Muni Budget Battle Rages On
borrowed this from the Chronicle
Friendly reminder, yours truly will be at the SF MTA Town Hall Wednesday March 10th and looking forward to some pissed-off comments.
If you have something to say to Muni but cannot attend, by all means shoot them a note. Come on, San Francisco, you claim to be a bunch of activists, now's your time to stop saving rainforests (Money for Jobs, Not War? Seriously?) and save your city.
Dozens of San Francisco activists, veterans of environmental, transportation and funding battles, joined together Saturday to build support for the city's embattled transit system.
"The focus is to reverse the downward spiral of Muni," said Gerald Cauthen, a transit activist and former Municipal Railway engineer who helped organize the "Save Muni Summit."
Participants, who met for four hours at the Women's Building in the Mission District, had no shortage of ideas.
Among them: Staff the buses with safety monitors to help keep order on runs frequented by students before and after school; expand the "proof-of-payment" program to more routes so passengers can board legally through back doors to speed service, create more transit-only lanes and add a recorded announcement requesting that people don't bunch near the front door.
But it was the call for more dedicated funding for Muni that drove much of the discussion. Muni has been hammered by a loss of state transit funding and a drop in local tax revenue. Last year the agency raised fares and eliminated some routes. Now there are plans to cut service an additional 10 percent on May 1. More fare increases also are in the works. And that's before Muni officials figure out how to close a looming $56.4 million deficit for the fiscal year that starts July 1.
Listen, the very last thing keeping me in this fucking overpriced hellhole I call home is the public transportation. I don't need to own a car and though Muni is filthy, unreliable, and kind of a hair-raising ride, it's tolerable and it has gotten me across this city a million times in 11 years. I'll never forget my first shaky 7-Haight ride from Market St in 1999 - even though that line was eliminated in the last round of budget cuts. How much more will San Francisco tolerate?
I think we know the answer. Expect more fringe Muni protests (either for or against) and typical San Francisco political posturing; you know, the groups that come to every protest just to wave their own signs (you know who you are, assholes who penetrate End the Fed with your tangentially-related causes).
Oh, and worse, more costly Muni service. Third time's a charm.
Do we have a choice?
In somewhat related news, I want a pair of these "2010 Nike SB Concept - Muni's" too but keep the chewing gum.