Save Muni Reform!
Action Needed NOW to Save Muni Reform
Six years ago, Muni riders and environmental advocates got together to pass Proposition E (1999) for Muni reform, creating an independent Municipal Transportation Agency insulated from politics and governed by strong service standards and a progressive Transit-First Policy. The results are clear: despite major budget difficulties almost every year since 1999, Muni has consistently improved reliability and service quality, as measured by Muni staffers and Rescue Muni's members in annual riders' surveys. Although service is not by any means perfect, it's much more reliable than it was in the days of the Muni Metro Meltdown.
Now, unfortunately, two Supervisors have decided that Proposition E doesn't give them enough power. Never mind that in the bad old days, when the Supervisors had direct control of Muni, service was extremely unreliable; some members of the Board have decided that they would like to return to the days when they could micromanage Muni's budget. Two supervisors have introduced legislation that would gut Proposition E: Supervisor Sandoval, who has re-introduced a charter amendment best described as comprehensive un-reform, including a line-item veto over the budget and the choice of MTA director (this amendment was soundly defeated at the board last year), and Supervisor Ammiano, who has introduced a narrower amendment that would give the Supervisors authority over the appointment of three of the seven members of the Municipal Transportation Agency board.
Both of these amendments would be terrible for riders. These would give more power to the Board of Supervisors which recently rolled back Muni's proposed increases in parking fees and fines, favoring auto drivers over transit riders, and blocked very simple improvements in Geary/O'Farrell transit service after a few neighbors complained last year. This is the same board that has never used its authority to reject a single MTA Board nominee or any MTA budget, yet now wants more power over our commutes.
Rescue Muni strongly opposes both of these charter amendments. The Sandoval one is obviously the more egregious, but the Ammiano amendment would also be terrible, because it would lead to MTA board members being picked for their political and ideological loyalty to the Supervisors (consider the Police and Planning Commissions, now half appointed by the Supervisors, not to mention the highly dysfunctional School Board) and not for their understanding of public transit. While the MTA board isn't ideal, it tends to avoid dumb ideological battles and micromanagement in favor of focusing on the quality and efficiency of public transit, and we think this should continue. This is particularly important now that the MTA is searching for a new director; no experienced director of transportation worth his/her salt would consider working for the MTA if either of these amendments were to pass.
HOW YOU CAN HELP:
This Thursday, the Rules Committee considers both of these amendments. If you can attend, the meeting is at 1 PM at City Hall, room 263. Come and urge a NO vote on both MTA amendments!
If you can't make it, please CALL (or email) one or more members of the Rules Committee and urge a NO vote:
You can also call your own Supervisor and urge a NO vote if the amendments reach the full board:
1. McGoldrick, Jake - 415-554-7410 - email
Thanks for your help!