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1. Call to Order

Chairman Vaughns called the meeting to order at 2:10 p.m.

2. Roll Call


  • Shirley Breyer Black
  • Wil Din
  • Michael Kasolas
  • James McCray, Jr.
  • Peter Mezey
  • Cleopatra Vaughns

3. Announcement of prohibition of sound producing devices during the meeting.

Chairman Vaughns announced that the ringing of and use of cell phones, pagers and similar sound-producing electronic devices are prohibited at the meeting. She advised that any person responsible for the ringing or use of a cell phone, pager, or other similar sound-producing electronic devices might be removed from the meeting.

4. Approval of Minutes

On motion to approve the minutes of the February 15, 2005 Regular Meeting: unanimously approved.

5. Communications

Board Secretary Boomer announced that the meeting had originally been scheduled to take place in Room 250 but was moved to Room 400 due to a Board of Supervisor’s committee meeting that lasted longer than anticipated. The overflow room was in the North Light Court. She also announced that the March 1 Regular meeting had been cancelled.

6. Introduction of New or Unfinished Business by Board Members

Director Din stated that the North Beach and Chinatown garage rate normalization issue that was raised last year was still open. He hopes that the matter gets resolved.

7. Executive Director’s Report

-Ongoing Activities

Executive Director Burns stated that staff would be bringing the Potrero Avenue Traffic Calming Plan to the Board at the March 15 meeting. Staff worked with the community for over a year and is pleased to see it come to a conclusion. Following the Board’s consideration, it will be presented to the Board of Supervisors.

The San Francisco Bicycle Plan Policy Framework is moving forward. The Planning Commission approved amendments to the General Plan and Board of Supervisor’s approval is expected within the next few weeks.

The American Automobile Association (AAA) donated two radar speed display signs. They are being installed on 19th Avenue. Final testing will occur on March 1. AAA will be holding a press event including Supervisors Ma and Elsbernd.

Hotel Vitale is scheduled to open on March 9 with a ceremony at noon. This project was an effort to find other sources of revenue. The hotel operator, Joie de Vivre, has a 65-year lease. The MTA expects to receive approximately four million dollars in revenue each year.

8. Citizen’s Advisory Council Report

Dan Murphy, Chairman, CAC, stated that the CAC had not met since he last presented their recommendations. They recommend that the senior, disabled and youth fast pass be raised to $12 but that the case fare remain at .35 cents.

9. Public Comment

Bob Planthold stated that the MTA board was unresponsive and unaware of what was going on and wondered if the board was doing their job. He pointed out that grass was growing on the escalator steps at the Church St. stop that people slip on when the steps get wet. He wondered why directors weren’t riding the system and aware of these issues. He urged the Board to be proactive.

Ernestine Weiss asked what happened to TransLink and NextBus. She hasn’t seen anything happen to help buses stay on track and tell people when to expect the bus.

Charles White commented that he thought it was interesting that Muni hadn’t printed a timetable since 2002. Muni buses smell like half the homeless population spent the night there. Where is the money going?

Barry Taranto stated that in September, the Board approved a debit card paratransit program. He inquired about the new contract and suggested that there was a conflict because the contractor also represented cab companies. He suggested that staff look at improving staffing levels in the enforcement department.

Andrew Sullivan noted that car drivers park in the bus lane during the evening hours on Sacramento St. He urged the Board to think about stricter enforcement and expanding the time restriction.

Chairman Vaughns closed public comment and requested an update on TransLink and NextBus. Exec. Director Burns stated that Phase 2 of the TransLink project was currently being rolled out. It is anticipated that Muni will come on line by the middle of next year. The NextBus project is active and is being installed on trolley buses. There have been problems with the contractor meeting the terms of the contract. He expressed hope that it will be operational throughout the system within the next 24 months.



10. All matters listed hereunder constitute a Consent Calendar, are considered to be routine by the Municipal Transportation Agency Board, and will be acted upon by a single vote of the Board. There will be no separate discussion of these items unless a member of the Board or the public so requests, in which event the matter shall be removed from the Consent Calendar and considered as a separate item.

