Taken with Transportation

Taken with Transportation

Welcome to Taken with Transportation, the official podcast of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA). Each episode will take you along for the ride as we profile the people and policies that make accessible, equitable transportation in San Francisco possible. These stories will cover everything from the city’s streets to the inner workings of the SFMTA and offer insight and perspectives you won’t get anywhere else. We’re passionate about the work we do and want to share that passion and commitment with you. About the Host: Melissa Culross comes to the SFMTA from the radio industry where she spent three decades hosting broadcasts and creating content for a variety of stations, including KCBS, Star 101.3 and Alice@97.3 in the Bay Area. Melissa has been drawn to storytelling her whole life and has been a regular San Francisco public transit rider since moving to the city in the 1990s.


March 21, 2024 18 mins

There are things on our streets that we probably take for granted but most definitely help us move around cities safely and efficiently. We’re talking about street signs, street markings and parking meters. 

In San Francisco, the SFMTA Street Operations shops handle the signs, street painting and meters we depend on, whether we are getting around by walking, driving, cycling or scooting. In this episode of Taken with Trans...

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If you're new to San Francisco Muni, using it can feel overwhelming at first. Well, don't worry. Whether you've just moved to the city, are planning to visit and don't want to rent a car or have lived here for some time but haven't taken advantage of all Muni has to offer, we at Taken with Transportation have your back.

In this episode, we offer a practical how-to guide for getting around on Muni. ...

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26 years ago this month, Fannie Mae Barnes made history when she became San Francisco's first female cable car grip. In this episode of Taken with Transportation, Barnes talks with host Melissa Culross about that experience. The episode also features Willa Johnson, the second female grip.

The women discuss what it takes, physically, to be a grip and what it was like to break the glass ceiling that hung over San Franci...

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Specially decorated cable cars climb the hills of San Francisco throughout the year in honor of different communities and cultures. It's one of the ways the SFMTA celebrates the diversity of its staff and of the city. 

In this episode of Taken with Transportation, host Melissa Culross rides the cars decorated in honor of Filipino American History Month and Native American Heritage Month and talks with Cable Car Divisi...

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October 26, 2023 12 mins

One of the most misunderstood roles at the SFMTA is that of the parking control officer or PCO. In this episode of Taken with Transportation, host Melissa Culross spends time on the streets of San Francisco with PCOs Scott Ong, Todd Baxter and Ruben Reveles, as well as Parking Enforcement Assistant Director and Captain Kent Chiu, to learn why parking enforcement is essential and what parking control officers do. She discovers that ...

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October 5, 2023 10 mins

Every successful school day begins with students getting to class safely, and crossing guards help children and their parents in San Francisco navigate intersections near school campuses. In this episode of Taken with Transportation, we learn about the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency's School Crossing Guard program. The program is part of the agency's larger effort to create safe and inviting streets.

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September 21, 2023 16 mins

September is Transit Month in the Bay Area and Taken with Transportation is celebrating with San Francisco Municipal Railway, or Muni, riders. Host Melissa Culross talks with riders in multiple neighborhoods who use Muni's buses, streetcars and light rail vehicles as their principal means of transportation. Culross also speaks with SFMTA Transit Director Julie Kirschbaum about service improvements and investments the agency is...

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September 5, 2023 14 mins

Accessing public transit can be more difficult for people in a particular San Francisco neighborhood than it is in other parts of city. So the SFMTA is designing a supplemental transportation program for this area.

In this episode of Taken with Transportation, we talk with SFMTA Transportation Planner Christopher Kidd, San Francisco Supervisor Shamann Walton, Bayview-Hunters Point Community Advocates Environmental Justice ...

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August 16, 2023 12 mins

Traffic signals play a vital role in managing transportation, but have you ever thought about how that management works or how intersections are designed? 

In this episode of Taken with Transportation, we talk with SFMTA Senior Traffic Engineer Bryant Woo, Traffic Signal Electrician Dennis Verhalen and Transit Signal Supervisors Ferdinand Lumbad and John Affolter about how San Francisco intersections, from the most complex...

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San Francisco's incredibly popular cable car service turns 150 years old on August 2, 2023. 

In this episode of Taken with Transportation, host Melissa Culross speaks with San Francisco Mayor London Breed, Market Street Railway president Rick Laubscher, SFMTA cable car maintenance supervisor Dennis Dea, cable car operators Val Lupiz and Derrick Johnson, riders and business owners about the history and mechanics of the...

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July 17, 2023 13 mins

In this episode host Melissa Culross speaks with longtime (and recently retired) SFMTA Director of Accessible Services Annette Williams and Nicole Bohn, Director of the San Francisco Mayor's Office on Disability, about transportation accessibility and the role activism and advocacy have played in making transportation more accessible. July is Disability Pride Month, and this episode celebrates that by highlighting a bit of the...

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An important part of the SFMTA’s commitment to safety is maintaining a clean fleet of Muni vehicles. In this episode, we meet three members of our transit car cleaning staff: Manager Myra Phillips, Assistant Supervisor Anthony Jackson, Jr. and Cleaner Ronald Brown. They’ll take us through the cleaning process and explain how the team keeps our buses, streetcars, light rail vehicles and cable cars spick and span. It’s a dirty job, b...

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June 15, 2023 8 mins

The hard-working 22-Fillmore is one of San Francisco Muni’s longest running bus lines. We hop on board to learn about the history of the 22, as well as its modern-day impact on the city it serves. 

San Francisco Transit Riders Board member and retired SFMTA Manager of Service Planning Peter Strauss walks us through the early days of the line. We also talk with Muni operators Earl Scott and Julio Ruano, who drive on the 22-line, and ...

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June 7, 2023 1 min

The first episode of Taken with Transportation…”Welcome Aboard!”… is coming soon and will take you for a ride across San Francisco on the 22-Fillmore public transit line.

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