersections behind parked cars, who are waiting to cross the street.  

Preventing fatal pedestrian injuries

Some cities, like San Francisco began implanting daylighting in 2015, after adopting Vision Zero, a nationwide movement putting safety first to decrease traffic deaths to zero by 2024.  San Francisco started their program in some of the high injury network streets where there are the most concentrated numbers of severe and fatal pedestrian injuries.  By 2019, San Francisco had implemented daylighting in the collection of intersections throughout the city where more than two-thirds of all severe and fatal traffic crashes happen. 

Won’t this California Daylighting Law remove parking spaces?

In moving cities toward a new mindset where streets are shared by pedestrians, cyclists, transit and cars there will always be trade-offs between safety and convenience.  The reality is at some point during an average day, most of us will be a pedestrian, whether we define ourselves that way or not.  Whether you drive and park your car to run and errand and cross a street, or are car-free and walk everywhere, you are a pedestrian and now there is a law in California that will help improve the chances that you can get from one side of the street to the other safely. 

E-Scooter Personal Injury Cases are on the Rise

personal injury attorney San Francisco

Electric scooters (often called “e-scooters”) are a relatively new resource promoted by sharing companies, like Bird Rides, Inc., that are found in major cities like San Francisco and the greater Bay Area.  There was almost immediate backlash for the distribution methodologies of these companies by pedestrian and disability advocates with concern for safety.  Now, a few years into the use of e-scooters as a shared resource for transportation, studies are finding personal injury cases related to e-scooters are on the rise. 

Bird Rides, Inc. conducted their own research and have been promoting e-scooters as equally as-safe-as or safer-than riding a bicycle, but these “key findings” are related to internal (“secret”) data and “independent research.”  However, there is published research evidencing the rate of injury for e-scooters may be higher than that of personal vehicles and motorcycles with particularly heavy incidences of head and limb injuries.  Injuries from e-scooters treated in emergency rooms throughout the U.S. nearly doubled between 2018 and 2019.*  In California, helmet use is only required for riders under the age of 18, but while other vehicle laws remain in place inclusive of e-scooters, personal injuries result from a multitude of factors including failure to obey the traffic laws, alcohol, and rider inexperience. 

There has been a string of class action personal injury lawsuits nationwide against e-scooter sharing companies and e-scooter companies are calling for safer streets, but better roadway infrastructure as a way to lessen scooter-related injuries does not follow the emerging research on e-scooter injuries.  A limited study conducted by Austin Public Health in 2018 revealed only 10% of riders who were injured sustained injuries in a collision with a motor vehicle vs. 37% of injured e-scooter riders reporting excessive e-scooter speed contributed to their injuries.  And despite legislation already being in place and continuing to remain in place prohibiting the use of e-scooters on sidewalks, riders still ride e-scooters on sidewalks, putting pedestrians at risk of injury, too. 

The rental agreement from Bird to use an e-scooter is 261 cell phone screens long and incudes a waiver of a (constitutional right to a) jury trial in favor of binding arbitration and a provision to protect the company (and any Municipality contracted to provide the services) from all claims of negligence.  The rider is riding at their own risk, but the chances of them reading through the 18,404-word agreement are small.  This creates a consumer hurdle to suing Bird for a personal injury. 

As personal injury attorneys in San Francisco, we advocate for bicyclist and pedestrian safety as personal injury attorneys.  In San Francisco and other California cities, e-scooters are appearing to be adopted as a way to shift away from gas-powered vehicles, which is beneficial, but there is a complete disregard for the safety of users of these e-scooters.  If you or a loved one has been injured in an e-scooter collision, contact us today for a free consultation

* JAMA Network Open, Estimated Incidence of Electric Scooter Injuries in the US From 2014 to 2019, Kevin Xavier Farley, Matthew Aizpuru, MD, Jacob M. Wilson, MD. (August 2020)

How to Recover Property Damage for a Bicycle after a Collision

No collision is a good one, but thankfully in many instances there is only property damage to your bicycle without any physical harm to you, the rider, and we’re always thankful to hear someone wasn’t hurt.  However, this still leaves a nagging issue – how to recover property damage for a bicycle after a collision.  We’re here to help!

