ford_scooby.jpg

On the heels of Appeal readers’ claims the MTA town hall meetings to discuss proposed service cuts and fare increases to Muni were just a sham, and reported quotes from an MTA employee that seem to confirm that assessment, the SFMTA has announced that they will be rescheduling the board meeting scheduled to vote on those cuts from Tuesday, February 16 to Friday, February 26.

In its brief on the reschedule, the Chronicle notes that “the budget balancing proposal has drawn heat from Muni regulars who don’t want to pay more for less service.” Uh, yeah. That’s one way to put it.

In the press release announcing the reschedule, MTA chief Nathaniel Ford, who did not attend either of the twon hall meetings, says the reason for the delay is because “the comments and suggestions put forth by our customers and stakeholders deserve additional review by the Agency.”

This in a week of a 9 San Bruno that hit a woman in a crosswalk, Muni Metro service paralyzed after a wire problem, a 22 Fillmore that hit a fire hydrant and flooded the area, and groundbreaking on a new, very expensive line when we can’t even keep the old ones together. (I’m sure I’m missing a few, please do add in the comments). But all that, and it’s only Thursday! Yeah, I’d probably want to hold off on that meeting, too.

I’ve pasted the entire press release below, for your reading pleasure.

SFMTA Reschedules Board of Directors Meeting from Feb. 16 to Feb. 26 to Consider Public Feedback on Budget Among other actions, Board expected to vote Feb. 26 on proposals to close FY 2010 budget deficit

San Francisco–The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), which operates Muni, announced today that it has rescheduled its next Board of Directors meeting from 9 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 16 to 9 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 26. The rescheduled meeting date will provide the SFMTA with additional time to evaluate the extensive public feedback on proposals to balance the Fiscal Year (FY) 2010 budget. Close to 300 people attended the two Budget Town Hall meetings which took place in the last week; most attendees provided feedback on the budget-balancing proposals.

“These are difficult decisions and we greatly appreciate the thoughtful and constructive responses we have received,” said Nathaniel P. Ford Sr., SFMTA Executive Director/CEO. “We know these are painful proposals, and the comments and suggestions put forth by our customers and stakeholders deserve additional review by the Agency.”

The SFMTA is proposing reduced frequencies and earlier ending times on many Muni bus routes and rail lines (as well as other cost-saving and revenue-generating solutions) to close a $16.9 million shortfall in its FY 2010 Operating Budget, which ends on June 30. Significant budget deficits are also projected for Fiscal Years 2011 and 2012.

Among the other items likely to be on the Feb. 26 Board agenda is a proposal to implement a Taxi Medallion Sales Pilot Program.

The SFMTA is working to notify the public about the rescheduled Board of Directors meeting.

Updated Schedule of Public Meetings on SFMTA Budget

SFMTA Board Meetings (Room 400, City Hall)
FY 2010 Focus
Tuesday, Feb. 26 – 9 a.m. (possible Board action)

FY 2011/ FY 2012 Focus
Tuesday, March 2 – 2 p.m.
Tuesday, March 30 – 2 p.m.
Tuesday, April 6 – 2 p.m. (possible Board action)
Tuesday, April 20 – 2 p.m. (possible Board action)

SFMTA Town Hall Meetings (1 South Van Ness Ave., 2nd Floor Atrium)
FY 2011/ FY 2012 Focus
Wednesday, March 10 – 6 p.m.
Saturday, March 20 – 10 a.m.

Those who would like to comment and cannot attend one of the meetings are asked to send an e-mail to sfmtabudget@sfmta.com or call 311.

For additional information, please visit the SFMTA budget page: www.sfmta.com/sfmtabudget.

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 eve@sfappeal.com.

Please make sure your comment adheres to our comment policy. If it doesn't, it may be deleted. Repeat violations may cause us to revoke your commenting privileges. No one wants that!
  • Anonymous S

    Nat Ford was not the only person who did not attend on Tuesday night at One South Van Ness. Others who did not attend were: Mayor Gavin Newsom, his SFMTA Board of Director lackeys Chairman Tom Nolan, Director Cameron Beach, Director Jerry Lee, Director Jame McCray, Director Shirley Breyer-Who-Cares-If-She-Has-a-Relative-On-The-US-Supreme-Court Black, and Director Malcolm Heinicke. And who did attend? Director Bruce Oka …

    Indeed, I do believe we’ve got a sham going on.

  • Anonymous S

    Nat Ford was not the only person who did not attend on Tuesday night at One South Van Ness. Others who did not attend were: Mayor Gavin Newsom, his SFMTA Board of Director lackeys Chairman Tom Nolan, Director Cameron Beach, Director Jerry Lee, Director Jame McCray, Director Shirley Breyer-Who-Cares-If-She-Has-a-Relative-On-The-US-Supreme-Court Black, and Director Malcolm Heinicke. And who did attend? Director Bruce Oka …

    Indeed, I do believe we’ve got a sham going on.

  • moore

    What really want to know is what is the subsidies to those who drive cars vs thous of us who take the buss. ( and I bet the people who ride bikes are getting less for there tax dollar ) A 2005 artical(1) states “The total external cost to the City and its residents of driving probably exceeds $1 billion annually.” Now this is a complex number that includes lots of factors but just “Road Operations, Road Maintenance, and Roadway Services” apperenly cost a estimated at $180 million only 43% of which is covered by gas taxes.

