Connecting the Dots to Draw a Picture of Future Imperfect Muni FAIL

By now most people know about the upcoming weekends of whimsy on the N Judah Bus, and by now, most people know about the upcoming Really Big Cuts to Service that start in December. All as you pay more, of course. Whee.
However, few are aware of just how much worse 2010 is going to be if someone(s) don’t step in and figure out a way to stop the death spiral that Muni started a while back, and continued during a year of crashes, and other mishaps. That’s all common knowledge – what is not is that Muni is in far worse shape than anyone knows, and all the “cuts” in the world will not save it at all. (Insert “to save the village we had to burn it” citation here).
This is important for you, the owner/rider to know, because if you rely on Muni, your MTA board and Mayor are doing absolutely nothing to stop this at all. The MTA Board is incapable of making any decisions, and the Mayor has been AWOL for some time and isn’t returning to work anytime soon (at least not for us).
First, you’re going to pay more for Muni passes, A LOT more if you want to use BART within the city as you do now. If you’re wondering why you’ve only heard it at Akit’s blog, here, and maybe a few blogs, well join the club.
At best the MTA and Muni look sneaky, at worst, unaware of their own price increases. Some of the blame can be cast upon inexperienced Sups. Chiu and Avalos, who supported this increase and labeled it “keeping passes cheap for seniors.” (Insert George Orwell citation here).
Second, and more importantly, the Muni budget is worse off than they are willing to admit publicly.
We are way past the point of cutting a few jobs or a few routes – after years of illegal looting by the Governor (and Legislature), and semi-ilegal looting by the Mayor, Muni has a revenue hole that you could drive an N-Judah through. This means that despite big cuts and big fare increases, they’re still in a death spiral, which means, as always, you and I lose. And they’re even taking federal money meant to save Muni’s crumbling infrastructure and using it for a one-time budget hole fill.
All is not hopeless. San Francisco could take the lead in re-asserting local control over its own problems. Perhaps if the Mayor and the Board decided to put the same amount of time and energy they currently devote to issues that localities have no control over, and instead did something to show how a “world class city” could develop a decent transit system in a city that’s only 49 square miles, maybe, just maybe, people wouldn’t shake their heads every time they hear about the latest pronouncement from City Hall.

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One Response to Connecting the Dots to Draw a Picture of Future Imperfect Muni FAIL

  1. david vartanoff says:

    And as of Thursday ‘Daily Service Report’ accessible on MTA’s site, only 111 LRVs were roadworthy today of the 114 required to put the scheduled service on the street. The de facto cuts have been with us for years–TEP was the smoke and mirrors to cover future wholesale cuts. Muni seems determined to prove that quality government run transit is impossible (course any of us old enough to have survived previous privately run transit know they were just as crappy with different color uniforms). The BOS remains “incompetent, irrelevant, and immaterial” as if transit was an issue in some other city.

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