Transportation

MTA board approves controversial budget

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By Adam Lesser

City Hall needed an overflow room to accommodate all the disenchanted Muni riders who showed up to protest the two-year San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency budget plan yesterday (4/20). The budget locks in a 10 percent service cut through July 1st, 2011, at which point the MTA board is hopeful that the service cut will be lowered to 5 percent. The controversial budget was adopted on a 4-3 vote, and now goes to the Board of Supervisors, where progressive supervisors have already signaled opposition to the service cuts. Read more »

Chiu talks MTA reform as agency fails to support Muni

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With the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency Board of Directors poised to approve a truly terrible two-year budget today (4/20) – one that locks in Muni service cuts, subsidizes the police and other city departments, and fails to seek new revenue sources – there is talk about reforming an agency run exclusively by appointees of Mayor Gavin Newsom. Read more »

Caltrain faces deep cuts, perhaps even closure

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Serious doubt was cast over the future of Caltrain today, with this vital commuter rail link threatened by the same funding cutbacks that are hobbling other regional transit agencies. The joint-powers agency might be forced to cut its service in half this summer – probably by eliminating night and weekend service -- or perhaps even shutting the system down.Read more »

Prop 17 discourages going car-free

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Efforts to encourage car-sharing and ways of getting around that don’t involve owning a car would be undermined by Proposition 17, a June ballot measure that I wrote about in this week’s cover story. While I didn’t mention that impact in the story, it is of real concern to people like me who don’t own cars and encourage others to try the car-free lifestyle on for size.Read more »

MTA board ponders bad options

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By Adam Lesser

If Friday’s San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency decision to cut Muni service by 10 percent was met with a backlash, it didn’t get much better this afternoon as MTA Chief Financial Officer Sonali Bose laid out further options for closing next fiscal year’s $56.4 million projected budget deficit.Read more »

Pressure builds to save Muni

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Widespread frustration with Muni service cuts and fare hikes – passionately expressed by the public on Friday at a San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency meeting that continues tomorrow (Tuesday, March 2, starting at noon in City Hall Room 400) – has prompted a surprisingly diverse backlash.Read more »

Muni cuts spark popular backlash

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Tomorrow’s big showdown over the latest round of Muni service cuts and fare hikes seems to be galvanizing transit supporters and giving birth to a rejuvenated progressive advocacy effort, including a new transit riders union led by noted alternative transportation advocate Dave Snyder. And that hearing is just a prelude to a taxi medallion privatization plan that will be heard in the afternoon and another big Muni budget blowout on Tuesday.Read more »

Sunday parking in the Mission

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I'm not surprised that merchants in the Mission want to retain free parking on Sundays. Times are tough for neighborhood businesses, and anything that would seem to discourage customers is frightening.

Of course, if the city doesn't expand parking meter hours, it's going to have to make even further cuts in Muni, which could impact the merchants even more.Read more »

MTA works on deep Muni service cuts

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By Nima Maghame

San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, which operates Muni, has pushed back a City Hall meeting (originally set for today) to make a decision on budget-related plans for cutting transit services by 10 percent across the city and raising prices on monthly passes, setting it for Friday 26th at 9 a.m. instead.Read more »

Bike Coalition chief takes a leave

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Leah Shahum, longtime director of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, will be taking an eight-month leave of absence to live with her partner, Ted Strawser, in Amsterdam, which is widely considered one of the world’s most bike-friendly cities.

“As committed to bicycle advocacy as I am, the idea of living in Amsterdam is like a dream come true, so there’s no way I couldn’t do it,” Shahum said of the opportunity created when Strawser, an accountant for Dolby Laboratories, was transferred to Amsterdam for a year.Read more »