The first thing to know is that you’ll want to gather as much information at the scene as possible; including the name, phone number, and insurance company of the driver.  You’ll be filing a claim with the insurance company, which can be a slow and frustrating process, but we have some tips for you to help make it a less stressful process.  In fact, we have an entire property damage demand toolkit available for free download here if you need it.

Tip #1 – Don’t throw anything away or get it repaired

An important component of dealing with an insurance company is evidence.  The insurance company may want to take a look at your damaged bicycle, helmet, and/or accessories.

Tip #2 – Take pictures of everything

If you can, take pictures at the scene of the collision, then take more pictures of your damaged bicycle and other items (if any) to show the damages in detail. 

Tip #3 – Gather receipts

If you can find your original receipt for your bicycle, that’s great! You can also find listings online of your bicycle model for sale to show how much it would cost to replace everything.  And when we say ‘everything’ we mean the frame, the tires, the rims, and all of your upgrades, if any, to the bicycle that were damaged in the collision.  Make a list of everything on your bicycle that was damaged (including anything you were wearing like your helmet or riding shirt) and write down how much it would cost to replace and include the source of that price.

Tip #4 – Get repair estimates

Some damages might be repairable rather than needing to be replaced.  If that’s the case, get a repair estimate from a cycling shop you trust.  You may want to get a repair estimate even if the repairs would cost more than the price of the bike because showing that to the insurance company may prompt them to replace the bike rather than insist on repairing it. 

Tip 5 – Compile everything into a demand for payment letter

Our property damage demand toolkit includes an editable demand letter that you can use as your template or starting point.  It’s free to download and many cyclists have found it to be helpful at this step when trying to recover property damage for a bicycle.  You’ll most likely open a claim with the insurance company over the phone first and then send this letter with your claim number written on it to outline your damages.  From here, the insurance company will likely make you an unreasonable offer (one that might buy a kids’ bike at Walmart) or start using delay tactics.  Stay strong and stick with it. 

Tip 6 – Be ready to negotiate

Remember, it is the job of the insurance adjuster to pay you as little as possible.  Your job is to get a fair settlement or take them to court (it might be a ‘Small Claims’ lawsuit).  If you are struggling with this step, you are welcome to give us a call.  We love talking to cyclists because we ride, too, and we know what it’s like to negotiate with an insurance company!  Consultations are free and sometimes that’s all you’ll need to get the courage to negotiate with the insurance company.  If negotiating isn’t working or you have damages that exceed a ‘small claim,’ we can talk with you about your options, too. 

Download our Property Damage Demand Toolkit here.

Don’t Own a Car but Still Sometimes Drive? A Personal Mobility Policy Might be for You!

Don’t Own a Car but Still Sometimes Drive?  A Personal Mobility Policy Might be for You!

San Francisco has a great public transportation system network that is so effective, many San Francisco residents don’t even own a car!  In 2014, a study found 88% of all new households (people who moved to San Francisco since 2000) didn’t own a car (source). This shows a rising trend in more families going car-free when compared to the total of all current households in San Francisco without a car, which is roughly 30% (source). 30% puts San Francisco in the top 10 cities in the nation for households without a car.  At Rahman Law, we handle a lot of personal injury cases in San Francisco for pedestrians and bicyclists involved in a collision, and we know many of these bicyclists and pedestrians ride or walk because they do not own a car (and may not even need to own a car).

Not having a car to manage maintenance, fuel, and insurance on can be a financial relief for many people (and did we mention the psychological relief of not having to fight for a parking spot between street cleaning days here in San Francisco?!?), but sometimes we all need a car.  After all, other California cities do not offer the same level of public transportation convenience available in San Francisco.  Or maybe you’re thinking about a road trip to Las Vegas with a few friends?  Let’s face it, sometime we all want or need a car to get us to our destination.  People in households without their own car often rent one or borrow one for their long treks, but what many of us don’t fully understand is how insurance works when you’re driving a car that isn’t yours… until something happens. 

There is an insurance policy known as a Personal Mobility Policy that a few insurance agencies provide.  These policies typically cover private passenger cars that are being driven by but not owned by the policy holder (you).  And most often, the car cannot be owned by a resident of your household, resident relative (someone related to you living in the same household), or an employer of you or any of these types of people.  These policies may also include insurance to cover rental vehicles driven by you.  Personal Mobility Policies offer a more affordable way to have protection when you’re behind the wheel of a car you don’t own should something go wrong. 

