Supervisor Carmen Chu: Changes to Muni Service

Changes to Muni Service

Conversations around the Municipal Transportation Agency's (MTA) budget have been evolving rapidly over the past year. The MTA's ability to manage and balance its budget changes as new revenue projections come in and as decisions are made at the local, state or regional levels on potential funding sources. Balancing the MTA budget is also impacted by conversations around labor negotiations that attempt to reduce the cost of MTA operations.

On May 1, the MTA budget was proposed to the SF Board of Supervisors for consideration. As you may know, part of the budget included service reductions which were already implemented in May (worth about 10 percent of Muni operating hours).

Recently, however, the MTA announced that it would be able to reverse half of the service reductions because of additional increased funding from the SFCTA and regional MTC and because the MTA cut additional costs within its operations.

The restorations of 5 percent of service cuts for Muni will become effective in September.

Some of the service restorations impacting our neighborhood include:

The L-Taraval and N-Judah lines will see owl services (late night) restored to arrive every 30 minutes just as it had been scheduled before the May reductions. (Note: the frequency of L and N lines were not changed during the work week even when service reductions were implemented because of the heavy ridership on those lines.)

The May change for the #29-Sunset bus was a reduction in frequency beginning at 11 p.m. on weekdays and an earlier last trip time of 11:40 p.m., versus 12:20 a.m. The restorations would restore the last trip time back to 12:20 a.m. but would not change the frequency that begins at 11 p.m. and later.

If you have any other specific inquiries regarding Muni route changes, please contact us at (415) 554-7460 or chustaff@sfgov.org.

Discounted Youth Passes

Recently, the Municipal Transportation Agency's Board of Directors approved the allocation of $1.5 million to cover the cost of providing approximately 10,000 low-income youth monthly passes to the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD).

The monthly passes will be available beginning in September of this year at a cost of $10 per pass. The SFUSD is currently developing a plan to distribute the passes directly to eligible students.

Parking Meters

Residents may have heard of initial thoughts by the MTA to extend parking meter hours. At this time, the two-year budget as proposed does not include expansion of metering on Sundays nor does it include extending meter hours to evening hours past 6 p.m. In the past, I have raised concerns over proposals to implement extended meter hours because I believe there could be a negative impact on the many small, local neighborhood merchant areas that are already struggling in this economic climate.

While the budget also does not include across-the-board meter rate increases (possible exception would be to existing SFPark pilot areas that may adjust meter prices up or down depending on demand), the MTA Board of Directors did vote to allow the department to pursue the placement of additional meters in the City. The locations have not been finalized, however, an initial hearing was held in June to receive feedback on the locations of the proposed meters. Based on feedback from the community, a number of proposed new meter sites were removed. It is important to note that the proposed new meter locations did not include sites inside Golden Gate Park. It is anticipated that the MTA Board of Directors will hear the proposal for new meters at select sites in early August. For more details on the specific meter locations, visit www.sfmta.com (no additional meters have been proposed for District 4).

Sunset Recreation Center

The Sunset Recreation Center will be closed beginning January 2011 for its long awaited renovation. The $13.7 million project is funded by the Clean and Safe Neighborhood Parks Bond passed by voters in 2008. The SF Recreation and Park Department is working to mitigate the impacts of the closure and will be providing information on alternative sites for activities. Currently, the plan includes keeping the fields open as long as possible (even after January 2011) before the field renovation takes place.

Parkside Branch Library

The Parkside Branch Library, which is currently closed for renovation, is slated for re-opening at the end of this year. Although funding has been secured for the renovation of the building, the Friends of the San Francisco Public Library has been busy raising funds to supplement the project. The funds will go towards the interior of the library, like purchasing furniture and computers. There's still time to donate! Contact Tamara Gonzales-Scheulov at Friends of the San Francisco Public Library at TScheulov@FriendsSFPL.org for more information.

San Francisco Supervisor Carmen Chu represents District 4.