Last weekend’s Save Muni Summit, a non-MTA meeting of community members interested in talking about what’s wrong with Muni with one another, brought up several of the same revenue generation ideas as local think tank SPUR did.

But not everyone is digging SPUR’s much applauded recommendations for cost-cutting/revenue generation for our floundering transit/traffic system! Some merchants interviewed by the Examiner, for example, say that SPUR’s proposal to add meters across the city is “just a revenue-generating proposal” (uh, yeah,?) and another says he’s “gravely opposed” to it.

Over at Beyond Chron, the concerns are less about the inconvenience of meter feeding: in their words, SPUR’s report was “disability-biased” for its recommendation that blue (disabled) parking placard holders be charged $300 per year for the privilege.

As was noted at last week’s MTA meeting, this isn’t something that we can decide on here in SF — this is a call that can only be made at the state level. At the meeting, MTA board member Malcolm Heinecke acknowledged that this wasn’t something that the MTA can, just, do, and asked MTA head Nathaniel Ford if he could explore this with state authorities.

To Beyond Chron, however, the suggestion implies that “SPUR is targeting people with disabilities to make up money lost due to MTA’s lack of enforcement and lack of proper meter maintenance.”

Emails to SPUR to get their thoughts on BC’s assertions haven’t been returned at publication time — we’ll update if and when we get a response.

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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  • Greg Dewar

    SPUR’s plan was at least a start – some alternative to the proposals the MTA had. Not everyone is going to agree on every single detail of every single plan. If people at BC or elsewhere don’t like SPUR’s plan that’s fine – but ranting and tearing it down doesn’t do a bit of good for anyone.

    Anyone can get the Muni and MTA Budget, and anyone is welcome to draw up a reasonable alternative. I’m curious to see what others will produce.

  • Wil

    Perhaps related, are they getting any results from the increased fines and promised crackdown on placard abuse? This was announced in January:

    Seems like if they were to get rid of all the bogus placards, raising the price on the legitimate ones would be a drop in the bucket compared to the MTA’s overall budget deficit.

  • Alex Zepeda

    Oh for fuck’s sake. Having a car is a luxury even if you are disabled. Judging by some of the cars with disabled placards, it is quite a nice luxury. Charge more for the placards and/or require the placard holders to pay for the parking spaces. Use the funds to improve paratransit service (or improving ADA compliance on the regular routes).

    SPUR’s plan is absolutely pie in the sky in that it depends on changes at the state level, and is awfully optimistic about the income from some bits. OTOH, it’s a fantastic jumping off point… something that Ford, with his $300,000 salary, should have been able come up with in the first place. If taking one or two items from the SPUR proposal could save the 108 or 37 (or whatever community service line) from cuts, that would be a big win.