Here’s Another Chance for You to Pay More for Better Buses and Safer Roads

: sfweekly – excerpt

Funding for public transportation has never been based on population in San Francisco, believe it or not. That might all change in November if a new charter amendment passed by the Board of Supervisors this week makes it to the general ballot. This bump in cashflow won’t just fund Muni – it’ll also help finance street safety measures that benefit cyclists and pedestrians.

Until now Muni and other transportation funding has come from the federal government and the city. While the fares that riders pay helps to adjust for population, it’s not all enough money to run the buses and the streets. With the recent rapid growth citywide, both Muni and the streets (and BART, but that’s another matter) struggle to keep pace with the demand. To put all this into content: San Francisco has grown by about 100,000 residents in the last two decades, and 20,000 residents in the last four years.
The additional cash would add up to about $23 million, with 25 percent going to pedestrian and cycling-related infrastructure. The rest would go to increasing Muni capacity. That roughly $5 or $6 million in cycling infrastructure could buy plenty of bike elevators or some new sidewalk bulb-outs, bike lanes, green boxes — all things that would make streets safer for the more vulnerable road users (bikes, moms with strollers).

That figure would dramatically increase the money that’s currently earmarked for bike and pedestrian projects by about 15 percent. According to the city budget, San Francisco spends some $24.9 million on bike projects and $3.7 million on pedestrian safety projects.

Jeff Cretan, legislative aid for Supervisor Scott Weiner, who proposed the charter amendment, said that, based on the City Controller’s estimates, funding from the ballot measure would pump in $22 million initially, and increase up to $25 million in the following two years. Cretan said that this measure was effectively a stop-gap to get more money to public transportation in lieu of the Vehicle License Fee(more)

$24.9 million on bike projects and $3.7 million on pedestrian safety projects seems like a rather unbalanced distribution given that there are so many more pedestrians that cyclists, but, then both biking and walking used to be free, so we’re not sure why they are so expensive.

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!