News that the SF MTA is proposing cuts to every Muni line and fare increases for some was met with nearly universal dismay. (We told you so!)

The MTA presented that proposal to their board yesterday, in a gleeful romp of a meeting!

OK, not really. In actuality, both the MTA board and the public (who are given time to comment on the agenda items for the meeting) met the planned Muni cuts (Muni would prefer that we called their cuts “service changes” but we call them like we see them, folks) and fare increases with mingled dismay and disbelief.

As Jackson West reports, one public commenter “lamented, ‘We’re not customers, we’re hostages.'”

No decisions were made to slash Muni’s service yesterday (the only concrete result from the meeting seemed to be the MTA’s decision to postpone layoffs for 24 parking control officers from this Friday to February 26).

So what’s next for the MTA’s transit plans? They’re expected to present “a more detailed plan to close the budget gap” (that is, a revised service slash/price jack plan, yay!) at the February 16 board meeting (mark your calendars now!) that the board will vote to approve or deny on March 2. After that, any fare proposals must be reviewed by the Board of Supervisors. If all that goes through — and that’s a big if — changes could go into effect as soon as May 1.

Here’s what everyone else had to say about the meeting:

Ex: SFMTA directors unhappy with proposed fare increases, cuts If you only have time to read one article about the meeting, read this one (but if you’re that busy what are you doing reading this article? Get to work!), it’s a comprehensive but not overlong rundown of the Muni-centric part of yesterday’s meeting.

Chron: Agency gets an earful on Muni budget plan Don’t trip when you read the final line of this article, which says “Agency spokesman Judson True said staff will take another look at the reductions and also hold a series of public meetings before changes are adopted by March 2.” That makes things sound a lot harder, faster, and more definite than they actually are — see above for the actual timeline of proposal to adoption.

Streetsblog: MTA Directors Balk at F-Line Fare Hike, Want Meter Plan Back on Table This article’s focus is on extended parking meter hours as an untapped source of revenue, describing Board Chairman Tom Nolan as “conspicuously silent on the matter.” Ohhhh conspiracy!?

Guardian: Some Muni layoffs postponed for a month As noted above, layoffs were postponed for 24 of the folks some affectionately refer to as “meter maids.” They quote an SEIU (the union that represents the parking control folks) spokesperson who says “We crunched the numbers differently, [MTA] staff just plain had it wrong” in reference to the return on parking enforcement investment.

Oh, here’s some more that appeared after publication time: MTA Board Member Emerges as Riders’ Advocate — and Mayor’s Critic SF Weekly, Cabbies might be able to sell medallions Ex (yeah, a significant portion of the meeting was about cabs!) and in related news, Supervisors, state senator set to protest MTA layoffs today Ex

In the mood for more Muni talk? We’re going to be talking Muni live at 4 PM (Pacific) today with Matt Baume (of Muni Dead Pool and Muni Employees’ Salaries Consume Around 80% of Agency’s Expenses analysis fame) and SFist’s Brock Keeling, as part of our live show with VidSF, SF Views. We’ll be streaming the show from the Appeal then, so come join in the fun!

the author

Eve Batey is the editor and publisher of the San Francisco Appeal. She used to be the San Francisco Chronicle's Deputy Managing Editor for Online, and started at the Chronicle as their blogging and interactive editor. Before that, she was a co-founding writer and the lead editor of SFist. She's been in the city since 1997, presently living in the Outer Sunset with her husband, cat, and dog. You can reach Eve at

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