Muni fare hikes, service increases touted in 2017 budget

By sfexaminer – excerpt

SFMTA staff also proposed charging more for use of “express” lines, like the 38BX or 30X, which ferry workers downtown with fewer bus stops. Charging $1 more for express lines could garner $5 million annually for the agency…

This is the best so far. This one really makes me laugh. After forcing “faster” express lines on Muni riders by cutting out bus stops, in opposition to many, and spending a fortune to do it, SFMTA is now floating the idea of CHARGING YOU FOR USING THE SERVICE THEY FORCED ON YOU.! Say it isn’t so. Please don’t let them get away with this!

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency is now floating ideas for its $1 billion budget.

The agency must decide the fate of Muni lines, street engineering, bike lanes and more for 2017–18, all hinging on the budget priorities from the SFMTA Board of Directors.

On Tuesday afternoon, the board heard the first presentation from SFMTA staff on the budget. Proposals ranged from boosting bus and train service, to increasing fares and fees.

“We have very modest shortfalls on a billion-dollar budget,” SFMTA Director of Transportation Ed Reiskin said to the board.

Reiskin cited rising pension costs and a higher-than-usual contribution to Caltrain’s budget as reasons for an anticipated $13.6 million budget shortfall in 2017.

Much was on the table to correct that shortfall…

No action was taken on the budget, and the SFMTA is seeking public comment on its proposals. The board is expected to vote on budget priorities in April…(more)

Offer on bus service could result in 30 Golden Gate Transit layoffs

By Mark Prado : Marin Independent Journal – excerpt

As many as 30 Golden Gate Transit employees could lose their jobs under a proposal approved by the bridge district board of directors on Friday.
The Golden Gate Bridge district provides buses, drivers and support staff for the Marin County Transit District, which operates routes within the county. The Marin County Transit District has been losing money in recent years and wants to renegotiate agreements with Golden Gate Transit.
In January the Marin transit board issued a notice “of intent to terminate” the contract with Golden Gate Transit, a procedure that must be done two years in advance as spelled out in the current agreement.
On Friday the bridge board made an offer to the Marin County Transit District that would provide 25 percent less service, which would provide a savings for the county. But along with that reduction, up to 30 people would have their jobs eliminated from the bus division…
The district gets 51 percent of its revenue from taxes: 37 percent from a local half-cent transportation sales tax, Measure A, which voters approved in 2004; and 14 percent from property taxes…” (more)

The fiancial truth about the costs of public transit systems needs to be told. All are all heavily subsidized and therefore not sustainable. They all rely on outside sources to pay the bills. Increasing ridership does not help, it adds to the costs according to most analysis.

Cutting Marin bus service into the city cut would put a dent in SFMTA plans to continue to eliminate parking spots for commuters into San Francisco. Or do they expect people to crowd onto the even more expensive ferries?

We need more commuter parking options in San Francisco, not less if we want  jobs to stay in San Francisco. Pitting residents against commuters will not work. Commuters need drive into the city, park and take Muni. It is up to SFMTA to make that happen.

Related:
Golden Gate officials ban political, religious and other ads from buses

More Muni riders, fewer rides

By: Will Reisman : SFExaminer.com

Plagued by aging vehicles and budget constraints on overtime pay for drivers, Muni’s service levels continue to deteriorate at a time when more people are riding the system.

In July, Muni missed an average of 650 service trips — a one-way trip on a line — each weekday. The missed transit runs account for roughly 5 percent of the agency’s total daily schedule. In March, the agency missed roughly 3 percent of its daily scheduled trips, meaning the number of missed service trips has increased from 390 a day to 650 a day over the past five months.

One contributing factor to the missed trips is that about half of Muni buses are at their retirement age and another 40 percent are expected to reach that mark within three years, leaving the fleet prone to frequent breakdowns. Although Muni is set to receive 45 new buses next year and 60 new ones in 2014, it currently has one of the oldest fleets of transit vehicles in North America, according to the agency…

Time for the SFMTA to consider hiring a real Muni leader who CAN fix Muni so people can use it. Put away the toy trains and tricycles and hire a professional. FIX TRANSIT FIRST!