SF Weekly on “Muni’s Death Spiral”

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.