Appeal reporter Chris Roberts is at today’s MTA meeting, in which service cuts and significant fare increases for Muni are being discussed, and I’m watching on SFGTV.
He’s working on getting answers to your questions from the comments to yesterday’s article and more big picture stuff. I here to get you the gist of the discussion this morning:
Even before the MTA presented their proposals for service cuts and fare increases, MTA board chairman Tom Nolan expressed his displeasure with the MTA’s proposal to drop Owl service from every 30 minutes to once an hour, seemingly sharing Patrick’s concerns regarding the usefulness of such a line, as well as the safety issues for waiting patrons.
After the proposal you’ve already seen was presented, public comment began. Transbay Blog‘s Eric Chase posed some interesting questions about funding sources and the conspicuous absence of extended and new parking meters from the revenue generation plans, many decried the proposed increase the discount passes ($15 currently, $20 on May 1) to equal the Lifeline pass ($30), and others expressed the same general frustration with Muni we’ve all seen, heard, and done ourselves. Muni Drivers union head Irwin Lum proposed that street cleaning be returned to a weekly schedule (it’s presently every other week), saying that the resulting parking tickets would generate $4M in revenue.
After public comment,board members of course had a lot to say regarding the proposal.
Speaking most in line with the concerns posed by Appeal readers, board member Malcom Heinicke agreed with the public commenters that the discount pass increases were problematic, and questioned MTA head Nathaniel P. Ford about why more hadn’t been done to investigate expanded parking meter hours as a revenue source. He also asked Ford about Lum’s assertion regarding street cleaning, to which Ford responded that it was his understanding that the DPW was actually planning to clean the streets even less frequently.
Heinicke concluded by saying that service cuts need to be considered very seriously, as trains like the one he took in that morning are at to a “close to unacceptable level of crowding.”
When the board gets back from a brief break, they’ll go over the budget , then break for lunch for an hour. If you feel like joining in the fun, you can watch the meeting here.