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Saturday, June 8, 2013

SFMTA (Muni) Invites Public to Meetings - But We Cannot Review Documents & Comments Email Address Doesn't Work

On late Friday afternoon around 5:20PM, I received an e-mail from the SFMTA inviting members of the public to review their draft document which could affect Muni with major service changes and fares.  Under federal law, public transit agencies must do a review under Title VI requirements of the Federal Transit Administration (FTA).

I've mentioned about Title VI before, when the Clipper card program wanted to impose a change to include a fee for obtaining a new card.  Read the story here.

Here's the e-mail message for you to read:

When you look at the letter, it mentioned that the agency created a draft of new or revised policies due to a change in the Title VI requirements by the FTA.  It gives a link to the FTA document to review the federal changes, and the SFMTA will be presenting their "draft policy" at upcoming meetings on June 22nd and June 25th.

I was interested in reviewing what the SFMTA drafted regarding possible changes for Muni, so I went to the bottom of the message and clicked on the link, but it referred me to the SFMTA search results page and not the website.  I even hand typed the address, including the "titleVIcomments" and still received the search page and no actual SFMTA Title VI website.

Thinking that this must be a mistake, I used their email address: TitleVIcomments@SFMTA.com.  I wrote that there's no SFMTA draft document to review, suggested a new e-mail be sent to the correct SFMTA website, and asked for a response within a week

Here's the response from the SFMTA, and it was a really quick response:
Click on image above to enlarge.

Yep... EMAIL ADDRESS DOESN'T EXIST.  That's pretty disappointing.

This has three huge issues:
  1. Why is the website link to the SFMTA website not going to the location of the document?
  2. If people just attend these public meetings without spending some time prior to review the document online so they can give proper comments to the SFMTA representatives and the Board of Directors, isn't that a violation of public hearing/meeting laws, or something like that?
  3. If people cannot e-mail comments because the e-mail address doesn't exist, is that also a violation of public hearing laws because the public cannot write to the agency?
I'm going to contact SFMTA's press department for further information.  I'll post an update when I get a reply.

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