Personal Mobility Policies can even go a step further than protecting you and your assets as a driver; these policies now often include coverage as a bicyclist, pedestrian, or as a passenger (even when using transportation networks for ridesharing services). 

With Personal Mobility Policies covering things like bodily injury, property damage/loss, uninsured motor vehicle coverage, and even emergency road services on top of the standard comprehensive and collision pieces for people driving a car they don’t own, riding in a rideshare vehicle, riding a bike, or simply walking along on the sidewalk, Personal Mobility Policies might be best fit for the new San Francisco lifestyle as we continue to own fewer and fewer cars.

So if you don’t own a car but sometimes rent or borrow one, or if you ride a bicycle regularly (especially if you commute on your bike), or if you use rideshare services like Uber and Lyft, talk to your insurance provider and ask about a Personal Mobility Policy to see if they offer it and if it might be right for you.  Some insurance companies will bundle it in with homeowners’ or renters’ insurance as an additional policy for a reduced premium, so if you have one of these insurances, start by speaking with your insurance agent there and asking about what’s right for you.  Having the right coverage in place can help you should anything ever go sideways.  Many of the phone calls we receive as personal injury lawyers in San Francisco stem from someone involved in a collision not having any or enough insurance. 

Personal Injuries Are Happening Inside the Crosswalk: WalkFirst Initiative

personal injury attorney crosswalks in san franciscoWalkFirst is part of the Vision Zero program targeting ways to reengineer the City of San Francisco to reduce personal injuries to pedestrians from vehicle collisions.  170 locations have been identified as the highest priorities and they are being corrected over the next five years.  As personal injury attorneys in San Francisco, we’ve been following along with these plans excitedly.  WalkFirst is focusing on Engineering, Enforcement, and Education to reduce the number of fatalities and personal injuries to pedestrians and we think it’s great!

Engineering to Reduce Personal Injuries to Pedestrians with WalkFirst

Many of the changes you will see in San Francisco revolve around intersections with Stop signs and crosswalks.  If you’re wondering why that is, much of the WalkFirst data was created in conjunction with SFMTA Municipal Transportation Agency.  Their San Francisco 2012-2015 Collisions Report released in November of 2016 showed many non-fatal injury collisions with pedestrians revolved around exactly that (no. of collisions): crosswalks (1,305), Stop signs (364), and violations of the traffic signals (1,101).  Correcting these three things would correct 23% of pedestrian personal injuries from vehicle collisions.  In an effort to reduce these incidents, the WalkFirst initiative includes pulling back Stop and Yield lines, painting curbs red near crosswalks, and more pedestrian islands.

Speed is understandably at the top of the list for the causes of pedestrian personal injuries caused by vehicle collisions (2,199 or 18%).  To aid pedestrians in crosswalks when the car coming at them is speeding, high visibility crosswalks and HAWK Beacons are also being added along with more medians.   But until these tools are in place, remember to look carefully and make sure the drivers see you before you step off of the curb.

These preventative tools have been engineered to reduce the number of collisions with pedestrians and tested with great success in other urban cities.  The HAWK Beacon has reduced collisions as much as 69% and pedestrian islands as much as 56%.  Altering a traffic signal to have a separate left turn phase can reduce collisions with pedestrians at an intersection by 48%.  Expect to see these changes in the “High Injury Corridors” of San Francisco as WalkFirst and Vision Zero continue to bring the number of personal injuries and fatalities down to zero.  We’ve taken the pledge to support these initiatives, have you?

Law Enforcement to Reduce Personal Injuries to Pedestrians with WalkFirst

Both WalkFirst and Vision Zero have the City and County law officials working with the initiatives to bring about the needed changes.  After identifying the top causes of pedestrian collisions (there are nine top factors in collisions with personal injuries and the “Focus on Five” linked to collisions with fatalities), SFPD committed 50% of traffic enforcement to these identified most dangerous traffic behaviors.  Data from other metropolitan areas with similar initiatives have found enforcement with education can lead to a 23% reduction in vehicle collisions with pedestrians.  This includes red light cameras which have already led to a reduction in severe and fatal traffic injuries at their intersections.