(10.1) Requesting the Controller to allot funds and to draw warrants against such funds available or will be available in payment of the following claims against the MTA:

  1. Ann & James Kong, Superior Ct. #425185 filed on 10/7/03 for $4,773
  2. Farmers Insurance, Superior Ct. #431453 filed on 5/17/04 for $6,034.90
  3. Le Van Nguyen, Unlitigated Claim #0501998 filed on 12/17/04 for $6,137.12
  4. Amica Ins. for Wendy Umphrey, Unlitigated Claim #0501812 filed on 10/21/04 for $9,659.14


(10.2) Approving the following traffic modifications:

  1. ESTABLISH - PERPENDICULAR (90-DEGREE ANGLE) PARKING – Andover Street, east side, from the southern property line of 717 Andover Street to the northern property line of 779 Andover Street.
  2. RESCIND - NO PARKING, 7 AM TO 6 PM, EXCEPT SUNDAY and ESTABLISH - TOW-AWAY, NO PARKING ANYTIME – Sheridan Street, south side, between 9th and 10th Streets.
  3. ESTABLISH - UNMETERED MOTORCYCLE PARKING – Shotwell Street, east side, in front of 337-339 Shotwell Street and 27th Street, north side, between the driveways of 318 and 322 - 324 27th Street.
  4. ESTABLISH - RESIDENTIAL PERMIT PARKING AREA "W" (2-HOUR TIME LIMIT, 8 AM - 6 PM, MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY) - York Street, east side, between 19th and 20th Streets (700 block) and Rhode Island Street, both sides, between 24th and 25th Streets (1300 block). (Explanatory documents include a staff report, and resolution.) (DPT)


(10.3) Recommending that the Board of Supervisors concur with the Controller's determination that it is more economical for the Municipal Transportation Agency to contract for paratransit services than to provide the same service with City employees for Fiscal Year 2006. (Explanatory documents include a staff report, Controller’s determination and resolution.) (MUNI)


No public comment.

On motion to approve the Consent Calendar:

ADOPTED: AYES – Black, Din, Kasolas, McCray, Mezey and Vaughns



11. Approving the Municipal Transportation Agency FY 2006 Budget in the amount of $605,583,780; declaring a fiscal emergency caused by the failure of agency revenues to adequately fund agency programs and facilities for FY2005 and FY2006; finding that modifications in fixed route Municipal Railway fares and the reduction or elimination of the availability of existing transit service are statutorily exempt from CEQA review; certifying that the FY2006 budget is adequate to make substantial progress towards meeting the goals, objectives, and performance standards; authorizing the Director to issue paper tokens and include paper token rates on the fare schedule on a permanent basis; approving the fixed route Municipal Railway fare schedule including increases to all fixed route fares; approving the schedule of parking citation fines, parking meter rates and residential parking and contractor permit fees and recommending that the Board of Supervisors adopt legislation to increase these charges; approving the increase in City-owned parking garage rates; approving the waiver of fares on New Year's Eve 2005; authorizing the continuance of the Class Pass program; authorizing the Director to increase the administrative fee for vehicle tows; authorizing the implementation of short-term experimental fares; authorizing an agreement with BART for use of the Fast Pass on BART in San Francisco; authorizing an agreement with BART for Muni to accept payment from BART for providing connecting bus service to BART stations. (Explanatory documents include a staff report, resolution and attachments.)

Executive Director Burns stated that it was known that the process would require difficult and unpopular choices since the budget process began last October. The MTA is required by the City Charter to have balanced budget by March 1. Staff was presenting a recommendation that was a “shared approach”. Staff received comments from stakeholders and interested groups by both formal and informal means. First, staff was recommending an increase in the base fare by .25 cents and raising the discount fare from .35 to .50 cents. Transfers would be free and people could still use their fastpass on BART. This recommendation introduces a new fare media, the lifeline pass for low-income families. Staff is working with the Department of Human Services to work out the details. The second area, raising meter rates, parking and garage fees and fines, is the largest area where staff was looking to address the shortfall. The last area is service cuts. Staff is working with the Metropolitan Transportation Commission to allay $10 million in service cuts, which would leave $13 million in service cuts to help fill the deficit. These cuts will be defined over the next sixty days but staff will start with the $7 million in service cuts from the FY05 budget. Staff will follow all requirements and processes and will secure the required approvals before adjusting the schedule

Exec. Director Burns discussed the status of the longer-term budget items. Most require voter approval and won’t help address the FY2006 budget problem. The Controller won’t certify a budget based on speculation. Also included in the budget resolution is a declaration of fiscal emergency; the formalization of the use of paper tokens, authorization to continue the BART Fastpass and feeder service agreements. The resolution also authorizes the Director to make technical adjustments. As a matter of practice, all adjustments would be brought back to the Board for discussion.

Stuart Sunshine, Deputy Executive Director, presented the FY2006 budget including revenue, expenditures and solutions to balance the budget. Even with the proposed fare increase, Muni is still on low end of the top 25 transit properties.

