Will San Francisco voters give Muni more money to serve a growing population?

By : sfbg – excerpt

…The Board of Supervisors yesterday [Tues/22] voted narrowly to place Sup. Scott Wiener’s Muni funding measure on the fall ballot. It would increase General Fund contributions to the SFMTA as the city population increase, retroactive back to 2003 when the current rate was set, giving the agency an immediate $20-25 million boost to serve the roughly 85,000 new residents the city has added since then…

A $500 million general obligation bond transportation measure backed by Lee and the full Board of Supervisors will also appear on the November ballot, but it will go mostly to cover Muni’s capital needs, not the growing demands on its operating budget.

Wiener’s Muni funding measure yesterday barely got the six votes this charter amendment needed to qualify for the ballot: those of Wiener and Sups. London Breed, David Campos, David Chiu, Malia Cohen, and Jane Kim (Sup. John Avalos was absent).

In recent years, there’s been a rift in the city’s progressive coalition between environmental and transportation activists on one side and affordable housing advocates on the other, who sometimes battle over city funding they see as a zero sum game. So it will be interesting to watch how the politics surrounding this measure shape up going into the fall campaign season…. (more)

Supes Vote Next Week on Wiener’s Backup Transportation Funding Measure

by : sfstreetsblog – excerpt

Supervisors are expected to vote next week on Supervisor Scott Wiener’s backup plan for transportation funding — a charter amendment that, with voter approval, would increase the share of the city’s general fund that gets allocated to Muni, pedestrian safety, and bike infrastructure. That share would be tied to the city’s growing population.

Wiener introduced the measure as a safeguard that would increase transportation funding even if Mayor Ed Lee dropped his plan to put a vehicle license fee increase on the ballot. Lee subsequently did drop his support in June, at least until the 2016 election, so Wiener proposed his stop-gap measure. The legislation includes a provision that would allow the mayor to remove the charter amendment if the vehicle license fee increase is passed in 2016, according to Wiener… (more)

Siemens selected for San Francisco LRV order

by  railjournal – excerpt

SAN FRANCISCO Municipal Transportation Authority (SFMTA) has recommended awarding a contract worth up to $US 1.2bn to Siemens for up to 260 S200 SF LRVs, which will replace the city’s ageing Breda trams and expand the fleet for the opening of the Central Subway line.

SFMTA’s board of directors is expected to approve the contract today and the San Francisco Board of Supervisors is expected to give its own approval in September.

The first prototype vehicle will be delivered in December 2016 and a further 23 units are due to arrive by 2018… (more)

The lack of seats on these cars will make these cars difficult for the elderly and the disabled to use them. Hope that means the SFMTA has future plans for a lot more ADA-friendly vehicles.

MUNI employees ratify SFMTA contract

railwayage – excerpt

San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) said Tuesday, July 15, 2014 that “Transport Workers Union Local 250-A, which represents Municipal Railway (MUNI) transit operators, voted to ratify a new three-year agreement that increases wages, strengthens pension benefits, and is in line with the budget needs of the agency.”… (more)

Muni Drivers Set to Receive $8 Million in Raises

: sfweekly – except

In a development that figures to play about as well as whipping out a boom box at a funeral, Muni drivers are set to receive millions in raises in the wake of a finalized city budget balanced by a quarter of a billion dollars in union give-backs. The folks riding in the bus probably have things to say, too.

The Transportation Workers Union was the only city union to refuse to contribute a cent toward the aforementioned give-backs — and they did it twice. The drivers handily voted down concession packages in both February and June. Those deals would have saved the city about $19 million over the next two years… (more)

We keep hearing about a serious shortage of drivers. Maybe a higher pay scale will entice more people to sign up to drive. That could solve the overtime pay issues we hear about.

Motorists fight back in “transit-first” San Francisco

Believing that they’re somehow discriminated against on the streets of San Francisco, a new political coalition of motorists, conservatives, and neighborhood NIMBYs yesterday [Mon/7] turned in nearly twice the signatures they need to qualify the “Restore Transportation Balance in San Francisco” initiative for the November ballot.

