The board of directors of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), which oversees all transportation in the city, including the Municipal Railway (Muni), today approved the agency’s two-year budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 and FY 2014. The fiscal year is July 1 to June 30. This budget makes a significant investment in maintenance that will increase Muni’s reliability, reduce overtime through adequate staffing and focus on key initiatives such as the Transit Effectiveness Project (TEP) and other means to speed the system, such as all-door boarding.
The budget also provides free transit service for low-income youth, ages 5 to 17, who use a Clipper card, for a 22-month pilot program beginning Aug. 1, contingent upon funding from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission.
“The budget approved today invests in Muni’s future and the future of transportation in our city,” said Tom Nolan, chairman of the board of directors. “By supporting low-income families, Muni maintenance, the TEP and pedestrian and bicycling improvements, we further efforts to increase street safety and promote San Francisco’s Transit First policy.”
“The budget represents a significant investment in maintenance,” said Edward D. Reiskin, SFMTA director of transportation. “For far too long, our maintenance operation has been understaffed and underfunded, which adversely affects service reliability on a daily basis. This budget allows the Agency to invest in our infrastructure, including the buses and trains, the track and overhead lines and other aspects of the system so that we can address any issues before service is impacted.”
Other key components of the operating budget include:
Implementing management efficiencies. $2 million in cuts to management staff; $5 million reduction in overtime; and $1 million savings through improved management of worker’s compensation
All Door Boarding. The budget provides more than $1 million to support the implementation of all door boarding by July 1 of this year. All door boarding — which means passengers can legally board buses through any door, unless they are paying with cash — will have immediate positive impacts on the system, such as speeding up the boarding process, improving service reliability and reducing travel time. Additionally, faster service will result in savings that can be reinvested into the system through improved frequency and increased capacity, realizing long-term, sustainable benefits.
Additional safety and traffic personnel to improve traffic and transit safety and efficiency
Labor concessions. Projected savings on the order of $7 million annually related to salaries and benefits in labor contracts currently being negotiated.
Modernizingantiquated parking policies and expanding current parking management. Currently, parking is generally unregulated on Sundays, except on Port property. In the 1950s, when many of the city’s parking meters were installed to facilitate commerce, many businesses were closed on Sundays. Today, roughly three-quarters of the city’s businesses are open. This plan calls for enforcement betweennoonand 6 p.m. on Sundays, including four hour time limits. Plans also include adding more than 500 meters to the existing 29,000 to help increase parking efficiency in neighborhoods historically challenged with parking availability.
Offsetting State Citation Fees. Includes $5 increase in citation fees to cover two state-imposed court surcharges
“While we’ve made tough decisions in order to developa responsible, balanced budget, we have done everything we can to avoid additional fare increases and service cuts. This budget reflects our commitment to the city’s Transit First policyand allows for improvement in all modes of transportation,” said Reiskin.
Key components of two-year capital budget:
Sixteen capital programs funded. The Capital Budget consists of $582.3million in FY 12-13 and $477.8million in FY 13-14, funding various projects within 16 capital programs. Funding commitments include:
·Targeted $38 million investment in Muni Metro System track and signal infrastructure to improve service reliability
·More than $447 million to continue development of the Muni Metro T Third Central Subway project to decrease travel time and improve mobility
·Investment of $1 million in complete street improvements on Fell and Oak, adding a vital link to San Francisco’s bicycle network
·Investment in $7 million to continue implementation of the San Francisco Bicycle Plan.
·Investment of $185 million in the Muni bus fleet to reduce maintenance costs and improve service reliability
·Investment of $10 million in complete street investments in Department of Public Works’ paving projects, improving bicycle and pedestrian safety
·Investment of $2.9 million in creating safe environments for San Francisco children to get to school
·Investment of $32 million in traffic and signal infrastructure for reduced maintenance costs and implement transit signal priority
·Investment of $1.8 million to increase the electric taxi fleet infrastructure and invest in improved taxi access and reliability