Chairman Vaughns thanked Mr. Sunshine for the comprehensive budget overview. She stated that the Board had not addressed internal aspects of the budget because they had been engaged in the deficit over the past months. She then asked if there were any significant internal personnel or administrative changes that had been made. Exec. Director Burns replied that there were no major changes as staff’s approach had been to preserve what they had. He reminded the Board that last year, the MTA had reduced staffing levels by over 200 administrative positions. The only new initiative in the budget was the $3 million for start-up costs for the Third Street project.


Ernestine Weiss stated that she was outraged to see the rates increase for seniors, students, and the disabled. She suggested that business improvement districts should pay. Drivers have to stop admitting people with drinks on buses because it increases the cost to clean the buses.

Bob Planthold, Senior Action Network stated that they were against fare increase and service cuts. The burden should be put where it belongs by increasing parking fines and garage rates to market rates. This isn’t a transit-first budget. It’s a share the pain budget. Continuing the BART/FAST pass contract continues the bias against seniors and the disabled. Don’t pass the budget alter it.

Bruce Allison asked if the Board wasn’t afraid of a backlash if the budget was approved.

Toni Cox expressed the thought that the budget was an attack by the insurance agencies. The “growth machine” gutted Los Angeles’ transit program. The insurance industry was railroading a passive commission into raising fares and allowing elite and well-educated egos to burden the poor.

Andrew Sullivan, Rescue Muni made specific recommendations to make the budget more “transit first” and to meet the clean air plan. Rescue Muni expressed concern about deferred maintenance because those projects would allow Muni to run more reliably. It is worth paying $50 rather than $40 for street cleaning if Muni ran more reliably. He urged the Board to increase the fine and lower the amount being taken from the preventive maintenance. Rescue Muni strongly supports the lifeline pass but urged staff to make sure that fraud was prevented. Mr. Sullivan was pleased to hear about the long-term revenue sources.

Jim Chappell, SPUR, provided a letter. He stated that the City’s economic vitality depended on Muni. The proposed budget had everyone sharing the pain and was the correct way to proceed. He urged the Board not to cut service “across the board” because it would decrease ridership. He urged staff to consolidate duplicative services and to emphasize trunk lines.

John Cailleau stated that he totally supports Muni. He hasn’t had a car since 1988. He stated that Mr. Sunshine had put together and articulate budget that puts a majority of the burden on car drivers. He added that people would hate the MTA for raising fares and parking fees. He expressed the hope that all Board members rode Muni at least once a day and called the system “world-class”.

Sandra Boldridge stated that she stood at 3rd and Palou for two hours waiting for the 24-Divisadero. Finally she had to take a cab to her appointment. She stated that people were parking on the sidewalk on her street but when she called DPT to report it, the operator hung up on her and told her that the Parking Control Officer in her area couldn’t ticket people. If bus service is going to be cut, make sure that people have a place to sit.

Art Michel stated that he was a happy Muni rider who regularly rides the N-Judah. He called it “on-time and speedy”. He spoke in favor of the fare increase and was opposed to deferring maintenance. He stated that having a pass for low-income people undermined the need to keep fares low. He added that because transfers were free, a fare of $1.50 was for three rides.

John Fitch stated that he would support an increase to $2.00 but the increase should be implemented after the Third St. light rail line had opened. The 23-line needs to be cut because the operators are paid more than the revenue they bring in. It’s not cost effective. Seniors and the handicapped should ride for free. Students should ride free from 6 a.m. till 3 p.m. Deploy car cleaners at end of the lines to clean buses.

David Pilpel expressed the belief that the operating budget had been put on a credit card in the past and that the bill was now due. People are quick to criticize the Agency and the budget but were slow to propose solutions of their own. A redoubled effort needs to be made to involve the workers in the decision making process. He provided a “marked up” copy of resolution containing his suggestions. He commented that the Board had not set goals for FY06, but was certifying a budget that stated that significant progress could be made on achieving those goals. He expressed support for the recommendation and called it the “best solution to a bad situation”.

Jeremy Nelson, Transportation for a Livable City (TLC), stated that TLC was seriously disappointed that there was only one budget on which the Board was voting. Presenting only one budget robs the Board of the opportunity to vote on different budget scenarios. He applauded management for increasing parking and garage rates. Public Transit and automobile use are not equivalent public goods. Parking rates should be raised to the maximum. The budget is not fair and balanced and should be rejected.

John Rizzo, Sierra Club, stated that their membership was concerned about mass transit and believed in the transit-first policy. The budget doesn’t abide by that policy. He called for no fare increases and no budget cuts. This budget shifts the burden to the middle class.

Barbara Groth stated that Muni has always been the best. Having push buttons that allow people to board through the back door is the source of the whole problem. There shouldn’t be increases to taxes, parking fines or fees. Fares don’t need to be increased. Drivers aren’t challenging people who get on the back. Glue the rear door shut or don’t allow people to use them to board from the back.

