A Transit Riders' Association for San Francisco
P.O. Box 190966
San Francisco, CA 94119-0966

Hotline: (415) 273-1558
board at rescuemuni.org
MARCH 1, 1999

Andrew Sullivan
Chairman, Steering Committee / Chief Spokesperson
(415) 673-0626
[email protected]

Daniel Murphy
Vice-Chair, Steering Committee
(415) 665-4074
[email protected]

Rescue Muni to Sponsor Independent Muni Reform Ballot Measure

Rescue Muni, the San Francisco transit riders’ association, has voted to sponsor and endorse a charter amendment to reform the Municipal Railway. The organization plans to enlist help from other community organizations and gather the signatures necessary to place the measure on the November 1999 ballot.

“Riders won’t just stand by and let the system deteriorate further,” said Andrew Sullivan, the group’s chair and chief spokesperson. “For years, passengers have been Muni’s last priority. We’re going directly to the people to change that.”

Like the measure proposed by Mayor Brown’s “New Muni Task Force,” the Rescue Muni-backed initiative creates an independent agency to run Muni. But unlike the task force version, it sets specific customer service standards—including on-time performance—and ties employee pay to performance. It also reforms labor practices—such as paid unexcused absences or “missouts”—that interfere with Muni’s ability to deliver service. Under the Rescue Muni proposal, the Department of Parking & Traffic would be run by the newly-created transportation agency. “We need to get those two organizations on the same page to free the buses from gridlocked traffic,” said Sullivan.

“The New Muni Task Force version creates a new agency but doesn’t require performance or hold anyone accountable for what passengers need,” added Daniel Murphy, Rescue Muni’s vice chair. “Above all, passengers want reliability. Our measure gives Muni management the tools they need to manage the agency and holds them accountable for the results.”

Although Mayor Brown expressed tentative support for the New Muni Task Force measure, Rescue Muni is hopeful that he will see things their way. “Mayor Brown says he wants to fix Muni. If he’s serious about that, we think he’ll support our measure,” said Sullivan. “Our measure is tougher and more specific. We think he’ll like that.”

Rescue Muni, A Transit Riders’ Association for San Francisco, is an organization of concerned riders who seek to make service faster, safer, more reliable, and more responsive to riders’ needs. Founded in 1996, it now has more than 500 members throughout the city.

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Posted 3/1/99.