The upcoming weeks hold several key events for Muni’s future that transit supporters won’t want to miss, including an MTA vote on service cuts, public hearings on the budget, and a summit of groups trying to save Muni.
- MTA Board Vote on Service Cuts and Fare Increases: February 26
First, the MTA Board will be voting next Friday, February 26,
on a round of massive service cuts and fare increases that would go
into effect on May 1 if passed. Don’t get tripped up by the date:
Instead of the usual Tuesday MTA Board meeting time, it’s a special Friday
meeting at 9 a.m., in Room 400 at City Hall. As always, the public
will have a chance to comment.
- "March Against Muni": March 1
Not all of the upcoming events are policy-based, intellectual
affairs: a "March Against
Muni" will take place on March 1, which its organizers hope
will galvanize the MTA to start meeting its demands, including stopping
service cuts and fare hikes. The march is set to start outside Powell
Station at 5 p.m. and continue on to City Hall.
This event isn’t affiliated with
the summit or transit rider coalition that’s been forming, but seems to be tapping into a sense of frustration with
riders over Muni service. Several transit advocates bemoaned the
protest’s name, and its list of demands without solutions,
but anything that puts pressure on City Hall to do something about Muni
may have something going for it.
- Muni Summit: March 6
A summit that will bring together Muni riders, transit activists and just about any group interested in saving the city’s transit system now has an official date: March 6.
As Streetsblog reported last week, there’s a great deal of transit activism arising from concern over the MTA’s budget crisis, which could lead to Muni service cuts of ten percent or more, plus senior/youth/disabled Fast Pass hikes and other fare increases.
Dozens of organizations across the city are banding together to come up with solutions to Muni’s ongoing budget problems at the summit. In addition to transit advocacy organizations, the summit’s organizers are expecting neighborhood groups, affordable housing groups, and, presumably, large numbers of individual transit riders from across the city to attend.
The summit will be held at The Women’s Building, 3543 18th Street, from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. on March 6.
- Town Hall Meetings on Budgets for Fiscal Years 2011 and 2012: March 10 and 20
As bad as the current budget crisis is, the next two fiscal years will be worse. Much worse. Even with deep service cuts, the MTA would still face a budget gap totaling $100 million over fiscal years 2011 and 2012. If the MTA were to balance that through service cuts alone, it would mean a cut of almost 30 percent from current service levels.
That’s why town hall meetings at MTA headquarters at 1 South Van Ness Avenue on Wednesday, March 10 (6 p.m) and Saturday, March 20 (10 a.m.) are so important: Both will discuss the budgets for the upcoming two years. Armed with ideas from the March 6 Muni summit, transit supporters should have time to present a unified front on medium- and long-term solutions to Muni’s budget crisis.
- MTA Board Vote and Hearings on Budgets for Fiscal Years 2011 and 2012: April 6 and 20
The MTA Board could vote on a two-year budget at its regular meeting on Tuesday, April 6 or Tuesday, April 20. Both are at 2 p.m. in Room 400 at City Hall. (MTA Board meetings on March 2 and March 30 (same time of day, same place) will discuss the upcoming budget without a vote.)
- Board of Supervisors Votes: TBD
Watch out for more key votes without announced dates yet: The Board of Supervisors must vote on any fare increases proposed by the MTA, and it also must approve the MTA’s two-year budget in May before it can be adopted. Stay tuned for dates on those meetings.
- Speak Up – Online
Finally, as Streetsblog previously noted, if you can’t make it to any of these meetings in person, you can let the MTA Board and the Mayor know what you think by sending an email through the SFBC’s transit page.