Municipal Transportation Agency rolls out budget

By Michael Cabanatuan : sfgate – excerpt

Everything from free Muni rides for senior and disabled riders to shutting off parking meters on Sundays will be on the table when the Municipal Transportation Agency considers its budget for the next two fiscal years. (Mayors Transportation Task Force Proposals)

The agency, which oversees all things related to transportation in San Francisco – transit, traffic, parking, taxis – has proposed a basic spending plan of $915.4 million for the budget year that starts July 1 and $943 million for the following year. The budget covers the anticipated costs of operating existing transportation services.

A separate capital budget proposes spending $646.6 million and $749.1 million on physical improvements, including Central Subway construction, replacing Muni Metro rail cars and some buses, building more bike lanes and pedestrian safety projects, and installing new traffic signals.

The budget also calls for an automatic scheduled fare increase to $2.25 for single-ride fares paid in cash.

What’s not included are the proposals to raise, reduce or eliminate some fares and fees, increase service, build pedestrian and bicycle improvements, and improve technology.

A major new expense, however, is also a big unknown: increases in contracts with Muni’s labor unions, which are being negotiated this year. A potential big cost reduction is a proposal to reduce or eliminate work orders: that is, money paid to other city departments for services.

Setting those priorities will be the job of the MTA Board of Directors, which officially receives the proposed budget and hold its first public hearing at 1 p.m. on Tuesday. A second hearing will be held on March 4, with a series of less formal town-hall meetings also planned(more)

What happened to the claims that Muni is broke? They found some money? Where? If you care about Muni money you should to send some written comments and consider showing up to the hearings. Also check out the comments on KQED Newsroom below for an explanation on why bond deals could be in trouble. Who tracks the money?

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KQED Newsroom: (5:40- 5:55)) “there was an 11 billion dollar water bond passed in 2009 that was loaded up with all kinds of pork projects, bike lanes, and everything else, and, they know that isn’t going to fly with the voters.”