Choco Muni Rations are Up, Even Though They're Down...
There was a lot of Muni news today, enough so that it's enough to make one's head spin - especially after the spin being put out there by certain candidates for higher office. Echoing earlier spin, we're now being told we're getting even more service "back" in the sense that the 10% cut made earlier this year won't end up being a 10% cut by sometime next year. All just in time for someone to look good in front of the cameras statewide. What a surprise. (Insert chocolate ration reference here.)
As we discussed in the Muni Death Spiral, and as I've learned since then, Muni's budgets are highly politicized and dictated to the agency out of Room 200 to look good for the short term. There's no real plan to either keep this service going, or restore the massive cuts of December 2009 (spun as an "overhaul" by Big Brother Gavin).
Why, just this week the many, many tax paid spokesdroids at Room 200 were continuing to prattle on old spin about "on time performance" - which doesn't cut the mustard with actual riders of Muni who experience unreliable service.
All we're doing is having a few one time givebacks to cover costs now - with absolutely no plan to find stable, sustainable cash for the long term. Deferring problems for later is a staple of SF politics. It is also short sighted. It's pretty obvious that Mayor Newsom and Nathaniel Ford don't care about any of this - they're both looking to leave soon anyway - and they don't mind sticking it to their respective successors down the road.
Right about now you'd expect "progressive supervisors" to chime in with some solution, but don't expect any help there either. But perhaps that's a good thing. They really need to take the time to understand Muni better, before sticking their noses. Too often, we end up with bad policy based on feel good progressive politics, not on helping make Muni run better for you, the Muni Owner.
Here's a suggestion absolutely no one will heed - let's pass Fix Muni Now, and let's get the MTA to get a handle on the costs it can control, without compromising safety or service. If the agency can show some good faith in reigning in its overhead without resorting to gimmicks like cutting training and maintenance, I think voters would be willing to replace the giant hole created by the illegal state looting of Muni with something local. I don't think they would this year, nor do I think they should.
I still don't see "driver pay" causing the majority of the agency's problems (it does not) but unchecked overtime is causing a problem, as it does in other city departments. Plus, the sheer amount of asinine statements out of the TWU leadership (note leadership not rank and file) is ensuring that FMN passes, because these "leaders" don't seem to have any sympathy for the Muni Owners at this time. (Please note many drivers DO care, and DO want to do a good job and make sure Muni runs well for you, though).
It's times like these that make me almost want to ignore these things, but I can't, when for every awesome day where Muni works like a charm is countered by 2 where I'm late to an important meeting or am stuck waiting for people who are stuck in unreliable Muni circumstances.