Public Transit

MUNI Platform

As ratified at the SF Community Congress, August 15, 2010.

I.  Early Action Items

1. Start a citywide dialogue on Muni.  The discussion should be ongoing and should include motorists, Muni drivers, Muni riders, neighborhood groups, business people, labor groups, low income groups, ethnic groups, cyclists, seniors, youth and the disabled.  To get anything accomplished will require that people get together with the common objective of ending San Francisco’s public transit crisis and bringing Muni up to standard.

2. Muni employees should be encouraged to participate actively in the discussion of how best to fix Muni.  Drivers as well as riders are important sources of Muni experience and information.

3. Accountability, reasonable work rules and good performance are essential. At the same time it should be recognized that Muni’s drivers have difficult jobs and important responsibilities that warrant both good pay and proper respect…from both Muni riders and SFMTA’s Management.

4. To improve schedule adherence and communication with Muni drivers, and to address operating, security, personnel and other problems, significantly increase the use of street supervisors.

5. Place a high priority on decreasing the average 24-hour travel times of Muni vehicles by 10%.

II.  Improving Muni Metro Service

6. Speed up light rail service by eliminating signaling, loading, dispatching, traffic and other obstacles.

7. Attract 35,000 new Muni Metro riders by significantly increasing the peak-period carrying capacity of the Market Street subway.

8. Support SFTMA efforts to expand and modernize its electronic monitoring and control capability.

9. To reduce conflicts between automobiles and Muni vehicles, operate surface LRVs in 3-inch high transit-only medians or other transit-only space separated from automobile and truck traffic.

III.  Improving Bus Service

10. Speed up bus service by reducing traffic, traffic signaling, dispatching, and other obstacles.

11. Speed up loading by rear door boarding facilitated by the proof of payment system, supplemented as necessary with fare collectors and part-time loaders.

12. Place commuter buses in rigorously enforced, peak period transit-only lanes.

13. To smooth out and speed up the flow of buses, widen the sidewalks at bus stops.

IV.  Improving Transit Vehicle Flow along Congested Streets

15. Conduct test programs geared to improving the flow of transit vehicles on such heavily-traveled thoroughfares as Stockton Street, Columbus Avenue, San Bruno Avenue, Mission and Chestnut, including traffic calming techniques such as were used successfully on Market Street such as pre-empted signals, prohibited left turns and added right-turn only movements.  Arrangements designed to facilitate better Muni operations should not unduly interfere with the commercial needs of adjacent businesses or the travel and access needs of nearby residents.

16. Where needed to calm traffic and/or improve Muni operations, consider returning one-way arterials to two-way streets.

17. Study options for converting Grant Avenue between Market Street and Broadway to a Transit Mall featuring frequent, short-turning, low- floor buses, preferably free to riders, and with service vehicles allowed between 9:00 a.m. and noon on weekdays.

18. Continue implementing the San Francisco Bicycle Plan, with new bike lanes and other improvements.  Study further ways of ensuring the safe and amicable coexistence of pedestrians, bicyclists, transit vehicles and other traffic.

V.  Making it Easier to Ride Muni

19. Comfort and Convenience.  At the SFMTA it is essential that there be a renewed emphasis on customer service.  This applies to managers and other Muni employees as well as to drivers. Increased attention should be paid to keeping trains, buses, bus stops and stations attractive, clean, graffiti-free, well maintained and safe at all times.   Rigorous discipline and enforcement is part and parcel of such a program.

20. Loading and Passenger On-Board Distribution.  To increase passenger comfort and transit vehicle carrying capacity, a greater emphasis should be placed on getting riders to move to the back of the bus.  Such a program would necessarily involve some rear door boarding as well as good signage, diligence on the part of Muni drivers, an effective PA system and part time loaders at certain locations.

21. Seats for Seniors and the Disabled.  Additional steps should be taken to ensure that the seats designated for seniors, disabled passengers and children are available when needed. All new buses should be of the low-floor type.

22.  Aids to Understanding Muni Up-to-date individual route maps and schedules should be available at all times.   A one-page up-to-date chart of Muni routes showing hours of service and frequencies during different times of the day should be readily available to all Muni riders.

23. Raised Muni logo signs, 511 signs, and “Next-Bus” monitoring screens should be clearly visible at transit stops.

24.  There should be a San Francisco organization of transit riders.

VI.  Muni Vehicles

25. To ensure that LRV’s, cable cars and buses are replaced in a timely manner, a vehicle replacement sinking fund should be established and permanently maintained at an appropriate level.

26. To ensure that adequate spare parts are available at all times, the current Muni funding priorities should be changed as necessary.  A much greater priority should be given henceforth to Muni’s maintenance needs.

VII.  Developing the Necessary Revenue

27. Consideration should be given to granting qualified low income riders the same discounts given to senior citizens.

28. Expand the proof-of-payment (POP) system.  Improve POP technology, so it does not lead to the criminalization of transit riders. Strive to eliminate the need for policing the proof of payment system.  In the meantime take active steps to ensure that enforcement is fair and evenly applied.

29. Support the SFMTA’s program for expanding parking meter coverage, fee levels and hours of parking meter operation.  Set meter rates in City Garages and parking taxes in privately operated garages as required to moderate traffic congestion and provide an adequate supplemental funding source for Muni. Raise neighborhood parking sticker fees to $10 a month.  Pay special attention to ensuring that all required fees are collected from private parking garages.

30. Support roadway pricing while granting appropriate discounts to low income motorists.

31. Impose a one year moratorium on Muni fare increases. Thereafter, raise fares only to keep pace with inflation.

32. Demand that the State of California find ways of increasing the funding allocated to local transportation systems, such as by restoring the vehicle license fee and raising State gas taxes. Similarly demand increased federal support of transit operations and maintenance.  Demand the immediate reinstatement of the excise tax on automobiles as a source of desperately needed transit operating funds.

33. Restore the December 2009 service cuts as quickly as possible and further expand Muni service through additional financial support and a more efficient SFMTA operation. Additional city support should come from new revenue sources and not at the expense of other city services.

34. Support progressive taxation such as income and luxury taxes and make a special effort to minimize SFMTA borrowing costs.

VIII.  Getting it Done

35. As recommended by the Supervisor’s Budget Analyst, conduct rigorous outside financial and management audits of the SFMTA. Include a comprehensive analysis of all SFMTA work orders, contracts and auxiliary revenue sources.

36. Activate a team of independent experts dedicated to helping the SFMTA determine its long term goals, identify cost-cutting opportunities, develop new revenue sources, establish proper capital priorities, improve its existing operation and ensure that all capital, operating and maintenance funding is put to optimal use.

37. Emphasize Muni’s function as a multi-destination, multi-purpose transportation system that provides service to all areas of the city as opposed to a system geared primarily to getting commuters downtown.  Support the service enhancement elements of the Transit Effectiveness Project.

38. Make maintaining and improving Muni’s 70 existing lines the top priority.


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