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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Think Tank's 28 Ideas to Save Muni Millions -- Without Fare Hikes or Service Cuts

Posted By on Tue, Mar 2, 2010 at 7:45 AM

click to enlarge A plan that can't fail? - N-JUDAH CHRONICLES/LAUREN OLIVER -- USED WITH PERMISSION
  • N-Judah Chronicles/Lauren Oliver -- Used with Permission
  • A plan that can't fail?
Unlike March Against Muni, San Francisco Planning and Urban Research didn't take the streets or wield any bullhorns. Instead, they offered actual solutions to Muni's myriad problems. On Friday, the moderate think tank quietly wrote an open letter to Muni CEO Nat Ford, outlining 28 methods of saving the moribund transit agency millions, without resorting to the ubiquitous fare hikes or service cuts that we'll almost certainly see at today's Muncipal Transit Agency Board meeting.

SPUR Executive Director Gabriel Metcalf also recently penned an open letter to Muni's drivers as well -- though it's unlikely they enjoyed what he wrote. At Monday's Muni counter-march, drivers' union boss Irwin Lum said "We don't need politicians like Sean Elsbernd" whom he accused of demonizing the union operators. Elsbernd and Metcalf, incidentally, are cooperating on a Charter Amendment to reform drivers' pay and work conditions. So there you go.

In any event, here are some of Muni's 28 points (none of which start with the words "Thou shalt..."):

  • Stop paying the San Francisco Police Department to patrol Muni vehicles -- which they should be doing anyway (savings: $12.2 million);
  • Hire part-time drivers to work rush hours (estimated savings: $6 million);
  • Require operators to work 40 hours a week before earning overtime pay (estimated savings: $3.25 million);
  • Charge for parking meters on Sundays (estimated savings: $2.8 million)
  • Start issuing tickets for cars near Hall of Justice and City Hall (estimated savings $1.32 million).
We're sure the MTA is listening, right?

H/T   |   Curbed SF

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" is a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly, which he has written for since 2007. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers... more


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