Today’s Headlines

  • SF’s High-Speed Arterials Just as Dangerous With Double-Fine Zones (SF Examiner)
  • Caltrain Extension to Transbay Terminal Now a Priority for MTC (SFGate)
  • “BART: WTF With All the Broken Escalators?” (SFist)
  • C.W. Nevius Thinks Aggressive Cyclists (But Not Drivers?) Must Be Stopped, Not Educated
  • Scenes From Yesterday’s Sunday Streets at GG Park & the Great Highway (San Franciscoize)
  • City Insider Finds Poor Etiquette Towards Pregnant Women on Muni
  • As Bicycling Increases, So Do Bike Crash Lawsuits (The Recorder)
  • SFBG on “Why Free Muni for Youth Makes Sense”
  • All-Youth Proposal Would Take Maintenance, Low-Income Transit and Bike/Ped Project Funds (SFGate)
  • SacBee Tags Along On One of the SF Bike Coalition’s On-Street Training Courses

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • Anonymous

    Bruce Oka nailed it when they increased fines on double parking and sidewalk riding. Without enforcement the could make the fine a million dollars and it would not matter. And frankly, even with enforcement it doesn’t matter if nobody knows what the fine is.

  • mikesonn

    Look at the overall price difference. It’s $25 as only the “base” fine is doubled.

    “In the zones, motorists driving 16 to 25 mph over the speed limit would have their base fine doubled from $25 to $50. Along with other fees, the total cost would rise from $175 to $200.”

  • From the SFGate article regarding free Muni for youth: “The additional money needed to pay for free Muni rides for all youths would come from money set aside for bus maintenance, transit projects for low-income neighborhoods, and bike and pedestrian improvements, agency staff said Friday.”

    I’d like to see a list of projects that will be cut.

  • mikesonn

    FTFY SFGate:  “The additional money needed to pay for the Central Subway would come from money set aside for bus maintenance, transit projects for low-income neighborhoods, and bike and pedestrian improvements”

  • The concept that free MUNI for youth is something we cannot afford is absurd on its face. There is nothing that MUNI does that it can afford, not even the 38 or the N Judah. MUNI is a money losing operation looked at from the outside. The investments made have to be viewed from a larger perspective.

    Here’s absurdity. I met someone with 3 kids going to the same K-8 school. This is a couple where both parents work. They have a caregiver pick up the kids and stay with them for 3 hours. That’s ~ 60 hours per month. They had a choice between two caregivers. One of them drives, the other does not. The driver charges 2 bucks more per hour. Part of the rationalization on hiring the caregiver who drives – “we will save $63 per month in MUNI fares, so we are really only paying an extra 57 per month”

    This is a very wealthy family, but they still make decisions down to the dollar level.

  • mikesonn

    Is the cost of free Muni for youth just lost revenue? There can’t really be much of an admin cost besides initial Clipper expenditure. If they do only low-income youth, then Muni is looking at means-testing which I could see being pretty expensive.

  • There is the cost of this debate at the SFMTA and SFBOS meetings.

  • More specifically Mike, the admin cost is probably negative. Hand out a bunch of cards to the students on the first day of school, registering the numbers of the card given out to the student. Autoload passes onto them. That costs money.

    On the flip side, the current admin costs borne processing Clipper Cards for youth, piecemeal, at various MUNI offices, plummets.

  • Mario Tanev

    You can see it here:
    http://www.sfmta.com/cms/cmta/documents/4-17-12item12youthfares.pdf

    $3.8M in reduced maintenance (i.e. reduced reliability)
    $2.1M in reduced improvements to low income neighborhoods, specifically to the Mission Mobility project which aims to improve service and reliability on the 14 Mission route
    $0.7M in reduced spending on bicycle and pedestrian improvements

    As much as I support free Muni for all youth, that’s a terrible deal.

  • Mario Tanev

    Actually to be clear: Muni doesn’t even account for increases in service required. In fact the report predicts that additional $10M will be required for that under the free Muni for all youth proposal. The total would then come to $26M, or equivalent to 10% service cuts. Unsaid in this is that $4.5 of general operating funds are already part of the free Muni for low-income kids proposal (and a lot of other things could have been done with that money).

    I personally agree that free Muni for all youth should be implemented for many, many reasons. But that should be using a new funding source that the voters in the city (or concerned departments, such as lifeline services or SFUSD) agree to provide.

  • @google-cd6ac603016b207eed1e6a32f6c3abfa:disqus absolutely — no way is it worth those cuts.

  • wait – Mario…

    Did you just say that if we take $8 million and use it to give free MUNI to youth , that MUNI will increase service?

    I mean, we got them 26 million a few years back and all we got were service cuts.

    Back to the first sentence – I have argued here and other places that free MUNI for youth will result in more trips by youth that will replace trips they take being driven by their parents. This has been rebutted by people saying that those parents will continue to just drive their kids. Now I hear that so many more trips will be taken by youth on MUNI that we will need TEN MILLION dollars to fit them onto the buses. That is only true if we are in fact removing car trips. And if we are, then this project is a bargain. Remove cars from the roads at peak rush hour, which increases MUNI reliability, AND add more bus runs to accomodate the higher loads, which increases MUNI frequency.

    Bargain.

  • Anonymous

     @murphstahoe:disqus Free passes could entice people to take trips without displacing car trips. For instance, some high-schoolers might choose to take Muni to the beach instead of going to a local park. More Muni trips but not fewer car trips.

  • Anonymous

    @balakzan – that example does not fit the narrative that it will break MUNI. If it is a “new trip” it does not cost MUNI revenue. And this sort of discretionary trip is off peak and would not require added capacity.

    We are all just slinging anecdotes. Disappointing that a nominal study of projected effects was not undertaken – though it would probably chew up a lot of the budget without getting as clear an answer as just trying it out.

    But the only counter argument has been “it will cost X” without even analyzing benefits. Even things as simple as “fewer 75 cent cash fares which delay the system, are costly to process, increase maintainance on the fareboxes, and open the possibility of theft”

  • Mario Tanev

    @murphstahoe:disqus, I understand your point: it’s probably hard to estimate the exact impact, hence this needs to be a pilot. But this pilot must be paid for, assuming conservative assumptions that won’t hurt riders for the next 2 years. And Muni’s conservative assumptions so far have been that it would take $25M to fully provide free service to all youth while mitigating the impact on other riders (i.e. not increase overflows). Those who disagree with that number should work with SFMTA to refine it. In addition, once the number is refined and the right cost for the pilot is established, it needs to be paid for without cutting improvements for the 14 Mission, bicycling and pedestrian improvements and maintenance. Ideally it also should be done without use of any general operating funds from SFMTA. The $4.5 million that are earmarked for the free Muni for low-income youth, could also have been used to stave off the de-facto 3% service cut right now.

    I can write a treatise of why I support free Muni for all youth. And I think this is a great opportunity to find a new funding source for Muni, even if it’s specifically earmarked for youth. And if it ends up reducing congestion and speeding up Muni, thus reducing costs, then great: but all that is speculation right now. If this pilot is implemented improperly, riders will suffer cuts and will blame it on the pilot, and it will become a political loser. Right now, I feel it can be a winner if it is presented properly to the voters, and is used to get dedicated funding for Muni for all youth.

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