sfist – excerpt
Former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown’s love affair with the San Francisco Municipal Transit Agency is clearly at an end, after an up-and-down romance that’s spanned decades. What’s replaced Muni in the mayor/lobbyist/Chron columnist’s heart? Driverless cars.
It’s been a long time since then-mayor Brown raced an Muni Metro down Market Street, at the conclusion of the 12-day-long Muni Meltdown of 1998. Back then, problems with the light rail system’s new automated control system led to what the SF Chronicle described as “the biggest fiasco in the railway’s history…[that] approached low comedy,” with “trips that were supposed to take 34 minutes took two hours, and thousands of patrons in the Muni Metro subway gave up on the trains and walked.” Though Brown and then-Muni-director Emilio Cruz vowed that things would improve, the Chron concluded that “though the train control system has been performing better, Muni is unable either to meet schedules or provide a minimum level of service.”…
Thought the Ex reports today that the (buggy to this day) train control system is finally getting an upgrade, Brown seems to think that Muni might get more milage out of the money put into those repairs if they burned the cash for heat.
Brown crapped all over Mayor Ed Lee’s recent announcement that San Francisco would be putting $48.1 million into the transit agency next year, saying in his weekend Chron column, that “Mayor Ed Lee just announced that we are going to spend $48 million to try to fix Muni. What a waste.”
“It’s time to accept the fact that Muni will never run on time spend enough to keep the system from collapsing and start thinking about alternatives like driverless cars.”…(more)
All it takes is a ride across town in any mode of transit to recognize that Muni is rigged to fail. Muni is not the only problem. It doesn’t take any union interference to take down BART. That aging system takes itself down. The Bay Bridge may be the costliest mistake of the decade. Taxpayers should demand recovery of funds on that one. The tests should be charged to the manufactures, contractors and/or engineers who accepted the rods.
On the political front, does this mean Brown will support an alternative Mayor in November? Is he joining Rose Pak and other political foes to oppose Ed Lee and the Ed Reiskin runaway team of street thugs?