A Transit Ridersí Association for San Francisco

Box 190966, SF, CA 94119 ï 415/273-1558 ï www.rescuemuni.org


April 23, 2001

Chair and Members

San Francisco Board of Supervisors / County Transportation Authority

1 Carlton B. Goodlett Place

San Francisco, CA 94102

Dear Members:

We understand that the SF County Transportation Authority is currently developing a county plan for the 2001 Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) being put together by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC).

The Steering Committee of Rescue Muni urges you to include the following recommendations into the San Francisco Transportation Authorityís plan, which will then become San Franciscoís official list of projects & funding requests for inclusion into MTCís 25-year RTP:

* Funding to Maintain the Existing Muni Network
* New Priority Projects
1. Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) City-Wide Network
2. Caltrain Downtown Extension
3. Geary Rail
4. IF itís built, a Fixed Central Subway (on Kearny, not Stockton)
* Priority for Cost-Effective Urban Transit

Funding to Maintain the Existing Muni network.

Maintenance includes timely vehicle replacement & facilities maintenance. We stress this because in the past Muni and other Bay Area transit operators suffered greatly due to a lack of funding for operations & maintenance. We never want this to happen again. This is MORE important than new projects in our view.

New Priority Projects
Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) City-Wide Network
Rescue Muni is currently working on several proposals for Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) lines which include Geary, Market, Van Ness/Mission, Potrero/Bayshore, and Lombard/Doyle Drive. For Muni expansion projects, this is our highest priority in the short-term because BRT is relatively cheap and can be implemented rapidly compared to rail projects. The benefits are much faster and reliable service, which will improve the quality of life for many transit riders as well as attracting new ridership.

Caltrain Downtown Extension / Transbay Terminal Project
Rescue Muni has always strongly supported this project. The people of San Francisco voted 2/3 in favor of this project. We are very concerned that this project is still not the regional priority that it should be, even with recent developments. We IMPLORE the Board of Supervisors to push final approval and funding of this critically important project (including San Franciscoís portion of electrification for the Caltrain line) as soon as possible. Cancellation or further delays of this project is unacceptable for any reason!

Geary Rail
Converting the Geary corridor to rail is a top priority of Rescue Muni. Proposed rail service along the Geary corridor was in the "4 Corridors" plan for rail expansion but has still not begun. It is time to start this project. We strongly urge that this project be added to MTCís RTP list.

IF It's Built, A *Fixed* Central Subway (on Kearny, not Stockton)
Though Rescue Muni as not endorsed the central subway project, we feel that if the project moves forward, it can gain tremendous ridership by moving the North-of-Market segment from Stockton to Kearny. Not only will this avoid two convoluted right-angled turns, but will capture more financial district ridership while still being in the heart of Chinatown. We are opposed to a Stockton alignment, which will receive much less ridership and cause less reliable service.

Priority for Cost-Effective Urban Transit
Funding for high-priority urban transit projects must not be reduced due to highway projects or expensive BART extensions that are not cost-effective. Instead, we strongly believe that funding for projects should be based on equity and regional benefit.

Specifically, the spiraling costs of the East Span of the Bay Bridge and BART extension as currently proposed to Antioch, Livermore, & San Jose should not unfairly take monies away from other high priority urban transit projects. Money to pay for cost overruns, should they develop, needs to be found from new sources so other necessary transit projects arenít eliminated or delayed.

We want to urge the Board of Supervisors to make sure that San Francisco gets its fair share of regional money. In the past highway projects and BART extensions in low-density areas have required a very high subsidy per capita while the urban areas have suffered. We, as San Franciscan will no longer except this type of divestiture from the urban core to suburban areas. Priority of projects should be based on benefit per dollar spent.

We appreciate you consideration to the important transportation decisions you will soon be making as acting members of the San Francisco Transportation Authority. We urge that you take great care in these decisions as they involve literally billions dollars of taxpayer money and will help determine the quality of life in San Francisco for the next 25 years and beyond.

Thank you.


Andrew Sullivan
Chair, Steering Committee

Rescue Muni Steering Committee and Service Expansion Committee;
Michael Burns, GM, and Walt Streeter, Director of Planning, Municipal Railway;
Jose Luis Moscovich, Executive Director, SF County Transportation Authority