Yesterday, the SFMTA Board of Directors voted on a range of measures to begin close the year end deficit currently figured to be $12.1 million. The meeting ran over and will be continued until Tuesday, but some decisions were made on Friday including a 10% cut in Muni service. Unlike the changes made in December, no routes or segments of routes will be eliminated as happened with Decembers cuts and there will be no new or increased service to offset the cuts.
Reduced service will comes through less frequent service, including a reduction in overnight “Owl” service which will now run only once and hour.
Also approved was an increase in fare for cable car and express bus riders by excluding them from the $60/month Muni-only “M” Fast Pass and requiring the riders use a premium $70 “A” pass or pay an additional $5 even with the “M” Fast Pass.
The Board voted against raising the Senior/Disabled and Youth passes by another $10, though an already-approved increase will still take effect raising the discount Fast Passes to $20 starting May 1.
The Board declined to eliminate free Sunday parking and extend parking meters hours in favor of a pilot project contingent on finding neighborhoods willing to participate in the pilot. SFMTA staff projected last year the extended hours and elimination of free parking would bring in an additional $17.4 million along with increasing turnover in parking spaces.
The Board will meet again on Tuesday, March 2 at noon to continue the budget discussion. Public comment can be made at the board meeting, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
A protest march against Muni is planned for Monday, March 1 at 5:00 pm at the corner of Powell & Market.
As the SFMTA Board of Directors hears public comment on proposed actions to address a $16.9 million deficit, Streetsblog San Francisco‘s Bryan Goebel is there liveblogging coverage.
At a meeting this Friday, February 26, the SFMTA Board of Directors will vote on a number of measures to cut Muni service and increase fares in order to fill a $16.9 million year-end deficit. Under the proposal posted online, Muni riders will be the hardest hit with a second round of service cuts and fare increases in less than a year.
Monthly Senior/Disabled and Youth Fast Passes will increase by $10. This will be in addition to the 5 increase scheduled on May 1, doubling the current $15 price to $30.
Also, like the $10 premium added in January for a separate Muni + BART Fast Pass, cable cars and express busses would no longer be included in the standard Muni Fass Pass and require a $10 premium as well.
Muni service will be cut 10% through longer headways on most routes and overnight “Owl” service reduced to once-per-hour. Unlike the service changes in December, no lines or line-segments will be eliminated, but there will also be no new or increased service to offset the cuts.
Customers will also be charged additional transaction fees when using the Customer Service Center at Van Ness & Market ($3.00 per transaction) and online ($2.50 per transaction to cover processing and postage) while the less law-abiding among us get break with only a $2 fee added to citations. Residential Parking Permits will also be increased $20 annually from $76 to $96 per year, the maximum allowed under a state law which caps the price of parking permits to no more than the cost of administrating the program.
While Muni riders will be paying more for less, the SFMTA did not consider extending parking meters or revisiting the policy of free parking on Sundays and holidays despite the fact it would generate $8.8 million in profit (even after covering the additional expenses related to enforcement) which could be used to offset the cuts planned for Muni service.
An earlier proposal to raise the F-line fare 250% from $2 to $5 (which especially worried members, readers, and merchant we heard from) has been dropped.
The SFMTA Board meeting will be held in Room 400 of City Hall on Friday Morning, see agenda for details.
The Chronicle reports on sfgate.com that Muni spokesman Judson True has stated, “Human error is the most likely cause of the accident” that badly damaged a Milan tram this morning. The report states that while tests are still under way, Muni has found no
problem with the J-Church train or the tracks.
At 6:20 this morning, a Breda LRV on the J-Church line rear-ended a Milan tram stopped on the track ahead. F-line streetcars use J-line tracks to go to and from their storage and maintenance facility. As indicated in this photo, the rear end of the Milan tram (No. 1814) was shoved in a considerable distance.
It is not yet known whether the main frame under the car has been seriously compromised, but at a minimum the damage will take a long time to repair. The injury toll is now reported as five people, including the operator of the Milan tram. None of the injuries is said to be life threatening.
The Chronicle quotes Muni chief Nat Ford as saying, “This accident is completely unacceptable. We must and we will continue our efforts to ensure the safety of our customers.”