The Newsom/Ford Legacy: The Total Destruction of Muni (Or Maybe Not.)

Note: I got a guest spot at the SF Weekly blog, The Snitch this week! Check it out! It addresses some of the silly stuff the Board of Supervisors is considering.
If you’re not already aware of the iminent trashing of Muni by its own board of directors, you might want to read some of the detailed coverage so you can at least be prepared if they go through to just expect crappy, expensive service. SF Streetsblog has done a good job researching the dirty detailis, and other blogs have neatly summarized the proposal as well.
I’ll simply add this – the cynicism of this Mayor truly knows no bounds. He made a point of not mentioning anything Muni related in his lastet “State of the City” speech, saying at the time that his political aides from his failed gubernatorial run told him “not to.” Then they release these cuts to service late on Friday so no one would notice it. BraVO, “Mayor” Newsom. BraVO.
More importantly, the MTA board (appointed by Mayor Football Bat) apparently has a mental block on considering anything BUT service cuts and fare increases. The Mayor refuses to make auto owners pay their fair share for using the roads, and the MTA board refuses to consider any other sources of money. We cannot make up the giant hole created by the state with more parking fines, beating on Muni drivers, and cutting service and jacking up costs. This new proposal will pretty much ensure that smug green San Francisco will have a worse transit system than that in most Third World nations.
If you can make it to the meeting tomorrow, show up and let the MTA board know that you, as one of the hundreds of thousands of owners of Muni that you’re not satisfied with their performance, and you’re tired of their mismanagement costing you time and money.
If you can’t (because they insist on holding this during business hours when most of us are at work), write a lot of emails or letters to everyone: Supervisors, the “Mayor,” the MTA Board, and even the dead tree papers. Whether it will help or not remains to be seen, but even if the fools at City Hall are intent on making Muni even worse, we can at least give them a hard time about it.
As for me, an idea I’d thought about last month is starting to take on a new life. In 2010, we’re going to have a lot of folks running for office, all of whom will be stuffing your mailbox with a lot of junk mail saying how great they are. I’ve decided to create a “candidate questionnaire,” with the results posted here for everyone to see. We’ll find out who knows and who doesn’t know about getting around town these days, and we’ll have something besides pretty pictures and empty rhetoric to judge them by.
UPDATE: If you want to see just how far out of touch the MTA leadership is, go read this piece by Nathaniel Ford and Tom Nolan. The sheer amount of doublespeak they use in this thing boggles the mind. They basically say “every thing is fine, don’t worry, and oh yeah I guess we might have a problem, but oh well what can you do we’re still doing great.”
Remember that when we have one of our weekly downtown tunnel failwhale regattas. More importantly, if you ever wanted evidence that MTA Board members lie, this is an example. Tom Nolan admitted to SF Streetsblog that they pretty much do whatever the Mayor says, and if the Mayor says “loot Muni and screw Muni owners” then they do it. So which is it, Mr. Nolan?
UPDATE 2: The Market Street Railway people write a very informative letter going over the history of the F-Market Line, and point out how this won’t be the cash jackpot the MTA’s boneheaded staff think it will be, and how Muni is essentially contradicting the Transit Effectiveness Project’s report, and every statement they’ve said about the F Market Line in the first place. This was a point made in yesterday’s SF Weekly too.

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3 Responses to The Newsom/Ford Legacy: The Total Destruction of Muni (Or Maybe Not.)

  1. Sue says:

    Greg, here’s the SF Green Party transportation plank with lots of ideas for raising revenue:

  2. I really like your questionnaire idea and hope you’ll do it! Your guest post on SF Weekly and your posts here are so important in helping us wade through the muck and find out what’s going on.
    I also really appreciated your tweets yesterday from the meeting as I couldn’t be there myself.

  3. anonymouse says:

    Once again, I would like to suggest my idea of a revenue audit department. Have just a few undercover agents throughout the system to make sure that people are doing their jobs: giving people extra hours on their transfer is giving them free rides, which is stealing from the company. Letting people in through the back door and giving them a free ride is stealing from the company. Fare inspectors standing around and talking with each other rather than roaming the system inspecting fares is stealing from the company. Stealing from the company ought to be sufficient reason for immediate termination. I suppose the union might not like this, but how would they like it if their paychecks were randomly reduced by arbitrary amounts every month?

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