Warming Up: Muni Starts its Wastefulness Early Every Morning

By Joe Eskenazi : sfweekly – excerpt

Steve Foti is a great big teddy bear of a man who resembles a retired football defensive end. But he’s a retired bean-counter with the office of Harvey Rose, the Board of Supervisors budget analyst. On most days, Foti would find himself parked across from a pile of forms and files. But now it was 3 a.m., and he was parked across from the Muni yard on a chilly morning in 1996. He grins at the memory and explains his accounting adventure.
“It was like clockwork,” he recalls. “We’d heard rumors about this — they started coming in and turning the bus headlights on. And we were blinded by the headlights of hundreds of buses staring at us!” Some of those buses were allowed to idle for four-and-a-half hours; 15 minutes would have easily sufficed…
Cheney wants a charter amendment barring this practice in San Francisco. Ordinances in this city find their way into the blue, green, or black bins of history. Charter amendments, however, require six supervisors to place them on the ballot, and subsequently carry the gravitas of a vote of the people.
“Who on the Board of Supervisors is gonna say ‘We ought to be idling buses for hours’? Who’s gonna stand up for that?” says Cheney. “If they want, I’ll even help them write the legislation.
“We can turn the wheel,” he continues. “Even a little bit.”… (more)