SFMTA discusses what to do with Muni surplus

: abclocal – excerpt

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) — The agency that runs Muni has a surplus for the first time in recent memory. So, why are fare hikes being proposed? That’s what lots of people who ride Muni buses and trains want to know, as they’re looking at the possibility of one ride actually tripling in price.

On Tuesday at San Francisco City Hall the public had its first chance to weigh in on this. Not that many showed up to the meeting, given that they are discussing a possible fare hike. The public has one more chance since there is a second hearing at City Hall on March 4.

The Metropolitan Transportation Agency that runs Muni is facing a surplus and there are many different ways the public could benefit. At the hearing, the agency was asking the public where some of that extra money should go… (more)

Maybe they could start by giving themselves higher salaries? Oh, that’s right, they already did that. How about paying down the debt? Or just hold off on raising fares and fees. Not enough money to do that either? Just how much of a surplus are we talking about?

The best transportation option in San Francisco might be one you’ve never heard of

Rakesh Agrawal : venturebeat – excerpt

Startups Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar get all of the attention when we discuss alternative transportation options in San Francisco. But one of my favorites is BMW’s little talked about DriveNow…

According to CEO Rich Steinberg, there are currently 70 vehicles in the San Francisco market. Although the service was off to a slow start, usage has now picked up, and the company is considering doubling its fleet.

Like Daimler’s car2go product, which I wrote about before, some of the expansion Steinberg would like to see has been blocked by the intransigence of the SFMTA. I asked why there were no DriveNow locations in the Mission or on the west side of the city. Steinberg said he’d love to have them out there, but he can’t find suitable parking spaces. The demand is there, but he can’t fill it.

In other markets in which DriveNow operates (all in Europe; San Francisco is the first U.S. deployment), cars can be parked almost anywhere in the city; there are no designated stations. But Steinberg couldn’t get the SFMTA to cooperate with such an approach.

I asked David Chiu, my San Francisco supervisor and the president of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, why this is the case.

“I’ve championed city car-sharing with past legislation and have also advocated for one-way car sharing, as I’ve learned about issues from some of the new providers,” Chiu responded. “I understand the SFMTA has been a bit slower on this new innovation than we’d all like.”… (more)

“some of the expansion Steinberg would like to see has been blocked by the intransigence of the SFMTA.”

Another complaint about the lack of parking in the city, and this time it is coming from a rental contractor set up by the SFMTA. The SFTMA Board spends more time fighting cars by removing parking, than it does running Muni. You know what to do about it. Letters of complaint and suggestions for expanding parking options near freeway exits can go to the parties listed here: http://discoveryink.wordpress.com/letters-and-comments/san-francisco-officials/