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Friday, January 15, 2010

$5 ride on the F-Market and Premium Charge on Express Buses - IS MUNI NUTS?

Our city's public transit agency is a complete insult. With SFMTA/Muni trying to fill-in their massive budget gap of $16.9 million, the problem gets worse and worse every single time the agency opens their mouth.

Streetsblog San Francisco reports
that as soon as May, Muni could be doing the following:
  1. Fare on the F-Market line would increase to $5.
  2. Cable Car service would require use of their "A" pass and the brand new "M" pass would be rejected.
  3. Express buses would also only allow the "A" pass and refuse the "M" pass.
  4. Discount passes would increase to $30/month.
  5. New service fees for SFMTA services online and at their customer service center on Van Ness.
  6. An extra $1.50 fee per citation issued by the SFMTA.
  7. Neighborhood parking permits would be raised to $96 ($20 hike).
  8. Reduction in service on all Muni lines (means less buses and trains on the road).
All these ideas are terrible. Muni should not be screwing with their loyal (and sometimes not loyal) customers. The city should be investing more into our public transportation system.

Muni tried some of these tactics before during the Frank Jordan era, and it FAILED so badly that Muni retracted their premium fare for express buses, gave back bus transfers, and issued a single pass for all adults.

Who in their right mind would ever ride the F-Market if the fee is $5? People could just wait at bus stops, gather four people and get to Fisherman's Wharf in a taxicab in faster time, and the taxi fee per person would be definitely less than $5 a head. What next, charge $5 for the 47-Van Ness and 49-Van Ness Mission because it gets to the tourist spots at the Wharf?

Express buses for a premium fee? I can understand charging a higher price for the Candlestick and Bay to Breakers express buses, but not the peak hour express buses. Those buses help reduce the passenger congestion on the local routes, especially the 1, 38, 38L, and 31 in the Richmond district. If pass prices stay the same and you can only use your premium "A" pass on the peak hour expresses, you would be spending an extra $120 a year just for that feature; for those penny pinchers, that means buying the "M" pass and riding the local bus lines just to save money.

And less frequency on bus lines? Some bus lines only operate every 20 minutes, so adding another 10 minutes would be terrible and ruin the good reputation of some of our best bus lines. Plus, if a bus breaks down, have a nice time waiting up to an hour.

Gavin Newsom promised that our city would be a "transit first city," but more of these bullshit price hikes and transit cuts makes us look more like a "car first city."

The citizens are fed-up with everything about Muni. Muni is the WORST managed agency in the entire city. If the SFMTA Board can't do the job, we the people must start yelling at the top of our lungs and demand change, starting with the IMMEDIATE RESIGNATION OF SFMTA CHIEF NATHANIEL FORD.

The next board meeting is: Tuesday, January 19th at 2PM in City Hall room 400. If you cannot be there, e-mail them. More info at: http://tinyurl.com/SCREWmuni

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The MTA is smart to have their meetings while most of us are working. Otherwise, we might actually be able to show up and give them a piece of our minds.