Muni shouldn’t cut service to save money while school’s out for summer, the SF Transit Riders Union said in a statement yesterday. SFTRU is speaking out against what they call the SFMTA’s double standard of reducing transit service in “the blink of an eye” while deliberating smart parking policy changes for years.
Muni reduced service on several lines from June 29 to August 19, when most schools aren’t in session, to account for the drop in student ridership. The SFMTA says it expects to save $240,000 during the summer season. The agency also reduced service on student-heavy lines during the most recent winter and spring breaks, saving about $275,000 and $78,000, respectively, and reported no significant problems.
SFTRU’s Mario Tanev said that’s no excuse, since Muni has already cut too much service in recent years. “The fact is that with numerous service cuts during the past decade, peak and off-peak service on almost all lines has been downgraded to unacceptably low levels,” he said in a statement. “When combined with Muni’s historic lack of reliability, the proposed reduction in service will frequently result in even higher waiting times than promised.”
Noting that “San Francisco is the only major city in the US which has lost riders in the last decade,” Tanev argued that the cuts will exacerbate a “death spiral” of “service cuts and fare increases that force more to drive, in turn slowing Muni and making service even worse.”
Here are the summer service cuts, as summarized by the SFMTA: