Governor signs gas tax bill, state aid likely to increase for SFMTA

March 23rd, 2010

$4 GasolineAt last some good news from Sacramento (besides the frequent and comfortable Capitol Corridor service): Gov. Schwarzenegger has signed the bill to restore some state transportation funding, including aid to mass transit, from the sales tax on gasoline. This should allow Muni to restore some service cuts and delay others – $36 million is due immediately and another $31 million is expected for the next fiscal year.

While this removes some of the urgency for SFMTA fiscal reform, it does not solve the problem of its structural deficit. We continue to urge passage of the Elsbernd Amendment that would remove the Charter imposed wage floor for operators, allowing the SFMTA to bargain for wages and work rules with the TWU as they do with all other unions.

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.

Transit Riders Slammed By State Budget

September 25th, 2008

In the extremely late, unloved California budget, what got whacked at the last minute by Gov. Schwarzenegger? Mass transit, of course. The budget included only $306 million for mass transit instead of the almost $1 billion required by formula, after the Governor line item vetoed $100 million more than the legislators had already cut.

The budget is “ripping thousands of new seats right out from under our riders,” said a spokesman for BART. Thanks, Governor!

Action Alert: Don’t Cut State Transit Funding!

February 14th, 2008

The following comes from our friends at Transportation and Land Use Coalition. Well worth a call to save mass transit funding:

Please call your state legislators TODAY and register your opposition to the latest redirection of public transit funds!

Read the rest of this entry »

“Yield To Buses” Law Proposed

January 30th, 2008

Yield To BusesStuck in your bus waiting for a break in traffic? The SFMTA and various city officials have a proposed fix: a law requiring cars to yield to buses pulling out of a bus stop. This is the law in Ontario as well as Quebec, British Columbia, Oregon, Florida and New Jersey. According to SFTEP studies, 6 percent of running time is wasted by buses waiting to pull out into traffic.

Of course, for this to be effective, it would require far stricter enforcement of transit related moving violations than has ever been done in SF, as anyone who rides a bus in our transit only lanes knows. And it’s no substitute for expanding transit lanes and adding bus rapid transit citywide. But it certainly could help.