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?

State Board Denies Drivers’ Petition to Block Service Restoration

September 7th, 2010

The California Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) denied a request from the Transport Workers Union Local 250-A to pursue an injunction to block the partial Muni service restoration that went into effect over Labor Day Weekend.  The drivers’ union sought the injunction after SFMTA announced a plan to restore 61% of the service cut in May.

Had an injunction been granted, service would have reverted to the levels in effect after the May service cuts.  In their petition filed with PERB, the union claimed they would suffer immediate and irreparable harm if, among other things, new absenteeism rules went into effect and union chairs at each division were no longer paid full-time salaries by the city to do union work.

Muni Drivers Try to Block Service Restoration

September 2nd, 2010

You just can’t make this stuff up.

The Muni operators’ union, TWU Local 250-A, filed a brief with the California Public Employee Relations Board (PERB) to block the restoration of 61% of the service cuts that took effect in May.  The restoration is supposed to take place Saturday, but if the board grants TWU an injunction, the service cuts will remain in place.  SFMTA Executive Director Nathaniel Ford says Muni is moving forward with the restoration, at least for now.

One thing is clear: TWU has given up even the slimmest hope of defeating Proposition G.  Having alienated San Franciscans thoroughly by insisting on pay increases during a severe budget crisis, just as other city workers were accepting pay cuts, they’ve decided to go for broke and litigate their way to cushy jobs for union leadership and less service for Muni riders.

PERB isn’t scheduled to meet until October 14, according to its web site.  It’s hard to say from here whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing for Muni riders.

Muni Un-Reform Un-Proposed

July 28th, 2010

SFMTAThe Board of Supervisors did the right thing yesterday and rejected a proposed charter amendment that would have changed the makeup of the SFMTA Board, and would have been in effect a takeover of the SFMTA by the Board of Supervisors. (Rescue Muni members spoke several times in opposition.)

Instead, a task force is being created that will review MTA governance issues, including the important question of whether the current split between the SFMTA and SF County Transportation Authority is effective or not, and whether the “work orders” currently used to transfer SFMTA money to other city departments are being handled properly. (We have objected to these in the past.) We will be following this task force closely – there have been many of these in the past, not all effective, but with proper citizen participation it might lead to useful (rather than counterproductive) reforms.

Thanks to Board President David Chiu for being the key vote to kill this misguided proposal, and thanks also to our members who wrote or spoke in opposition! Now back to the real work of improving SF transit.

Update: The SF Weekly covers this, as does Streetsblog.

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.