A Whole Lotta MUNI News This Earth Day: MUNI Cops, MUNI Reports and Whatnot
This Earth Day, there's a bit of news in Ye Olde Chronicle about The MUNI...most interesting has been the splashback on the SFPD's money grab from MUNI, which is resulting MUNI having way more direct control over the traffic division of the SFPD than expected.
Already the SFPD had to back off of $2 million they wanted from MUNI - but now, because of the grab, 80 of their officers are now going to be taking orders from MUNI boss Nate Ford. The Mayor's office is claiming credit for this move, but as always, if they hadn't authorized the looting of MUNI in the first place, this never would have happened. I can't imagine the SFPD is happy to see their traffic division under the control of the MTA/MUNI, and one wonders if perhaps we had better budgeting this all could have been resolved better.
The Examiner reports on the ongoing Budget FAIL at local agencies, caused primarily by local and state leaders. Remember, folks, President Obama and the Feds can dole out "Stimulus Dollars" for capital projects, but they can NOT dole out cash to plug budget holes for operating expenses. Which means you will see that train get fixed or those ticket machines built, but you may not see anyone able to service them. Or fix them. Or you'll see them idled because there's no cash to make 'em work. Sigh.
And finally, if you want to see some transit pr0n, MUNI daily service reports are now available online. This is something that should have happened long ago, but bureaucratic obfuscation kept it offline and whatnot. Anyway, go check it out and then go bug the Supervisors, the MTA, and the Mayor about it.
Finally, we hear that the mayor of Berkeley, the infamous Tom Bates has done away with his car and is now either getting a ride from his spouse (State Seantor Loni Hancock) in a Prius, or taking AC Transit. Naturally, San Francisco's mayor tools around in a pricey, gas guzzling faux-hybrid, but talks big talk about carbon this and offset that. You know things are tough when the mayor of Granolaville is outclassing you on that whole "walk the talk" thing....
UPDATE: An aide to Supervisor Dufty sent us a dispatch from the Mayor's office with more details....word is that Supervisor Dufty (who has emerged as an elected official who actually cares about MUNI) pushed for some changes after that Big Hearing last week where he and Supervisor Chiu (who also seems to like MUNI) raised the issue about the Looting of MUNI.
Because of some behind-the-scenes work by the Supervisor, the whole "pay for transfers" idea (which was silly since it is counter to every piece of advice transit agencies get) is off the table, and now DPT will be handling late night parking issues and 311 won't be looting so much money. Read about it here and make sure the next time you see Supervisor Dufty, tell him "thanks" for trying to help MUNI out.