Last week, the board of directors of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) took action to address a current year deficit of at least $12.1 million. The deficit could rise if budget solutions such as taxi medallion sales and overtime reductions are not realized.
Among other actions, the board approved requiring use of the $70 “A” Fast Pass on cable cars and express buses, increasing parking fines by $2 to cover a state courthouse fee and reducing Muni service by 10 percent by reducing the frequency on most Muni routes and lines and ending some service earlier.
“We deeply regret the need to move forward on these difficult actions,” said Nathaniel P. Ford Sr., SFMTA Executive Director/CEO. “The solutions are painful, but we are committed to working with our community partners to make the Agency stronger in the long run.”
In a pair of 4-3 votes the board approved a set of solutions totaling $14.4 million in revenue increases and expenditure reductions in recognition of the ongoing uncertainty around some budget line items. The 10 percent cut in Muni service will result in the agency eliminating about 230 positions, mostly through layoffs (including more than 175 Muni Operators). Muni service reductions and layoffs are expected to take effect on May 1.
In addition to the $2 citation increase, the board also approved an increase in some parking garage rates and an increase to the residential parking permit fee from $76 to $96 annually to fully recover the program’s costs. The board also approved measures to reduce and eliminate free city employee parking (including SFMTA employee parking) and free parking at city garages.