Rosiland Orcutt stated that Chairman Vaughns had ignored her when she raised her hand to speak. Directors aren’t paying attention. We are against fare increases and service cuts because they play with our livelihoods and contribute to murder of a different source. This is wrong and misinformed.

Prince Bush wondered why people had to take Mr. Sunshine’s word on the budget. In two weeks, he counted 4,000 people who boarded through the back door. The MTA should charge people who don’t live in the city but who come to the city to work. Bus drivers get cussed out for asking people to pay. It doesn’t make sense to raise fares for seniors and students.

Alice Mosley expressed her appreciation for the comprehensive service Muni provides but suggested that the fare increase will be very hard on seniors and low-income people. She understands that the duress was due to cuts from the state and federal governments and reluctantly accept the fare increase but only if other revenue sources are pursued. The MTA should embark on an education program to tell people that accidents are due to car owners and not by pedestrians or muni riders.

Roger Bazeley stated that the budget was very complex. He wholly supports SPUR’s position. If the fare is too high, you will lose ridership. Bus Rapid Transit is important to grow ridership and to provide connectivity. Traffic congestion in San Francisco is not that bad. There has been a lack of parking in certain areas but you can always park in garages. He supports the lifeline pass and suggested that staff continue to work on tightening up routes where ridership was low.

Stephen Gildersleeve, Haight Ashbury Neighborhood Council, stated that he assumes that the 7-Haight was being cut but wasn’t sure because service cuts weren’t being spelled out. He agrees with TLC’s proposals. In addition, DPT needs to go after overweight SUV’s.

Marco Marriott expressed surprise over the number of people who boarded the bus through the rear doors. He commended operators who refused to move the bus until people either paid or showed that they had a transfer. He sees some drivers who hand out transfers that last all day, which means Muni loses money.

Marc Solomon, Green Party, stated that his understanding is that the agenda was set in violation of Sunshine ordinance in a seriatim meeting by polling the directors. The Agency has not pursued ways to call for user-fees to be passed by the Board of Supervisors prior to fare increases. If there is a fare increase, they see six votes at the Board of Supervisors to reverse the problems of Prop. E. There is no mandate to keep fares low. Do your job to make sure you don’t give the public a 50% fare increase in 24 months. He stated that the Agency had not proven that a fiscal emergency existed or that they had a plan to get on firm fiscal footing.

Due to a bomb threat at City Hall, the meeting was suspended at approximately 4 p.m. The meeting was reconvened at 5:15 p.m. and public comment continued.

David Giesen stated that Muni fares didn’t need to subsidize landowners but did. They add value to property values because transportation is accessible.

Susan King spoke against any service cuts or fare increases. If you cut service and raise fares it will not be good value. People will skip taking Muni, which will result in reduced revenue. The Agency should encourage people to ride. It would be better for the city for the environment. Plenty of options have been laid out for the MTA that should be implemented before raising fares and cutting service.

Paul Hogarth stated that the Harvey Milk Club endorsed the platform of the Coalition for Transit Justice. The club is opposed to cutting service and raising fares.

Rosalind Lord expressed opposition to the fare increase and suggested that downtown contribute to repairing the problems we face.

Chairman Vaughns closed public comment.

Chairman Vaughns requested that the Board consider during their deliberation the comments they had heard during public comment and suggested that they keep those comments in perspective. She stated that the overall objective was to serve the needs of all riders and residents of San Francisco and further stated that the issue of fairness and equity were important components of any decision.

Director McCray stated that he was prepared to look at option two and expressed concern about maintaining a vigorous review of all that the Agency does. He asked Exec. Director Burns to speak to the declaration of fiscal emergency.

Exec. Director Burns noted that the analysis indicated that the Agency had a shortfall of $9 million for FY05 and $55 million for FY06 in negative working capital. A declaration of fiscal emergency allows the Agency to proceed without going through a formal environmental review process. All other approvals are still required. He stated that it was important to support other sources of revenue so that the Agency doesn’t wind up in the same situation year after year. The direction that the Agency had gone in the past several years had been to use one-time sources to deal with budget problem. The Declaration sends a message that the MTA was in a severe deficit emergency situation that needs to be addressed. The declaration expires in one year.

Chairman Vaughns asked if it would be appropriate to think about ballot measures as additional solutions for future budgets. Exec. Director Burns stated that it was absolutely appropriate. The Agency is looking at several options and it hopes to build a coalition for the ultimate measure. He stated that none of the measures would help for the FY06 deficit. Staff would be looking for direction from the Board, the Mayor’s office and the Board of Supervisors.

