Welcome to Monitor Notes, a weekly roundup of news items, event announcements, and updates on past Bay Area Monitor articles.
Hailing Transit Help
SFMTA announced a discount program to help seniors and people with disabilities make essential trips in taxis during the shelter-in-place period. That’s because, under pandemic-induced service cuts, walking farther to an alternative MUNI bus is not always possible. The Essential Trip Card will subsidize about 20 percent of regular cab fare for two to three round trips each month. So customers paying $12 will get a debit card valued at $60 to make essential store and pharmacy outings. Muni is among two dozen Bay Area transit agencies poised to receive federal relief funds to cope with ongoing expenses after experiencing ridership drops due to COVID-19. MTC is considering how to distribute the first wave of funding, a total of $780 million, at its meeting today, Wednesday, April 22, at 9:15 a.m.
Bankruptcy Exit Terms
The California Public Utilities Commission is opening the virtual floor to public comment about a proposal affecting PG&E’s reorganization plan, according to an April 20 announcement. The proposal would require the utility to change its governance structure, submit to an enhanced oversight and enforcement process if it fails to improve safety, and create local operating regions. The proposal will be on the CPUC’s May 21 voting meeting agenda, which could set the stage for PG&E to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy this summer. PG&E filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last year. It needs CPUC and federal bankruptcy court to approve its reorganization plan by June 30 to participate in a wildfire insurance fund the California legislature created. Click on the “public comments” tab found on this page to give feedback.
Valley Verde, a nonprofit San Jose farm, is donating seedlings to as many as 400 families and needs help to distribute them. The farm, which supports low-income families who want to grow food in their backyards, is looking for people who have bike trailers, baskets, or panniers to deliver tomato, pepper, and zucchini seedlings to families all over San Jose on May 9. Valley Verde, part of a growing urban agriculture effort, usually sells seedlings at an annual fair, but that was canceled due to coronavirus. Pedal to this page for more bike volunteer information.
The San Francisco Estuary Partnership and other groups recently circulated the Wetlands Regional Monitoring Program (WRMP) Plan with strategies to restore 100,000 acres of wetlands by 2030. It’s important because tidal wetlands face threats such as climate change and development pressure. Once in place, the WRMP will leverage a monitoring site network, an open data-sharing platform, and a science framework to respond and adapt to these threats. The plan is the result of two years of work from a consortium of regulators, scientists, and restoration groups. The next steps will focus on determining the funding model and governance structure, developing the data system, community outreach, and establishing a technical advisory committee this summer.
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