Sierra Club: Speed up MTA service to save $, prevent cuts

February 4th, 2010

LRV 3 MPHIn response to SFMTA’s budget deficit and threatened service cuts and fare hikes, the Sierra Club San Francisco Group has some policy recommendations. Below is their letter by our board member, Howard Strassner. (Note: this is not Rescue Muni policy, though we are long-time proponents of expanded rapid bus service.)

Read the rest of this entry »

Rescue Muni opposes $5 F-Market fare, supports parking meter increases

January 19th, 2010

Rescue Muni unequivocally opposes the proposed $5 fare for the F-Market historic streetcar line.  We recognize that this is an extraordinarily difficult budget year, and that despite the recent fare increase, Muni is running short on money from other sources.  But the F-Market is one of the most cost-effective lines in the city, and other, better revenue options exist, not least of which are extending parking meter hours into Sundays and evenings.  We are unconvinced that these measures will hurt San Francisco’s economy.  Many cities—including cities with fewer transit options than San Francisco—keep their parking meters running on Sundays and weekends, and seem to suffer no ill effects from it.

Singling out a single line for a fare increase—and eliminating 313,000 service hours per year—shouldn’t even be considered in a “Transit First” city until all other options are exhausted.  They haven’t been.

We urge Rescue Muni members to attend today’s meeting of the MTA Board—2:00 p.m. at Room 400, City Hall—and let directors know that this plan is unacceptable, and that better options for closing the short-term revenue gap remain.

Update: Rick Laubscher of Market Street Railway has a very thoughtful letter in opposition to the $5 F-line.

Also: The Bike Coalition has a handy form to tell the Supervisors and the Mayor that you oppose higher fares and service cuts.

More big cuts coming to Muni, including $5 F line fare?

January 15th, 2010

Adult Fast PassSF Streetsblog has a detailed article on proposed mid-year budget cuts to be discussed at the MTA board next week. Among the cuts and fare hikes, none of which are pretty, are some particularly bad ideas: jacking up F-line fares to $5 and requiring express and cable car riders to use the new premium pass, making the citywide network much less useful to the typical rider (and providing a perverse disincentive to riders to take faster, more efficient services).

Some proposals appear to be helpful, like charging employees for parking, but it appears that most of these budget cuts will hit riders, who are already paying more starting this month, square in the face. Meanwhile, MTA operators just received a bonus – not for performance, but because the voters mandated a pay minimum in 2007 Prop A.

You can comment on these proposals at the regularly scheduled MTA Board meeting on Tuesday, January 19, at 2 pm. Of course the meeting is being held during normal business hours, so if you work for a living, you might want to email your comments to the board.

SFMTA asks vendors to cut 3% or more from invoices

January 5th, 2010

The SFMTA, after raising fares, cutting positions, and slashing service, is asking its vendors to reduce their invoices by 3% or more to help close the nearly $22m deficit.  The SFMTA has until June to close its budget gap.

State Supreme Court: Transit $ can’t be raided

October 2nd, 2009

The state Supreme Court ruled today in favor of the California Transit Association and its member agencies, leaving intact a ruling that $3.6 billion in funds dedicated to mass transit in 2008 and 2009 should not have been taken for other uses. It’s not clear how much of the money already spent is recoverable, but this is a promising step towards restoring funding that the voters dedicated to mass transit in Proposition 42 (2002) and other measures in future years.