WalkFirst and Vision Zero Education

Every day in San Francisco, about 3 people are hit by cars while walking and we have four times the national average of pedestrian fatalities for our traffic fatalities.  WalkFirst and Vision Zero along with the City of San Francisco have all launched campaigns to educate the public about the issues with traffic safety in San Francisco.  We are all pedestrians every day.  Here at Rahman Law PC, we advocate for safer streets in our community for pedestrians and bicyclists and actively participate in WalkFirst and Vision Zero.  As personal injury attorneys, we see the reality of these injuries every day and know that change is needed.  If you would like more information, please visit these resources:



When Do You Need a Personal Injury Attorney?

personal injury attorneyNot everyone feels comfortable picking up the phone and calling a personal injury attorney.  We’re not sure why – we’re really great people to have in your corner!  We care about our clients and have a personal relationship with each one.  We even spend time on the phone answering questions from people who are not our clients because we are passionate about advocating for our community.  (Learn more about who we are and our team here).

But if you are someone who is still trying to decide if this is the right time to pick up the phone, let’s talk about when you need a personal injury attorney.

  1. If you’ve been hurt by no fault of your own and have medical bills, you need a personal injury attorney.

Hospitals and insurance companies have forms which will ask you if this was an accident.  They are going to want to know if there is someone at fault that should be paying for this other than your health insurance.  And we all know how quickly medical bills can add up for a severe injury, especially if an insurance company decides the injury is not their obligation to pay.  Or you may have submitted your bills to the insurance company of the other party already, from a car collision perhaps, and that insurance company isn’t paying.  If you are injured, you need to focus on healing.  A personal injury attorney can manage the bills: where they need to be sent and which party is responsible.  If needed, a lien can be placed on your medical bills that will suspend their payment due date pending trial.  This will protect you from debt collectors which can again, let you focus on healing.


  1. If your injury is causing you to miss work and lose wages, it is time to talk to a personal injury attorney.

In California, we have 12 weeks of Family Medical Leave, but those 12 weeks can go by rapidly in the event of a severe injury and at that point, an employer might dismiss you from your job completely which can remove any benefits you had with it, including your medical insurance which you might be using.  Do not wait until the 11th week to see out assistance from a personal injury attorney, start looking as soon as you realize you’ll be missing work.  Your injury may become long-term, especially if there are any unforeseen complications.  And this lost time is something you’ll want to recover from the at-fault party, which a personal injury attorney will be able to evaluate for you.


  1. The moment there is a dispute over liability or payment – call a personal injury attorney to protect your rights.

The moment of an accident or injury, many people will say things without knowing what their insurance company or employer will actually do.  For example, if you were hurt on public transportation, the driver might apologize profusely and say that the City or other responsible entity will pay for everything, but this person is not in a position to make those decisions.  The moment someone tells you “no” when you’ve been injured (mentally or physically) or suffered a loss (of property, money, or job) is the time to pick up the phone and call a personal injury attorney.  If the person, company, or insurance provider deemed at-fault is no longer working with you, you need professional assistance.  They have a team on their side and you should have one, too.


Hiring a personal injury attorney is not an over-reaction to a situation.  You are protecting yourself against insurance companies and businesses with teams of attorneys skilled at working against people who do not seek legal counsel.  By selecting a personal injury attorney to represent you, you’ll have an advocate for you and as needed, they will bring in a team of experts who understand the focus of your case.  If you’ve been injured through no fault of your own, you shouldn’t have to fight alone.


You should be comfortable with your attorney.  We offer free consultations if you ever feel like you need to talk to us, please reach out!

Contact Rahman Law PCcontact personal injury attorney

San Francisco Personal Injury Attorney Shaana Rahman Named a 2018 Northern California Super Lawyer

san francisco personal injury attorney

SAN FRANCISCO, California, July 16 2018 – (Digital Journal) – Rahman Law PC announces the seventh year of the law firm’s principal and founder, Shaana A. Rahman, a personal injury attorney in San Francisco and Paso Robles, being selected to the Northern California Super Lawyer’s List.  Super Lawyers® is a rating service for lawyers in a variety of practice areas broken down by region.  However, the service only selects 5% of attorneys to Super Lawyers based on professional achievement, independent research, and peer-recognition.  Rahman Law PC is honored to share the news of Ms. Rahman’s continued selection to this list.

