Rescue Muni Urges Supervisors to Approve Parking Fine Increases
Rescue Muni, San Francisco's transit riders' association, urged the Board of Supervisors to approve the parking fines as proposed by the Municipal Transportation Agency (MTA) and to consider raising them above the levels in the MTA budget.
Because of a higher than expected transfer from the city's general fund, an additional $9.2 million is available to the MTA. Rescue Muni asked supervisors to spend all of the additional money on Muni. In particular, Rescue Muni voiced its opposition to a proposed "compromise" measure from the Board of Supervisors' Finance Committee that would give over $4 million back to auto drivers in the form of lower fines and fees in certain commercial districts.
"In a budget year in which the MTA is proposing a $13.5 million service cut and a $13.1 million fare increase, any unplanned money should be applied to Muni service," said Andrew Sullivan, the organization's chair. "Law-abiding Muni riders should be a higher priority than people who choose to break the law and park illegally."
"$9.2 million isn't enough to prevent the fare increase, nor to offset the entire service cut, but if we apply the money to deferred maintenance and service, it will help alleviate the sacrifice Muni riders are being asked to make, and will help make service more reliable, not less," said Rescue Muni vice chair Daniel Murphy. "We recognize that this is a tough budget year for Muni. Shrill demands for money that just isn't there aren't constructive, but this money is real, and it should be spent on Muni service."
"Better Muni service helps Muni riders, obviously, but it helps drivers too. More frequent and reliable Muni service means less traffic congestion in our streets. Everyone benefits from money spent on Muni," Sullivan said. "The only people who benefit from lower parking fines are the scofflaws. Supervisors should approve the proposed increase, and should consider raising it too, with the additional money earmarked for maintenance and offsetting proposed service cuts."
Rescue Muni is a transit riders’ organization for customers of
Muni. It was founded in 1996 by Muni riders seeking to improve
the system’s reliability, service, and safety. The organization
conducts an annual riders’ survey, serves as a citizens’ watchdog group
for Muni, and promotes expansion of transit service in San
Francisco. Rescue Muni co-sponsored November 1999’s Proposition E
for Muni reform after circulating its own charter amendment earlier
that year and participating in City Hall negotiations. Rescue
Muni is an independent, nonpartisan group run by volunteers and
supported solely by its members’ dues.
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