A Transit Riders' Association for San Francisco
P.O. Box 190966
San Francisco, CA 94119-0966


Hotline: (415) 273-1558
Email:
board at rescuemuni.org
Web:
http://www.rescuemuni.org
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contacts:
Andrew Sullivan
Chairman, Steering Committee / Chief Spokesperson
(415) 673-0626
celebes@well.com

Daniel Murphy
Vice Chairman, Steering Committee
(415) 665-4074
daniel@well.com

Good Call, Mayor Brown

RESCUE MUNI, San Francisco's transit riders' association, applauds Mayor Willie Brown's decision to drop the proposed "Fast Pass Plus," which would have raised fares 28% for Muni riders who use BART within the city. RESCUE MUNI lobbied Muni and BART heavily in an effort to stop the plan.

"Mayor Brown made the right decision," said Andrew Sullivan, the organization's chair. "We opposed Fast Pass Plus because it was unnecessary, and because it was a bad deal for Muni and for riders. We're glad Mayor Brown agrees that there's a better way."

The proposed new pass, which would have cost $45, was designed for heavy BART users within the eight San Francisco stations. Muni and BART had agreed that 73 percent of the revenue from this new pass would go to BART, regardless of actual usage, while the current $35 Fast Pass would be available for Muni only. RESCUE MUNI opposed it because it was a fare increase without any improvements in service, because Muni would have incurred significant new financial risk, and because it was unnecessary as Muni just received the largest budget increase in recent memory.

"We've proposed lower-risk, more equitable solutions to Muni and BART," pointed out David Pilpel, the organization's Fast Pass coordinator. "It definitely makes sense to revisit the system by which Muni compensates BART, particularly to reduce Muni's financial risk, but there's no need to raise fares."

"A fare increase on one group of passengers -- mainly those going between the four neighborhood stations and downtown -- is unacceptable," said Daniel Murphy, the organization's vice chair. "There was no guarantee passengers would get any improvement in service from the small amount of money the $45 pass would generate."

The organization held extensive discussions with both agencies in an effort to find a better alternative that didn't raise fares. "We are continuing our talks with Muni and BART so an agreement to keep the single $35 Fast Pass can be hammered out in the next few months. We've made a lot of progress so far getting the two sides to reconsider their assumptions, and we think they'll be even more receptive in light of the mayor's announcement." said Sullivan.

Those interested in helping with this project should call the RESCUE MUNI hotline at 415/273-1558 or visit the RESCUE MUNI web page at www.rescuemuni.org.


RESCUE MUNI, A Transit Riders’ Association for San Francisco, is an organization of concerned riders who seek to make service faster, safer, more reliable, and more responsive to riders’ needs. Founded in 1996, it now has more than 250 members throughout the city.

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Posted 8/12/98.