City Audits Muni, Finds That It Indeed Sucks – excerpt

The city conducted an undercover audit of Muni buses and also audited their books to produce a report that, once again, shouts loud and clear that our public transportation system has problems. The report, which we’re not finding on the city website yet, seems to focus primarily on bus drivers and the ongoing shortage of drivers that ends up slowing the entire system down due to too many drivers taking leave. But it also includes a delightful description of a Muni driving instructor asleep aboard a training bus while a rookie driver navigated through busy traffic.

As Matier & Ross are reporting, the report contains a bunch of other infuriating details:

  • Muni cancelled 14,017 bus runs last year, or about 38 runs a day, due to drivers on sick leave, or the driver shortage in general. This is why that 22-Fillmore you were waiting for took so goddamn long to show up.
  • They spent $4.7 million in extra overtime in order to make up for the shortage of trained drivers.
  • They’re short about 100 drivers, and no one has done a good staffing analysis to determine how many drivers they need to maintain in their ranks.
  • They’re also short on driving instructors, partly because the instructor gig doesn’t pay overtime.
  • Half of the new-driver training classes scheduled in the first half of this year were cancelled because of instructor absenteeism.
  • The instructor caught sleeping on the job wasn’t fired, and is now a Muni supervisor.

Think about that the next time you’re tossed about on the 38-Geary and wondering where this guy/lady learned to drive… (more)

Muni’s contribution to San Francisco’s mental health

By: Melissa Griffin : – excerpt

Each year, the American College of Sports Medicine ranks the nation’s 50 largest metropolitan areas in its American Fitness Index. San Francisco ranked fourth this year, behind Minneapolis-St. Paul, Washington, D.C., and Portland, Ore. The Greater Bay Area gets good marks for the fact that almost 15 percent of people take public transportation to work, but low marks for “percent of days when mental health was not good.”
These things may be related.
Supervisor Scott Wiener has made it his mission to find a way to improve our public-transportation system, holding hearing after hearing on the status of Muni and its budget. Those meetings can be very depressing…
Reiskin will be coming to the Board of Supervisors this year to ask for $120 million in revenue bonds to make a small dent in the $2.2 billion needed in transportation infrastructure improvements. Additionally, the voters will be considering a vehicle license fee (likely in November 2014) expected to bring in $70 million per year to the general fund, where it will promptly be spent on things San Franciscans do not use every day…
Wiener is considering putting a measure on the same ballot with the fee to force the use of the new income for updating the physical transit system. Wiener also is considering a surcharge on tickets to events for the same purpose. Either proposal would need the approval of voters.
At the recent hearing, Reiskin acknowledged that, to get additional money, “We need to earn the credibility to get that support.”
No kidding… (more)