Alioto-Pier blocks F-line to Fort Mason study

April 28th, 2010

bad F-Line instruction
You’d think expanded transit would be good for your neighborhood. Not Supervisor Michela Alioto-Pier, who yesterday moved to block a study of extending the popular historic streetcar to Fort Mason, a project that would provide much needed transit options to Marina residents and visitors alike.

This project, which Rescue Muni supports, would extend the streetcar through the Fort Mason tunnel and provide rail service to the Marina and the western half of Fisherman’s Wharf. It would also make possible a future extension of historic streetcar service to the Marina Green and possibly the Presidio, as recommended by our Service Expansion committee nine years ago.

If you disagree with Supervisor Alioto-Pier’s claim that this project is “a monster without a head” and would like to see it funded, and particularly if you live in District 2 (Marina and Pacific Heights), please write to her office!

Update: Market Street Railway has a detailed comment.

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General Meeting 4/27 with Sean Elsbernd on “Fix Muni Now” Amendment

April 21st, 2010

Mark your calendar for our next General Meeting on Tuesday, April 27, at 6:30 pm, at the Harvey Milk Arts Center in Duboce Park. Supervisor Elsbernd will discuss his proposed charter amendment (endorsed by our board) to revise the City Charter to remove the wage minimum for MTA operators, and also to set new rules regarding arbitration of work rules and wages. We have also invited a representative from the Transport Workers Union to explain why they are in opposition.

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Vote on budget (including service cuts) TODAY

April 20th, 2010

The SFMTA Board is expected to adopt next year’s budget, including deep service cuts, today.  Please show up and let them know how you feel.

Many budget solutions to prevent service cuts involve long-term cost controls and revenue measures; we’ve written about a number of those here.  In the short run, we think the most immediate solution to prevent budget cuts is to raise money through extended parking meter hours and higher parking meter rates.  Many cities with less of a transit orientation than San Francisco run their meters on weeknights and Sundays.

Right now, today, the choice the SFMTA Board faces is one between raising more money at parking meters and cutting Muni service.  Please show up at City Hall, Room 400, at 2:00 p.m., to let the board know which you prefer.  Even with the unexpected injection of funds from the state, Muni is looking at a deep service cut which will do grievous damage to the notion of San Francisco as a Transit First city.

Extending parking meter hours and bringing meter rates into line with garage rates isn’t the solution to all of Muni’s problems, but it’s the best solution to the dilemma we face today.  Please let the SFMTA Board know that.

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SF Weekly on “Muni’s Death Spiral”

April 14th, 2010

Today’s SF Weekly has a very detailed article on the problems facing the SFMTA, including very expensive work rules, micromanagement by the Mayor, lack of implementation of the SFTEP, extremely slow service (average 8.1 mph!), problems with the MTA board, and more.

The authors correctly call out the City Charter’s provision that establishes minimum pay for Muni operators as the average of the top two transit systems in the country. However, the article neglects to mention that this provision is only three years old. Proposition A (2007), which we supported at the time and now regret supporting, changed this provision from a maximum to a minimum, and the result is the annual “bonuses” given operators when workers in other departments and elsewhere in the MTA are taking cuts. Promises were made in 2007 that this change would provide incentives for the Transport Workers Union and the MTA to trade cash for work rule concessions, but as recent experience has shown, no such trades have been forthcoming.

This is the provision that the Elsbernd amendment (now at Fix Muni Now) attempts to resolve.

Elsbernd Amendment hits the streets; general meeting 4/27 to discuss it

April 8th, 2010

first-choice.JPGThe proposed charter amendment to remove the wage floor for MTA operators and make some additional work rule changes is now on the streets. (Our board has voted to support it.) Supervisor Elsbernd was out at West Portal to collect signatures today.

Meanwhile, please mark your calendar for Tuesday, April 27, at 6:30 pm, when we will hold a general meeting to discuss the amendment. We have invited both Supervisor Elsbernd and a representative from the Transport Workers Union. Further details to follow including location.

Update: SF Streetsblog has a detailed report.