SFMTA CFO, Prop A Revenue bonds for critical upgrades approved

December 8th, 2011

“We’re not going to get a better deal than now,” SFMTA CFO Sonali Bose told reporters. 2007’s Prop A allows the SFMTA to issue revenue bonds for “shovel ready” infrastructure upgrades and repairs, and the low interest rates on the bond market make it a once in a lifetime chance for the agency to get a good deal on rates. Out of the $170m the bonds will raise, the agency will buy down existing expensive debt, with the rest of the funds going to help pay for a rehabilitation project at Muni’s Green yard, replacing system radios, replacing the system’s 28 year old digital subway signs, upgrading the sea water damaged Embarcadero MMT, and upgrading rail infrastructure in the Sunset Tunnel (which will be in tandem with the Cole St rail upgrade).

SFMTA: Employees to pay for parking, but nannies get a break

February 2nd, 2011

The SFMTA voted unanimously yesterday to take an important transit-first step: to end free parking for most employees, instead requiring an $80 monthly charge to park at SFMTA lots. This is something we have encouraged for a long time – not only does it encourage workers to use the system they run, it also sets a good example for the rest of San Francisco, and it will raise a little bit of money (about $1M/year) for the agency. The SF Weekly also covered this.

However, the agency board also took a step to open yet another loophole in parking regulations, this time for nannies and other “child care providers”: it approved a pilot program to let them get residential parking permits, potentially crowding out residents for all-day street parking and certainly providing an incentive to drive instead of taking mass transit. Others pay for their parking or mass transit – why should this one class of workers, who happen to have wealthy and well-connected employers who can attend meetings during business hours, get a break?

SFMTA: Partial Muni Restoration Hearing

July 1st, 2010

Save the date: July 6th at Noon.

The SFMTA Board of Directors will seek input from riders for the restoration of some bus route and rail lines that were cut during the May 8th service changes. Stop by city hall, Room 400, and get your comment cards in so the SFMTA knows which routes need restoration the most (weekend N service to Caltrain?). Call 311 or visit SFMTA.com for more information.

Progress on expanded parking meters

June 21st, 2010

Don’t even think of parking hereNobody likes to pay extra for parking, but Rescue Muni applauds the SFMTA for taking the hard steps to expand meter coverage to commercial areas around San Francisco to help cover the increasing cost of running Muni, and taking comments at Friday’s administrative hearing. San Francisco voters have repeatedly approved the Transit-First policy that clearly makes mass transit and alternatives to cars the top priority for the SFMTA – and in difficult economic times like this, expanded meters (and expanded meter hours) are a very good way to raise revenue to prevent service cuts, and also to promote higher turnover in commercial corridors. SF Streetsblog also has coverage.

If you agree that expanded parking meters are a better solution than service cuts (understanding that Muni also needs to get its fiscal house in order, hence the Fix Muni Now amendment on the streets now), contact the SFMTA Board and tell them you support this plan!

Vote on budget (including service cuts) TODAY

April 20th, 2010

The SFMTA Board is expected to adopt next year’s budget, including deep service cuts, today.  Please show up and let them know how you feel.

Many budget solutions to prevent service cuts involve long-term cost controls and revenue measures; we’ve written about a number of those here.  In the short run, we think the most immediate solution to prevent budget cuts is to raise money through extended parking meter hours and higher parking meter rates.  Many cities with less of a transit orientation than San Francisco run their meters on weeknights and Sundays.

Right now, today, the choice the SFMTA Board faces is one between raising more money at parking meters and cutting Muni service.  Please show up at City Hall, Room 400, at 2:00 p.m., to let the board know which you prefer.  Even with the unexpected injection of funds from the state, Muni is looking at a deep service cut which will do grievous damage to the notion of San Francisco as a Transit First city.

Extending parking meter hours and bringing meter rates into line with garage rates isn’t the solution to all of Muni’s problems, but it’s the best solution to the dilemma we face today.  Please let the SFMTA Board know that.

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