This is a prime example of privatization of our city streets

What are we going to do about it?

photo of rental parking and vehicle parked in daylight zone by zrants

SFMTA is NOT eliminating cars from our streets. They are replacing our cars with corporate-owned cars by creating unfair parking policies and signing private agreements that give parking preferences to corporate vehicles through a repressive parking program. They are selling public parking right-of-ways to their choice of private enterprises. SFMTA is picking winners and losers without regard for public opinion or engagement. Agreements and contracts are signed years before the pubic is notified.

What is the difference between privately owned Ford Gobikes, and Scoot parking spots for scooters or cars? They all remove public right of ways on public streets. Some corporations don’t even pay for the rights to do so because they created a deal to “share” the profits with the government entities that are removing your parking. (The first agreement was signed by MTC, a regional entity to conduct a pilot project to test the program. A more recent agreement was signed by SFMTA with Motivate that detailed how they would “share” profits. This agreement also gave Motivate much of the “free” curb parking space that belonged to the public. Motivate doesn’t even pay for the permit to install the bike stands. You do.) Who asked your permission to remove your parking rights?

Sharing or taking: The SFMTA is removing space from the public and giving exclusive right to use of that space to on-demand systems, they call “sharing” systems. As some supervisors have famously pointed out, sharing does not involve cash transactions. Free parking on city streets is true sharing and that is what the SFMTA is eliminating.

We have two choices to stop the privatization of our city streets:  One of them is to sue the city. The other is to remove the powers an authorities that the agency has uses to remove our rights. through the ballot intiative system. To do that you need to convince four Supervisors to place a Charter Amendment on the ballot to repeal or amend Prop E to alter the powers of that system. Or you need to collect a lot of signatures to put it on the ballot. Either one takes a lot of time and money and effort.

Talk to the candidates. Start by demanding support for change from the candidates running for mayor and supervisor positions. All the even numbered districts are up for election and candidates are looking for support now, along with those running for mayor. Find your local neighborhood groups and work through them to demand change.

Muni Delays Have Huge Negative Impact On San Francisco Economy, Report Finds – excerpt
How much money do rush-hour delays on Muni cost the city of San Francisco each year?
According to a report released by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency on Tuesday afternoon, these delays reduce the city’s overall economic activity by an estimated $50 million per year and are one of the main reasons why, over the first few months of 2013, Muni’s on-time percentage was a paltry 58.7 percent–well below 85 percent on-time rate mandated by San Francisco voters.
“We have not invested in this transportation system over the last generation,” said San Francisco Municipal Transportation Chief Ed Reiskin. “We’re nowhere close to being able to meet the 85 percent performance goal [imposed by San Francisco voters in 1999’s Proposition E] due to this underinvestment.”The report estimated that, just last month alone, Muni delayed its customers by 172,195 total hours… (more)

Muni Finally Issues On-Time Report Without Inflating Numbers

by Zusha Elinson : The Bay Citizen – excerpt

For the first time in more than a decade, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency released a report on the on-time arrival rate of its buses and trains without inflating the numbers…
Muni’s willingness to use accurate on-time numbers came after The Bay Citizen reported in July that Muni officials were using accounting maneuvers to boost the reported on-time rate by as much as 18 percent since 2001, according to an internal memo. The transit agency has been under pressure to improve timeliness since 1999, when San Francisco residents approved a ballot measure requiring the transit agency to be on time at least 85 percent of the time…
The Bay Citizen also found that Ford and another former CEO, Michael Burns, received bonuses that were tied directly to the inflated rates… (more)

Many San Francisco residents are fed up and want to break up the SFMTA, essentially repealing Prop “E”. They feel the agency is totally out of control. Repeated stories such as this one make it hard to trust the leadership.

Prop. E to blame for Muni budget mess

Letters to the Editor : SFExaminer – excerpt

Before the creation of the SFMTA, the Muni and DPT were fiscally responsible for balancing their own budget. The creation of the SFMTA changed the playing field by allowing the Muni to use parking funds to help balance their budget. The SFMTA raised the bar one step further by capitalizing on The City’s “Transit-First Policy” which was intended “to make Muni a convenient alternative to automobiles.” The unwritten interpretation of “Transit-First Policy” is now to make Muni a convenient alternative to automobiles by increasing parking fees to make Muni a convenient alternative…I think I’m one of the few that recalls the DPT’s first priority was to ensure unrestricted traffic flow and generating revenue was secondary.

Thanks for reminding us about Props E and A. How the Supes handed broad powers and controls of over Muni finances to the SFMTA in the hope that they would fix Muni and balance the budget. We also know that SFMTA has failed miserably in that attempt, choosing to spend time, money and energy re-designing traffic and bus routes and installing expensive high tech systems for “calming traffic”  rather than deal with the low tech issues of managing a transit system.