In SFGate’ open forum, SF Supervisor Scott Wiener says that Muni simply can’t afford to shell out $8M for free rides for all youth’s when the SFMTA doesn’t even have the funding to provide essential operations and maintenance. Supervisor Wiener says that Muni needs to focus on having a more reliable system first, and that “Every time the system melts down because a switch fails, a vehicle door won’t close, stairs won’t rise, or a derailment occurs, you can be assured that the problem results from Muni not having the funds to maintain its infrastructure properly.”
A pilot program to offer free Muni service to San Francisco youth under 17 is being considered by SFMTA. The program would issue free Clipper cards for students. Most of the cost would be covered by regional and city sales tax money, but SFMTA would have to cover $1.7 million in lost revenue.
The proposed budget also does not include any additional security cost. As noted in the article, “Campos said what’s still to be determined is whether participants could be kicked out of the program if they misbehave on the city’s buses and trains.” As all commuters know, this is a real issue and SFMTA should not approve any free-rides program without a plan to address it.
Another concern is that the proposal would use Prop K sales tax money from the SF County Transportation Authority, which was approved by the voters to cover capital expenses such as the long-delayed Geary and Van Ness BRT projects.
Free Muni for kids is a nice idea, but SFMTA should take these concerns seriously before approving it.
The 14L-Mission Limited buses that used to stop tantalizingly close to the Daly City BART station finally will take people the rest of the way during AM and PM commute hours. Temporarily, the morning runs will be connected by a shuttle between Daly City BART and the 14L at Goethe Street, though eventually the 14L will make morning and evening runs available both ways. Free transfers will be available inside the paid area of the BART station.
Muni is also promising better maintenance and supervision of the 14L buses.
Today the SFMTA announced that Ed Reiskin will be taking over as CEO. Reiskin comes to the SFMTA from the city’s Department of Public Works, where he has served as director since 2008. Before that he ran the city’s 311 center, and in the past has worked for the city of Oakland and the District of Columbia.
Reiskin is held in high regard with the board of supervisors, and has a strong working relationship with Mayor Lee from his years of working for Lee while he was city administrator.
The new CEO’s has signed a 3 year contract with a yearly salary that will be $294,000, which is $15,000 less than former CEO Nat Ford.
Thanks to the N Judah Chronicles for this notice: Supervisor Chu has called a hearing on the annoying, inconvenient, and often unannounced short turns that plague LRV service in the Sunset. Unfortunately it’s during business hours, but if you can attend on short notice please do. The hearing is at 10:30 am TODAY, City Hall, Room 250.
Also please congratulate RM endorsed Supervisors Carmen Chu, Scott Wiener, and Mark Farrell on their first day in office after being elected last fall!