S.F. MTA approves 2-year budget

Posted on April 19, 2012

The board of directors of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) approved the agency’s two-year budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 and FY 2014. The fiscal year is July 1 to June 30.

The budget makes a significant investment in maintenance that will increase the Municipal Railway’s (Muni) 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, including all-door boarding.

The budget also provides free transit service for low-income youth, ages five to 17, who use a Clipper card, for a 22-month pilot program beginning Aug. 1, contingent upon funding from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission.

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.

•  Modernizing antiquated 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 between noon and 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.

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 $185 million in the Muni bus fleet to reduce maintenance costs and improve service reliability and $32 million in traffic and signal infrastructure for reduced maintenance costs and implement transit signal priority.

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