Some Muni Service “Restored” But Only For The Short Term…Let the Vuvuzelas of City Hall Blast Away!

So, a lot of vuvuzelas are being tooted at the MTA and City Hall for this so-called “restoration of service” that the MTA approved today, and that’s just lovely. Well, for the vuvuzela-tooters, anyway.
Lost in the shuffle is that all of this “restoration” talk is that this partial “restoration” is completely based on short term fixes, which mean that a year or so from now, Muni will be back to slashing service. Meanwhile Mayor Green Newsom and the Board can brag about how great they are. Even if the Muni operators had voted for the one-time giveback (which would have meant we could have virtually eliminated the 10% Ford-Newsom slash to service), it too was nothing more than a short term solution.
Now, don’t get me wrong – it’s nice to see at least some service restored, especially in areas that were hard hit by the cuts (thinking of lines like the 66 for example) and at least for now, we won’t have as many Muni failwhale regattas as we have been lately. But it’s not going to last long, and in the long term, we may be faced with worse choices later. Plus, once again we have the Mayor trying to sound like Mr. Transit, when a lot of the problem started, and remains with him and his handpicked management team.
There is some talk of some Muni “reform” measure by “progressive” Supevisors, but as of July 6th, there is no final plan, there is no campaign to get it passed, there is no money to get it passed, no track record of passing these things, no professionals in charge, and once again, we have a compromise to appease public employee unions that will likely sink it, given the way we were bamboozled in 2007 with Measure A and its compromises. That means that whatever long term local funding solutions are in this alleged package, it’s not likely to pass since as of now, with only a few months until the election, there is no operation in place to get a complicated law passed by the voters.
Meanwhile, the Fix Muni Now campaign has been up and running for months, and seems to have submitted enough signatures for the ballot, and that’s great. However, the savings that the Fix Muni Now proposition proposes won’t appear like magic overnight, and is designed to fix arcane rules and an outdated charter amendment. Any fixes it makes to Muni will take some time, which is not a bad thing – but again, that’s the thing with authentic, long-term solutions – there’s no instant showboat-y payoff.
For now, let the vuvuzelas of the politicians and the extremist groups drown out the sound of reason. We got 5% of our service back!
Update: It’s amazing to see how well the spinners have now got the press saying this is a “service enhancement.” No, it is not. It is returning half of the cuts made a few months ago. And don’t forget the cuts in December that Prince Gavin called “a major overhaul” of the system, when in fact it was more.
I hate to use an Orwell reference but this is so memory hole/chocolate ration. Seriously.

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2 Responses to Some Muni Service “Restored” But Only For The Short Term…Let the Vuvuzelas of City Hall Blast Away!

  1. To be fair, the SFMTA cut service in the first place in part because it had been denied State Transit Assistance funding. The STA is our tax dollars which have been set aside specifically for transit, but for the last several years it has been raided (much like the Prop A funding) to pay for other things.
    This funding will be partially restored next year (under a crummy deal that limits counties ability to levy fees/taxes on cars) which the SFMTA had already budgeted for the partial service restoration. So while everything said here about the need for long term funding solutions is true, in this one specific case there is an ongoing funding solution for the 5% service restoration and a one-time bailout is exactly what the SFMTA needed to tide us over until that state funding is available next summer

  2. @makfan says:

    Yes, it sort of like how my company trumpets the “Season of Reviews” after they have told us 20 times that there is no merit raise budget.

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