Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Muni is Ridiculous

Let's see if I have this straight. Muni seems incapable of getting its act together enough so that it runs somewhat on time. Note, that's not 100% on time. Its not even 95% on time. These incompetents, management and rank-and-file, more than a decade after it was mandated and being provided with every advantage have proved incapable of coming close to the voter mandated minimum for on-time of 85% of the time.

In case your wondering, currently Muni is currently only able to be on time 73% of the time during its most recent quarter. In fact, since 2005, Muni has not managed to do better than 73% (go to page 4).

Among the things that Muni has been able to increase over the past decade include how much we have to pay for their deficient, rude service. Consider this, in 2000, fares on the city's buses and trains cost $1.00. Fast passes cost $35.00. I guess, in light of the people who run the system, we should be glad that it took as long as it did (8 years) to double the fares. Not only have they doubled the charges for fares, Muni has also managed to hit its goal for each of the past 5 quarters in making sure that all parking meters are working within 48 hours of them being reported out of service.

In addition to the rising fares, we are treated to rising operator absences over the past five years. In 2008, we had operators failing to show for work when scheduled (or as Muni likes to call it "Unscheduled Absences") 11% of the time. In 2009, that rose to 14% (check out page 13). Good job Muni.

And then do I have to mention how Muni has gone and cut its service by 10%, effective May 1? (Somehow in government spending 10% cuts equals a 25% increase in fees to the citizens.)

So let's see. Double your fares. Fail to be on-time. Allow unscheduled absences to increase. Cut service.

And now, Muni's latest solution? Let's hit San Franciscans a little harder by extending parking meter hours to include Sundays and evening hours. And to what end?

Nathaniel Ford, executive director of the MTA (which Muni is a part of), says "If you look ahead to year two you have ... some light at the end of the tunnel." Based on what?

Its like the MTA and Muni people live in a fantasy land. The light at the end of the tunnel is because the Govenor has signed a new tax which will help fund local transit agencies like Muni. The problem is, this is the same as giving crack to crack addict. Muni has demonstrated that they are unable to govern their finances effectively. Every time we consent to giving them more money, they manage to waste it in new and interesting ways.

This has got to end. At what point do we admit that simply throwing money at the problem is not the solution?

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