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Jeffrey Tumlin Selected As New SFMTA Director Of Transportation

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- Jeffrey Tumlin has been selected as the new San Francisco Municipal Transportation Authority director of transportation, Mayor London Breed announced Wednesday.

Tumlin is formerly an interim director of transportation for Oakland's Department of Transportation and currently the director of strategy at the San Francisco-based firm Nelson\Nygaard Consulting Associates.

He is expected to be formally appointed at the SFMTA Board of Directors meeting next Tuesday and will begin officially on Dec. 16, according to the mayor's office.

"As our city grows, as our economy grows, as we build more housing, as more people work here, we know that we can't continue to grow in those areas without thinking about improvements to our public transportation system," Breed said, standing alongside Tumlin at City Hall. "We need to do better."

"I've long been a rather outspoken proponent of changing core practices in my industry and using the power we have in transportation to reduce climate change, improve the quality of life, foster small business success and advance equity," Tumlin said.

The SFMTA has been under fire during the past year over a variety of issues including the massive transit meltdown in late April that created long delays for commuters trying to use the Muni underground, problems with the new fleet of street cars -- both the dragging of a woman who got her hand caught in a door and was dragged down a platform and the shear pins that connect train cars breaking -- and delays in completing the Central Subway project and the Van Ness Improvement Project.

"We know that we have some trust to rebuild. And trust rebuilding can only happen by demonstrating," Tumlin said.

In a blog post last April, SFMTA blamed "decades of underinvestment" for chronic infrastructure failures.

With 25 people killed in traffic collisions in the city this year alone, Tumlin said he's hoping to look closer at smaller safety projects along the city's most dangerous intersections and figure out how to deliver them on time.

Additionally, he said he'll work with the agency's human resources department to hire more Muni operators and look for ways to increase their wages.

"I want to have conversations about how do we make sure that we are paying every SFMTA employee a living wage so that once again the SFMTA can be not only a desirable place to work, but a place where you can afford to raise a family in San Francisco," he said.

Tumlin replaces embattled SFMTA Director of Transportation Ed Reiskin, who in April announced he was stepping down from his position.

Tom Maguire, the SFMTA's former Sustainable Streets Division director, will continue to serve as the agency's interim leader until Tumlin starts on Dec. 16.

© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Bay City News Service contributed to this report.

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