Help us make our $25,000 match. Become a member today!

City's transit agency faces $53 million deficit for next two years

SF Public Press
 — Feb 22 2012 - 12:41pm

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency is looking for new revenue sources to balance its budget for the next two years.


Despite cuts in overtime and management reductions, the transit agency still faces a looming budget deficit of $19.6 million for the 2012-2013 fiscal year and $33.6 million for the 2013-2014 fiscal year. The current year's budget is $780 million.


The new projections from Sonali Bose, the transit agency's chief finance officer, is better compared than a November's projection, which totaled close to an $80 million deficit for the next two years. 


Old ideas have resurfaced including charging for meter parking on Sundays and after 6 p.m on weekdays, increasing single cash fares and charging for transfers for cash fares. Also added to the list was the elimination of transit passes for the agency’s employees.


Cutting Muni service is also a possibility. Ed Reiskin, director of transportation, said it would be an “honest option” to bring to the board to consider.


“The options at that point, absent additional revenues or additional expenditure cuts outside of cutting service... I think the options would be continue what we've been doing and maintain the frontline service, but not fully fund the supporting service like the maintenance, car cleaning and supervision,” said Reiskin.


In 2010, 10 percent of Muni service was cut, which saved the agency about $30 million. More than half of the service was restored later in the year.


Muni plans on increasing their Fast Passes for adults, youth and seniors automatically for the next two years. Adult passes with BART access in the city will increase to $74 beginning July 1 and then $76 the following year. The Muni only pass will increase to $64 and $66 the following year. Disabled, youth and seniors will also see an increases in their monthly passes beginning on July 1.


Reiskin, who became the transit agency’s director last year, said he did not want to start his job by recommending service cuts, but he said “if resources can't maintain the current level of service, it would the responsible thing to present the options accordingly.”


The transit agency is inviting the public to discuss the state of the budget at five town hall meetings in March. The public will able to talk with transit officials on the two-year budget plan and what is being proposed.


A budget panel created by Muni is also meeting to come up with short and long term revenue solutions for the board to consider. Reiskin said the panel is suppose to have short term solutions by the next March board meeting.


The board has until April to come up with a balanced budget.  


One Disgruntled Old Coot's OPINION.

Quit spending so much of the USA's wealth defending our ruling elite's, corporate USA's, etc. wealth flow from foreign sources at HUGE expense in dollars and We, the People's blood and use the saved money INSIDE the USA for the benefit of ALL.

As a society we need mass transit in as many cities and towns as possible.

For many reasons we need to encourage mass transit before it is FORCED upon a growing number of We, the People as a multitude of changes; internal and external to the USA forces it upon us.

Imagine a city with but half the vehicular traffic, perhaps less.

Quality of life issues.

Money savings for individuals if they can forgo ever-more-costly individual cars.

Just an opinion from a shanty-bound 'cross-the-holler Ozark Plateau dwelling human.

How many times have you received a parking citation and your ticket says "cannot read" under the VIN information, but when you could clearly see the last 4 digits of the VIN plate through your windshield with the naked eye!?

Have you ever tried to protest such a parking citation?

Here's just one fact/example: In 02/01/12, Officer TA (Badge #12) wrote 27 citations of which he said he “cannot read” the VIN plate information on all 27 of them. Could that really be possible? Could we be certain that Officer TA actually got out of his vehicle, looked through the windshield and verified that all 27 VIN plates are 'unreadable'?

I found out that SFMTA is about to complete its Street Sweeping Camera Pilot Project evaluation by this summer wherein it may ultimately decide to install front-facing cameras.

What this project doesn't address however is still the fact that SFMTA continues to allow some PCOs to violate CVC 40202(a) and its very own training manual and policies.

In 2011, SFMTA raked in $29 million in street sweeping citations alone! With the Street Sweeping Camera Pilot Project, it will undoubtedly add more revenue for SFMTA.

I just started a petition in

Please help us publicize this petition now and force SFMTA to FIRST follow the law before making more money out of us!