The news of Ms. Rahman’s seventh year as a Northern California Super Lawyer comes shortly after Rahman Law PC was renamed on the Top 20 Personal Injury Lawyers in San Francisco list by Expertise.  Both companies review customer service and client satisfaction as a part of their review.  To be selected by Super Lawyers, other professional activities are also taken into consideration including pro bono work, community service, and lectures/writings.  Ms. Rahman has become well known in the bicycling community in San Francisco for her advocacy work.  She is a member and sponsor of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, Bike East Bay, and the Marin County Bicycle Coalition.  With a second office in Paso Robles, Ms. Rahman is also a member and sponsor of the San Luis Obispo County Bike Coalition.  Rahman Law PC sponsored and participated in Walk to Work Day in San Francisco on April 5th, 2018, where Ms. Rahman volunteered at the SFMTA (San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency) pedestrian hub to hand out coffee and talk to pedestrians about their rights as commuters and road safety issues in San Francisco which can lead to personal injury.

“There are many personal injury attorneys in San Francisco,” said Ms. Rahman, “but I know each time I receive recognition from a group like Super Lawyers it is because they see what makes Rahman Law PC different: we want to advocate for the rights of everyone in our community to make it a better place to live.”

Super Lawyers uses independent research and peer evaluation to make their final selection of attorneys for the Super Lawyers List.  To remain within the top 5% as a Super Lawyer for five years is an accomplishment to be proud of for any personal injury attorney in San Francisco.  Additionally, Ms. Rahman is in the minority as a practicing female attorney, which will place her on the Top Women Attorneys of Northern California List published later in 2018.  According to the American Bar Association’s January 2017 Commission on Women in the Profession, only 34.6% of the American Bar Association lawyer members are women.

About Rahman Law PC

The personal injury attorneys at Rahman Law PC are powerful advocates for people who have been injured through no fault of their own.  What makes Rahman Law PC different from other personal injury law firms is they care about what happens to their clients; they aggressively advocate for their clients’ interests and have a personal relationship with each client, taking the time to listen and figure out solutions that make sense from a legal point of view but also from a human perspective. By providing the highest quality legal services to those who have been injured or have suffered wrongdoing at the hands of other individuals, corporations, or public entities, the personal injury attorneys and trial lawyers at Rahman Law PC have a proven track record of results and have successfully recovered millions of dollars for clients throughout California. Rahman Law PC offers clients attentive service backed with big firm experience, making them ready to take on any opponent.  To learn more about the personal injury lawyers at Rahman Law PC, visit http://www.rahmanlawsf.com or call (415) 956-9245 in San Francisco, (805) 619-3108 in Paso Robles, California.


Muni’s Shortfalls Cost the City and Encourage Private Services

A new study of Muni’s shortcomings, conducted by the City Controller’s office, shows that Muni delays and disruptions caused by  breakdowns and maintenance repairs during peak commute hours cost the City (and its people) approximately 4.2 million dollars in April alone and an approximate 50 million dollars a year. This quantification of the frustration many Muni riders feel everytime they are stranded at a Muni stop waiting for the next bus, serves as ammunition for Ed Reiskin, the transportation director for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, to use in his campaign to get the City to invest more in the dilapidated agency.

In the meantime however, private services like the ride-sharing companies discussed in an ealier post, continue to expand to fill the widening gaps in Muni service. Leap Transit, with its fleet of bright blue private shuttles that can be seen in the Marina district, is only the latest company to provide its serivces to San Francisco’s commuters. The company takes the technological aspect of the ride-sharing companies (an iPhone app that acts as bus pass and payment method), the luxory of a private car serivce (spacious seats, air conditioning and wifi) and the convenience of a bus (designated stops – oftentimes Muni stops- and designated times- only during peak hours), all at a price of $6 per ride.

The company’s founder, Kyle Kirchhoff, insists that the price tag means that the private service is not competing with Muni, but rather complementing it. The price was chosen to reflect the services offered and to be more expensive than Muni, but cheaper than a taxi. To illustrate the relationship between Leap Transit and Muni as his company sees it, Kirchoff even made the amusing analogy of comparing Leap Transit to FedEx and Muni to the U.S. Postal Service, an anaology most likely less amusing to Muni officials given the Post Office’s ongoing struggles to stay relevant and in business.

Muni officials may be upset by the lack of regulation on this private service industry, but until the City give Muni the funding it needs and the funding Reiskin has been campaigning for, unregulated private companies like Leap Transit will continue to fill the gaps. “Mario Tanev, a spokesman for the passenger advocacy group San Francisco Transit Riders Union, said the emergence of Leap is a clear sign of Muni’s failure.” This connection is especially clear since Leap Transit’s routes are duplicates of Muni lines, yet the new company continues to increase its client base as more and more commuters become more and more frustrated with Muni service.




