munipiece2.jpgThough Muni’s 80 Neoplan buses are reaching the end of their useful lives, the SFMTA isn’t ready to part with those beloved vehicles just yet, planning a $21 million rehabilitation program for the coaches. But those fixed-up buses might come back to a lot less work, as the SFMTA is once again talking about reducing service for passengers.

As the Ex reports, the 80 ailing buses have been with Muni since 2000, which means they need new brakes, suspensions, transmissions, radiators, and more.

Most of these buses operate on such routes as the 71-Noriega, 28-19th Avenue, and 19-Polk. Though the plan is set to cost $21 million, SFMTA only has $12 million set aside for it, courtesy “federal and local sources.”

How will the MTA bridge that $9 million gap? That remains to be seen, but that didn’t stop the SFMTA board from approving the rehab plan Tuesday.

However, at Tuesday’s meeting, the SFMTA director Ed Reiskin also said that Muni “cannot afford to fund crucial programs, such as bus maintenance and cleaning, while maintaining its current levels of service,” reports the Ex.

The transit agency is looking at $19.6 million budget deficit for the new fiscal year, beginning this July, which means that the SFMTA is again considering “right-sizing its service,” as Reiskin described it at the MTA Board meeting Tuesday.

According to the Ex, Tom Nolan, president of the agency’s board of directors, said that potential service reductions seem “like a really good option.”

Muni cut service by 10% in 2010, which led, they say, to savings of $28.8 million. About half of those cuts, they say, were eventually restored.

The SFMTA says they are planning a series of town hall meetings next month to collect feedback on the service reductions, as well as other potential revenue generators including extending parking meter enforcement hours and charging cash-paying passengers 25 cents for a transfer.

Want more news, sent to your inbox every day? Then how about subscribing to our email newsletter? Here’s why we think you should. Come on, give it a try.

the author

Always in motion. April Siese writes about music, takes photos at shows, and even helps put them on behind the scenes as a stagehand. She's written everything from hard news to beauty features, as well as fiction and poetry. She most definitely likes pie.

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!
  • Greg Dewar

    If muni service is cut any more than it already has, it is going to start not being useful to many city residents. The fact that Tom Nolan is endorsing the idea says a lot – he’s a suburban politician who simply doesn’t believe in the mission of Muni or the SFMTA. Kind of sad during Muni’s 100th year.

    Don’t forget – Muni made some drastic cuts already (then, in a classic “1984” propaganda move said it was “restoring” some service, with a net cut the resuult). Cutting more and driving up fares will continue the Muni Death Spiral and continue to frustrate the people that the system was set up to serve.

  • Greg Dewar

    If muni service is cut any more than it already has, it is going to start not being useful to many city residents. The fact that Tom Nolan is endorsing the idea says a lot – he’s a suburban politician who simply doesn’t believe in the mission of Muni or the SFMTA. Kind of sad during Muni’s 100th year.

    Don’t forget – Muni made some drastic cuts already (then, in a classic “1984” propaganda move said it was “restoring” some service, with a net cut the resuult). Cutting more and driving up fares will continue the Muni Death Spiral and continue to frustrate the people that the system was set up to serve.