MTA: Muni Can Meet 85% Standard … By 2012

September 25th, 2007

The MTA gave a briefing yesterday morning to its Board of Directors on what would need to be done to meet the Prop E mandated 85% on time standard, and it wasn’t pretty. According to staff, Muni would need an additional $150 million per year to achieve the standard mandated by voters in 1999, and it won’t happen until 2012, five years from now and thirteen years after it was passed.

Update: Detailed powerpoint on On Time Performance is at the MTA website. (pdf)

Couldn’t it happen faster than that, particularly if basic steps like expanding and enforcing transit lanes, consolidating stops, implementing Proof of Payment systemwide, using already installed signal pre-empts, and dispatching trains in order from Embarcadero were taken? The SF Transit Effectiveness Project is studying these proposals and others.

Son of Muni Reform Goes to the Ballot

July 31st, 2007

This afternoon, the Board of Supervisors voted to put Board President Aaron Peskin’s Muni charter amendment on the November ballot. A very big thank you to everyone from Rescue Muni who called the supervisors to let them know we support the measure.

Seven supervisors voted to put the measure on the ballot: Aaron Peskin, Tom Ammiano, Chris Daly, Bevan Dufty, Sean Elsbernd, Sophie Maxwell, and Ross Mirkarimi. All seven deserve our thanks for letting this go forward now. Voting against the measure were: Michela Alioto-Pier, Ed Jew, Jake McGoldrick, and Gerardo Sandoval.

The vote was a bit different from last week’s, when supervisors considered various amendments which would, effectively, kill the measure. We should extend a very special thanks to the five supervisors who not only voted to put the measure on the ballot today, but also voted against all of the attempts to deep-six it with amendments. They are: Board President Aaron Peskin, and Supervisors Tom Ammiano, Bevan Dufty, Sean Elsbernd, and Sophie Maxwell. All five of them deserve a very big thank you from supporters of better transit; all five, incidentally, carried Rescue Muni’s endorsement in their most recent elections.

Now for the hard part: This measure, because of the parking limitation language, which runs counter to the pro-parking, anti-transit ballot measure also appearing on the November ballot, will be more controversial than was Prop E. The supporters of the parking measure will surely be out in force to oppose Muni Reform II. Passing this measure will require a major effort on all our parts.

-Daniel M.

Update: The Chronicle and Examiner report on the measure going to the ballot, and the Guardian comments.

Muni: “When It’s Bad, It’s Really Bad”

June 10th, 2007

Detailed article today in the Chronicle about the wide range of issues affecting Muni reliability. In particular, Muni’s chronic budget problems are highlighted, as well as Supervisor Peskin’s proposed labor and budget reforms. Mayor Newsom and Rescue Muni vice chair Daniel Murphy are quoted (among others).

Muni Re-Reform? Peskin introduces charter amendment

May 22nd, 2007

Supervisor Peskin will introduce today (or soon?) a measure to amend the Charter to make some pretty significant changes to Proposition E, which governs the Municipal Transportation Agency. We’ll have analysis soon but wanted to get the news out right away.

Peskin: Remove Muni Operator Wage Limit?

April 15th, 2007

Update: The Examiner has a story about this proposal today including skeptical comments from TWU Local 250A director Irwin Lum.

Supervisor Peskin is circulating a draft of a charter amendment to make some changes to Proposition E, which governs the Municipal Transportation Agency. In particular he is proposing to remove the section in the charter that specifies a wage limit for Muni operators. This section states in relevant part:

“The board of supervisors shall thereupon fix a wage schedule for each classification of platform employees and coach and bus operators of the municipal railway which shall not be in excess of the average of the two highest wage schedules so certified by the civil service commission for each such classification.”

The purpose is to allow Muni management and labor to more effectively trade off work rules for wage increases. Also included in this is measure is a proposal to dedicate more garage and parking fees to Muni.

Rescue Muni hasn’t seen this proposal yet but we will comment on it as soon as we see it. In general we like the idea to dedicate more funding to Muni, but it’s always risky to re-open Proposition E, as the previous proposal to do so was a bad idea that we worked to defeat.

(See SFist for additional discussion of this.)