More Taxis Added to SF’s Fleet, but Industry still Uncertain


The SFMTA has approved a plan to add 120 more taxi cabs to its fleet in 2013 and 200 more in 2014. The decision came in spite of protests from Taxi drivers and companies who argued that the addition of more taxi cabs should wait until the illegal ride-sharing company issue was settled. Ride-sharing companies started to appear in San Francisco in the last couple years to address the shortcomings of the taxi industry. The companies use smartphone apps to locate riders, build trust between drivers and passengers and even take payment. They are unlicensed and unregulated. The taxi companies, who are heavily regulated by the MTA, say that this competition is simply unfair. Drivers argue that they have been asking for technology and dispatch upgrades for years, but that the bureaucracy of the agency has held them back. They are worried that the influx of new cabs along with the continued increase in ride-sharing opportunities will only hurt their industry.

There is no doubt that the taxi industry in the city needs a boost. Whether from a better dispatching system (one that is integrated between companies perhaps) or better technological options (the ride-sharing companies have the right  idea with the smartphone apps), the industry must be able to compete. In addition, it should in some ways welcome the competition that the ride-sharing companies offer. San Franciscans and the many tourists and businesspeople who venture to the city on a short-term basis have very different transportation needs. A little diversity in public transportation in a city where few people drive can be an improvement.

In Chile, for example, there are four main types of transportation. Buses offer the most reliable transportation in between cities (much like BART or Trans-bay buses). Micros, mini-buses, offer transportation between set points in the city (much like Muni functions in the City). Taxis, offer the best service for groups of people (it is cheaper to share the fare), for trips to the outskirts of the city, for trips late at night or early in the morning, or when you are in a rush. Taxis can be flagged down on the street, but the best way is to call 10-15 minutes ahead of time and have them come pick you up. There is however, a fourth option, called a collectivo. Collectivos are a combination of taxi services and ride-sharing companies. They are extremely common (there are more collectivos on the streets then any other vehicle) and they are extremely cheap (Collectivos cost $1-2 per trip). They act like a taxi. Flag down a collectivo with 1, 2 or 3 people already inside and tell the driver where you are headed. If he is headed in that direction you can jump in, if not flag down the next one. It may take 10 minutes longer since the driver has to drop off the other passengers as well, but since you are all headed in the same direction the delay is not significant. The collectivos fill a gap left by the taxis. They are a way for commuters to get to work without worrying about bus schedules or having to walk blocks from the bus terminal. Instead of driving to the store for a gallon of milk and some bread, hop in a collectivo.

Obviously, Chile is not San Francisco, but they have a functioning multi-faceted transportation system that caters to the needs of its citizens and tourists by offering competition and diversity. There is no question that San Francisco’s cab fleet is extremely important to the city. However, it may not be the only solution to the city’s transportation woes.




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Settlement in High-Speed Rail Case

Although the pending high-speed rail project connecting Sacramento and San Diego doesn’t necessarily have a large affect on San Francisco’s internal transportation affairs, it is an interesting project that will affect most Californians in one way or another. Last Thursday, April 18, a Sacramento Judge approved a settlement between a coalition of Central Valley Farmers and the agency overseeing the construction of the high-speed rail. The settlement, which dictated that the agency set aside $5 million to preserve farmland in the Central Valley and that it pay $1 million in legal fees, puts the high-speed rail construction on track to begin this summer. The first section to be built will be a 30 mile section between Fresno and Madera right in the middle of the state.

This $68 billion project originally had quite a bit of voter approval and support at its outset, but the many legal delays (such as this most recent settlement) and rising estimated costs, have left many Californians disillusioned with the project which promises to connect most of California’s major cities and to provide public transportation in a state whose highways are legendary.

Despite the many setbacks, the Transportation Authority can breathe a sigh of relief and celebrate Thursday’s settlement. The settlemetn is esepcially timely given that the Authority is up against an impending deadline that will make or break the project. The first phase of the project- a 130-mile segment from Fresno to Bakersfield- has been approved and funded ($2.6 billion in bonds for construction and  $3.2 billion from the federal government) all based on completion by 2017.