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Release date: 2/17/10

*** Press Release ***

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), which operates Muni, issued the following statement today on last night’s vote by the Transport Workers Union Local 250-A to reject an agreement that would have helped reduce the impact of the unprecedented $17 million current-year budget deficit on SFMTA customers. The most significant cause of the ongoing budget problem is the reduction of $179 million in funding from the State of California over the last three years.

“We are clearly disappointed by the outcome of last night’s vote,” said Nathaniel P. Ford Sr., SFMTA Executive Director/CEO. “But we must continue working to find a way forward that reduces the pain that the budget deficit is causing our customers.”

The agreement rejected last night by TWU Local 250-A was developed in negotiations between the union, Mayor Gavin Newsom and SFMTA leadership. It would have reduced the SFMTA’s costs by $14.75 million, with $1.95 million coming in the remainder of Fiscal Year (FY) 2010, which ends June 30, and $12.8 million coming in FY 2011. Among other measures, the agreement would have meant that Operators would pay their own retirement contributions and would have had to work a full 40-hour week before they could collect overtime (existing work rules allow Operators to collect overtime even if they called in sick earlier that same week). The union vote was 857 against the agreement and 575 in favor of it.

The SFMTA Board of Directors is expected to vote on a series of budget-balancing actions at a meeting on Friday, Feb. 26. Among the proposals under consideration is a 10 percent reduction in Muni service (primarily through reduced frequencies on most routes and lines) and an increase in the cost of a monthly pass for seniors, youth and people with disabilities to $30 (a previous action approved an increase from $15 to $20 this May 1). The SFMTA had planned to lower the Muni service reduction to 8 percent and shelve the monthly pass increase to $30 for seniors, youth and people with disabilities if the union agreement was ratified.

For more information on the SFMTA budget visit

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