18 Positive Steps to a better Muni
Vote NO on SF Proposition A
(Updated August 29, 2014)
Weasel Words: Unlike most bond issues, Proposition A does not allocate dollar amounts to identified projects. Nor does it provide mandates or cost breakdowns. Instead, it lists every transportation benefit imaginable, and then says: “projects to be funded under the proposed Bond may include but are not limited to....” This language gives the SFMTA license to spend $500 million dollars pretty much as it pleases.
Can the SFMTA be Trusted to spend 500 million dollars prudently? Not if the recent past is any guide. Throwing billions of dollars at this agency certainly hasn't produced much in the way of Muni benefits.
Failure to Meet Service Requirements: In 1999, Prop. E created the SFMTA with more funds and a 85% schedule adherence mandate, which it has never met. In fact, since 2006, Muni service has deteriorated. Bus speeds have dropped, crosstown runs cut, night time service slashed, 7 bus lines eliminated, 22 lines shortened and vehicle maintenance deferred.
Failure to Control Costs: SFMTA's current cost control system is in a shambles. This is nothing new. An independent assessment of the SFMTA, conducted for the Supervisors in 2011, found that the SFMTA seldom if ever met its project budgets. The cost of the Central Subway has soared, from $647 million in November of 2003 to $1.6 billion today, and its still rising.
Proposition A Slapped Together by Amateurs: As written Proposition A fails to:
o restore the Muni service eliminated during the last 8 years
o prepare Muni to accommodate San Francisco's oncoming population
o ease the peak period crush in the Market Street subway
o put SFMTA's financial house in order
Instead of a well thought-out, long range program, the SFMTA promises to spreads $500 million around to assorted unrelated projects in response to the clamor of assorted benefiting groups.
A Better Way: Let's tackle San Francisco's transportation difficulties in a serious manner. Send the SFMTA back to the drawing board!
Vote No on SF Prop A
Supposing you had a son who gets failing grades in school, can't manage his allowance and consistently fails to keep his promises.
Assume further that he tells you he needs $500, but when asked what he is going to do with it, refuses to provide any specifics. Instead he gives you a list of harmless-sounding items that he says he might spend it on.
If you as a parent would be willing to ignore your son's track record and give him the $500 under such circumstances, you are just who the SFMTA is looking for. As a SF voter you will be asked to help SFMTA planners spend $500 million pretty much as they please.
Mayor's TTF Misses the Mark
(Updated August 29, 2014)
Early in 2013 Mayor Edwin Lee announced the formation of a 46-person Transportation Task Force, convened to develop a long range transportation plan for San Francisco. The intent was to convince voters to pass a General Obligation Bond Issue, extend the 1/2 cent transportation sales tax and increase San Francisco's Vehicle License Fee. This was expected to raise a total of $2.955 billion, which was to be spent over the next 20 years on assorted projects selected by the Task Force.
Unfortunately the Task Force was comprised mostly of inexperienced individuals brought in to help win support for next November's ballot measures rather than pursue sound transportation planning. Read more here.
A Critique of the SFMTA's TEP
(Updated December 26, 2013)
SaveMuni has completed an analysis of the SFMTA's Transit Effectiveness Project (TEP). While TEP is clearly the result of significant investigation and hard work, it unfortunately fails to address many of San Francisco's most critical transportation problems. For a summary of our findings read more here.
The Central Subway,
SF's Gravina Island Bridge
For more information about the ill-conceived Central Subway and the grossly distorted cost, ridership and trip times claims that helped sell the project to an unsuspecting public click here.