SFWeekly has a detailed article on the deteriorating state of the SFMTA’s bus and rail fleet. Duct taped buses, garbage bags covering high voltage pantograph wiring, and rubber bands holding up roof ladders are discussed. According to the article, it takes as many as 5 workers to change a part on a bus, and there are no modern inventory controls such as bar coding in place. All these deferred maintenance problems cause delays, dangerous equipment malfunctions, and even fatal accidents.
The Transport Workers Union has submitted a letter to the Department of Labor demanding that federal funding for SFMTA projects be suspended, based on the claim that Proposition G illegally requires an arbitrator to prioritize “the public interest in efficient and reliable transit.”
This is clearly a negotiating tactic, but it could lead the feds to suspend over $4 billion in capital funding for Central Subway and major maintenance projects.
The Examiner reports that SFMTA management is negotiating with the TWU250A on how to fix the disciplinary process for operators. As it stands, operators who rack up too many citations in one particular area, such as accidents or drunk driving, are the only ones who are likely to get terminated. However, if an operator gets various citations in different kinds of violations, then the operator can slide under the radar and continue to drive.
One proposed cost-cutting measure is to eliminate leave-with-pay while the operator is under investigation. SFMTA consultant Charles Goodyear says that while the two sides have not agreed on a solution, talks are progressing well.
The Board of Supervisors postponed until next week a vote on the controversial proposed charter amendment we wrote about yesterday.Â Board of Supervisors president David Chiu said me might be willing to put off the amendment until next year, depending on the outcome of discussions with Mayor Newsom’s office about Muni service.Â Postponing the amendment (or forgetting about it entirely) would be a positive development for Muni riders.
The law allows supervisors to place only one more charter amendment on the November 2010 ballot between now and Friday, July 30th.Â Let’s hope it isn’t this one.
We urge Muni riders to call their supervisors between now and next Tuesday’s meeting and urge them to shelve the SFMTA amendment indefinitely.Â All of their phone numbers and e-mail addresses are here.Â The SFMTA isn’t perfect, but we believe strongly this measure would move the agency and Muni service in exactly the wrong direction.
Today, the Board of Supervisors is scheduled to vote on whether to place a charter amendment on the November ballot dramatically changing how the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, which runs Muni, is governed.Â We’re urging our members to contact their supervisors and urge them to vote against placing this measure on the ballot.
You can read the proposed text here.
This well-intentioned proposal moves Muni in the wrong direction in several important respects:
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