Exec. Director Burns stated that the budget was adequate to make substantial progress on the goals however, if the budget changed, staff would reassess that declaration.

Director Din stated that he wanted to see more teeth put into the resolution and offered the following amendment:

“Muni will not request another fare increase until off-peak meaningful evening, late night and weekend service hours meet the on-time performance and service delivery standards called for in Proposition E”.

Director Din stated that the Agency needed to be accountable if it was going to cut service. This amendment would address off-peak, late night and weekend service and was a show of good faith to the public.

Chairman Vaughns agreed with the intent of the amendment and cautioned the Board that the longer-term revenue solutions may or may not come to pass. She stated that amendment as stated could prevent future Boards from considering other options.

Exec. Director Burns also agreed with the intent of the amendment and cautioned the Board that the longer-term revenue solutions may or may not come to fruition. He suggested that the amendment could prevent future Boards from considering other options, however, the matter was a policy matter for the Board.

Director McCray stated that Director Din’s amendment spoke to the concerns he had heard.

Director Mezey commented that he didn’t think anyone would take issue with the intent of the amendment. He is worried that the amendment may tie the Board’s hands.

Director Din stated that the voters wanted the Agency to meet its service reliability goals. This amendment attempts to address that point, and at least in a small segment, it can be met. He expressed concern that the Agency was saying that it couldn’t meet the Prop. E goals.

Exec. Director Burns expressed appreciation for the Director’s comment. The Agency wasn’t saying that the goal couldn’t be met but that meeting the goals couldn’t be guaranteed. Any number of things impact service such as having to reroute buses due to the bomb scare that City Hall had experienced earlier today. Mr. Burns stated that staff was going to continue to try to meet the goal.

On motion to amend the resolution by adding “Muni will not request another fare increase until off-peak meaningful evening, late night and weekend service hours meet the on-time performance and service delivery standards called for in Proposition E”:

AYES – Din and McCray

NAYES – Black, Kasolas, Mezey, and Vaughns

The amendment failed.

Director McCray stated that he couldn’t support a resolution that didn’t have the support of the riders or unionized employees. They supported another resolution. This will have deleterious impact.


On motion to approve:

ADOPTED: AYES – Black, Din, Kasolas, McCray, Mezey and Vaughns

NAYES – Din and McCray

Director Din offered a motion to establish meaningful off-peak evening, late night and weekend service and to measure on-time service hour performance and delivery against Prop E established goals.

Deputy City Attorney stated that the proper procedure would be to provide notice to the public at a future meeting.

Chairman Vaughns stated that Director Din’s request would be scheduled for the March 15th meeting.


12. Approving increases to parking rates for the Lombard Street, Moscone Center, North Beach, Performing Arts, Polk, Bush and San Francisco General Hospital Medical Center Parking Garages. (Explanatory documents include a staff report, resolution and attachments.)


David Pilpel complimented staff on the proposal. He suggested that jumping the rates too much and too quickly might not be desirable from a fiscal perspective.

Jeremy Nelson, Transportation for a Livable City stated that he was happy to see the analysis of the garage rates. The only way to maximize revenue is to charge the most possible based on market rates. The way to maximize revenue is to charge demand responsive pricing. He suggested having different rates based on different demands throughout the day.


On motion to approve:

ADOPTED: AYES – Black, Din, Kasolas, McCray, Mezey and Vaughns


13. Requesting the Board of Supervisors to authorize the Director to execute Amendment #2 to the Emergency Interim Service Agreement and Property Use License for Towing, Storage and Disposal of Abandoned and Illegally Parked Vehicles with AutoReturn to extend the agreement up to July 30, 2005. (Explanatory documents include a staff report, resolution and agreement.)

No public comment.


On motion to approve:

ADOPTED: AYES – Black, Din, Kasolas, McCray, Mezey and Vaughns

14. Authorizing the Director to award the SFgo Initial Phase System Integrator Contract to PB Farradyne to provide the central system software, video server system, associated hardware and system integration services for SFgo, for a total contract amount not to exceed $699,961. (Explanatory documents include a staff report, resolution, and agreement.)


David Pilpel noted that time to complete deliverables wasn’t included in the resolution or staff report.

Exec. Director Burns stated that the contract term was one year.


On motion to approve:

ADOPTED: AYES – Black, Din, Kasolas, McCray, Mezey and Vaughns

ADJOURN - The meeting was adjourned at 6:24 p.m.

A tape of the meeting is on file in the office of the Secretary to the Municipal Transportation Agency Board of Directors.

Roberta Boomer

Board Secretary

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