Hail and Farewell, Mayor Ed Lee

In transit jargon, the trip to the carbarn after completing the day’s runs is the pull-in. A man who helped revitalize San Francisco’s transit system has unexpectedly — and very sadly — finished his runs, way too soon.

Mayor Edwin Lee died suddenly of a heart attack in the early hours of December 12, 2017. He was just 65 years old.

Pictured above on a boat tram at the opening of the E-Embarcadero vintage streetcar line in 2015 with then-Supervisor Julie Christensen, we will always remember Mayor Lee for his delight with the historic streetcars. But he meant far more to the city’s transportation system than that.

As Mayor, Ed Lee put a team in place at the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, parent of Muni, that dramatically improved the condition of the vehicle fleet, replacing hundreds of buses (both trolley coaches and motor coaches) and began the replacement of the light rail vehicle fleet. Led by SFMTA Director of Transportation Ed Reiskin and Director of Transit John Haley, the LRV procurement and bus replacement were carried out in a fraction of the time that previous fleet replacements took.

He appointed strong bicycle advocates, disabled advocates, and transit advocates to the SFMTA Board of Directors. The Board’s strongest bicycle advocate, Cheryl Brinkman, is now the Board Chair.  These appointments are part of an important legacy.

 

And we also remember how Mayor Lee took delight in Muni’s centennial celebration in 2012, even repeating what his predecessor “Sunny Jim” Rolph had done a century before — personally take the controls of Muni’s very first streetcar (yes, the very same streetcar) to kick off the celebration.

Two bells, Mayor Lee. Rest in Peace.

  • Nick Karels

    As an ex=pat San Franciscan, and yet to the right of most of you folks, I’ll miss Mayer Lee as taking as good care as he did, for the City of my birth,

    Good man.

  • Larry O

    After years of witnessing the politics of being San Francisco’s Mayor, it was refreshing to see Ed Lee, a man who knew how to manage the city’s departments, being first appointed as Mayor and then ignore the politicians to run again and win twice. He was the best Mayor the city has ever had.
    Being a native San Franciscan (now living in the East Bay), it was great to see Mayor Lee improve the City, especially Muni. I will miss him and hope that politics does not again impress itself on the Mayor’s office.
    Thank you Mayor Lee for all you have done for your adopted city.