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Release date: March 29, 2012

*** Press Release ***

Today, Edward D. Reiskin, the Director of Transportation for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), which oversees all transportation in the city, including the Municipal Railway (Muni), released staff’s proposals to balance the agency’s upcoming two-year budget. The proposals make a significant investment in maintenance that will increase Muni’s reliability, reduce overtime through adequate staffing, and focus on key initiatives such as the Transit Effectiveness Project (TEP).

Staff will present these proposals to the SFMTA Board of Directors on Tuesday, April 3.

“These proposals represent a significant investment in maintenance,” said Edward D. Reiskin, SFMTA Director of Transportation. “For far too long, our maintenance operation has been understaffed and underfunded, which adversely affects service reliability on a daily basis. These proposals will allow the Agency to invest in our infrastructure, including the buses and trains, the track and overhead lines, and other aspects of the system so that we can address any issues before service is impacted.”

This budget would support an increase in maintenance and direct funds to key service initiatives by amounts of $17.5 million in Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 and $29.1 million in FY 2014. The fiscal year is July 1 to June 30.

Other key components of the operating budget proposal include:

All Door Boarding. The budget proposes more than $1 million to support the implementation of all door boarding by July 1 of this year. All door boarding – which means passengers can legally board buses through any door, unless they are paying with cash – will have immediate positive impacts on the system, such as speeding up the boarding process, improving service reliability and reducing travel time. Additionally, faster service will result in savings that can be reinvested into the system through improved frequency and increased capacity, realizing long-term, sustainable benefits.

Additional safety and traffic personnel to improve traffic and transit safety and efficiency

Free Muni for low-income youth. Utilizing partial funding from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, staff is proposing to provide free fares to low-income youth between the ages 5 to 17.

Labor concessions. Projected savings on the order of $7 million annually related to salaries and benefits in labor contracts currently being negotiated.

Modernizing antiquated parking policies and expanding current parking management. Currently, parking is generally unregulated on Sundays, except on Port property. In the 1950s, when many of the city’s parking meters were installed to facilitate commerce, many businesses were closed on Sundays. Today, roughly three-quarters of the city’s businesses are open. This proposal calls for enforcement between noon and 6 p.m. on Sundays, including four hour time limits. Plans also include adding more than 500 meters to the existing 29,000 to help increase parking efficiency in neighborhoods historically challenged with parking availability.

Offsetting State Citation Fees. Includes $5 increase in citation fees to cover imposed state court surcharges

Implementing management efficiencies. $2 million in cuts to management staff; $5 million reduction in overtime; and $1 million savings through improved management of worker’s compensation

“While we’ve made tough decisions in order to develop a responsible, balanced budget, we are doing everything we can to avoid fare increases and service cuts. These proposals reflect our commitment to the city’s Transit First policy and allows for improvement in all modes of transportation,” said Reiskin.

Key components of two-year capital budget:

Sixteen capital programs funded. The Capital Budget consists of $550.5 million in FY 12-13 and $472.8 million in FY 13-14, funding various projects within 16 capital programs. Funding commitments include:

  • Targeted $38 million investment in Muni Metro System track and signal infrastructure to improve service reliability
  • More than $447 million to continue development of the Muni Metro T Third Central Subway project to decrease travel time and improve mobility
  • Investment of $1 million in complete street improvements on Fell and Oak, adding a vital link to San Francisco’s bicycle network
  • Investment in $7 million to continue implementation of the San Francisco Bicycle Plan.
  • Investment of $185 million in the Muni bus fleet to reduce maintenance costs and improve service reliability
  • Investment of $10 million in complete street investments in Department of Public Works’ paving projects, improving bicycle and pedestrian safety
  • Investment of $2.9 million in creating safe environments for San Francisco children to get to school
  • Investment of $32 million in traffic and signal infrastructure for reduced maintenance costs and implement transit signal priority
  • Investment of $1.8 million to increase the electric taxi fleet infrastructure and invest in improved taxi access and reliability

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