It’s a direct attack on the city’s voter-approved “transit-first” policies and efforts to reduce automobile-related pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. It would prevent expanded parking meter enforcement unless requested by a neighborhood petition, freeze parking and permit rates for five years, require representation of motorists on the SFMTA board and create a Motorists Citizens Advisory Committee within the agency, set aside SFMTA funding for more parking lot construction, and call for stronger enforcement of traffic laws against cyclists….

But with a growing population using a system of roadways that is essentially finite, (that is being reduced by the SFMTA’s million dollar road diets and other disruptive programs, while they cut Muni service and Muni stops, making it harder for people relying on public transit) even such neoliberal groups as SPUR and the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce have long promoted the idea that continued overreliance on automobiles would create a dysfunctional transportation system…

The coalition behind this ballot measure includes some of the combatants in those battles, including the new Eastern Neighborhoods United Front (ENUF) and old Coalition of San Francisco Neighborhoods. Other supporters include former westside supervisors Quentin Kopp, Tony Hall, and John Molinari, and the city’s Republican and Libertarian party organizations…   (more)

Please leave your comments at the source: http://www.sfbg.com/politics/2014/07/08/motorists-fight-back-transit-first-san-francisco

 

SFMTA proposed Memorandum of Understanding

By sfexaminer – excerpt

SFMTA proposed Memorandum of Understanding between San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency and Transport Workers’ Union, Lcoal 250-A (9163)… (more)

 

 

 

SFMTA, Muni union reach tentative agreement

BayCityNews – excerpt

A tentative agreement has been reached between the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency and its Municipal Railway operators’ union, SFMTA officials announced Monday.

Monday is the last day of the current workers’ contract.

The SFMTA board of directors this morning at a special meeting rejected a previously mediated agreement that Transport Workers Union Local 250-A, the Muni employees’ union representing more than 2,000 workers, had already rejected last month…

The board rejected the previous agreement and announced it had reached, through mediation, a new tentative agreement with its workers.

Contract details have not been released yet, Rose said, but SFMTA director of transportation Ed Reiskin said he hoped to share specifics by the end of the day…
(more)

 

Muni union, SFMTA reach contract agreement

sfexaminer – excerpt

A labor contract agreement between the Muni operators’ union and the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency was reached Thursday afternoon, according to a source close to the issue.

The agreement came a few days before Monday’s deadline, and the agenda for a 11 a.m. special board meeting that day, posted Friday, includes a resolution allowing directors to reject the tentative agreement that the Transport Workers Union Local 250-A also had voted down in May.

It also allows board directors to extend the date for the final adoption of a memorandum of understanding. A deadline was not announced Friday… (more)

Good news!

 

Why Muni can’t find good drivers

By sfexaminer – excerpt

There’s a simple explanation for why buses and trains in San Francisco are often late or never show up.

There’s not enough people to drive them.

The San Francisco Municipal Railway has had a chronic shortage of qualified transit operators for several years, which contributes to late or missed runs as well as mounting overtime spending, according to city documents and interviews.

There are about 1,500 transit operators at Muni, which carries about 700,000 passengers a day on the agency’s buses, light-rail vehicles and cable cars.

There should be more.

As of Wednesday there were 266 unfilled operator positions, agency spokesman Paul Rose said, an “ongoing issue” that the SFMTA is trying to correct with a “training surge.”

Muni plans to add training staff and send operators through the training process more quickly, Rose said.

Last week, Muni graduated 25 new operators to full employee status. However, the hundreds of other open jobs have no takers for several reasons: pay, commuting and an ever-tougher working environment, according to interviews with drivers and union officials…

Muni drivers make more than their counterparts in Oakland and San Mateo County, but less than bus drivers in San Jose.

In any event, the starting wage of $18.60 is low by Bay Area standards — San Francisco’s minimum wage could be $15 by 2018 — and the $29.53 maximum hourly salary does not go far in The City…

At the end of May, Muni operators soundly rejected an offer from the SFMTA that would have seen hourly wages rise to over $32 an hour, which would make them the second-highest-paid transit operators in the country.

That offer was coupled with increased employee contributions to pensions, which would have led to a cut in take-home pay, union officials say…. (more)