How bad does Muni have to get

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By Tim Redmond

Before Gavin Newsom is willing to consider extending parking meter hours to make drivers pay their fair share?

The budget picture is increasingly bleak, and Muni's talking about some very unpleasant cuts that may wind up to be ineffective; if buses are slower, dirtier and cost more, then fewer people will ride, and Muni will collect less fare money.

So how bad does it have to get? Does the system have to reach total collapse before Newsom is willing to take a little political risk and raise some money from people who drive downtown and park their cars?