    1): http://www.spur.org/publications/library/article/estimatingtheexternalcostsofdrivinginsf09012005

  • moore

    What really want to know is what is the subsidies to those who drive cars vs thous of us who take the buss. ( and I bet the people who ride bikes are getting less for there tax dollar ) A 2005 artical(1) states “The total external cost to the City and its residents of driving probably exceeds $1 billion annually.” Now this is a complex number that includes lots of factors but just “Road Operations, Road Maintenance, and Roadway Services” apperenly cost a estimated at $180 million only 43% of which is covered by gas taxes.

    1): http://www.spur.org/publications/library/article/estimatingtheexternalcostsofdrivinginsf09012005

  • Fast Lane

    Our MUNI system is a complete joke. Even if Nathaniel Ford and Gavin Newsom showed up, it wouldn’t have made a difference. They would just give lip-service, take a few photos and get tons of credit for doing something in the local press.

    This city loves to think that it’s a public transit friendly city but it’s not. The system is broken and they have no desire to change it. Buses & trains break down on a routine basis, drivers are rude and is now expensive. Even under optimal operation, transit times are too slow. There is no excuse for the 4 mile ride from Ocean Beach to Embarcadero on the N-Judah to be a 1-hour commute. To add insult to injury, they have the nerve to hire fare inspectors and to enforce to make sure people have paid in to this broken system.

    I avoid MUNI as much as possible and drive instead.

  • Fast Lane

    Our MUNI system is a complete joke. Even if Nathaniel Ford and Gavin Newsom showed up, it wouldn’t have made a difference. They would just give lip-service, take a few photos and get tons of credit for doing something in the local press.

    This city loves to think that it’s a public transit friendly city but it’s not. The system is broken and they have no desire to change it. Buses & trains break down on a routine basis, drivers are rude and is now expensive. Even under optimal operation, transit times are too slow. There is no excuse for the 4 mile ride from Ocean Beach to Embarcadero on the N-Judah to be a 1-hour commute. To add insult to injury, they have the nerve to hire fare inspectors and to enforce to make sure people have paid in to this broken system.

    I avoid MUNI as much as possible and drive instead.

  • Fast Lane

    Buy a car & get your monies worth.
    Bicycles are not a serious viable alternative for the masses. I do love to ride my bike but it is not a mode of transportation for myself, nor a vast majority of commuters.
    For one, many of us including myself require professional attire for work and showing up to work hot & sweaty from cycling just isn’t going to fly. A lot of jobs don’t have the facilities to shower & change at work. Also that extra work increases your overall commute.
    Also, who wants to ride a bike in the rain?

    Bicycles work well for some. It worked well for me when I worked while in college and had jobs that were not particular about appearances. I find it silly to hear some cyclist complain about not getting their “tax dollars” worth. How many painted bike lanes do you need? Want tax payer supported training wheels too?

  • Fast Lane

    Buy a car & get your monies worth.
    Bicycles are not a serious viable alternative for the masses. I do love to ride my bike but it is not a mode of transportation for myself, nor a vast majority of commuters.
    For one, many of us including myself require professional attire for work and showing up to work hot & sweaty from cycling just isn’t going to fly. A lot of jobs don’t have the facilities to shower & change at work. Also that extra work increases your overall commute.
    Also, who wants to ride a bike in the rain?

    Bicycles work well for some. It worked well for me when I worked while in college and had jobs that were not particular about appearances. I find it silly to hear some cyclist complain about not getting their “tax dollars” worth. How many painted bike lanes do you need? Want tax payer supported training wheels too?

  • moore

    Well if you are pegging me as a bike rider you are wrong. I like to ride my bike but it is not a viable commute option for me. Searosuly thou “How many painted bike lanes do you need”? are you kidding me; the cost of the striping so far can’t be more then pennies on the dollar compared to driving or buss subsidies. The point hear is that it appears that we subsidize driving over all other means of transport. Might be that if we maid every one pay for what they used we would have less traffic and a better public transit system.

  • moore

    Well if you are pegging me as a bike rider you are wrong. I like to ride my bike but it is not a viable commute option for me. Searosuly thou “How many painted bike lanes do you need”? are you kidding me; the cost of the striping so far can’t be more then pennies on the dollar compared to driving or buss subsidies. The point hear is that it appears that we subsidize driving over all other means of transport. Might be that if we maid every one pay for what they used we would have less traffic and a better public transit system.

  • kl2real

    It’s funny that the postponed the meeting to “finalize” this decision, but it was already finalized months ago. All these hearings are nothing more than bitch and moan sessions. Probably they’re taking turns smacking around the guy who told people the truth at last weekend’s hearing. Clearly, telling people the truth is the greatest crime of all.

  • kl2real

    It’s funny that the postponed the meeting to “finalize” this decision, but it was already finalized months ago. All these hearings are nothing more than bitch and moan sessions. Probably they’re taking turns smacking around the guy who told people the truth at last weekend’s hearing. Clearly, telling people the truth is the greatest crime of all.