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Muni Releases List of Service Enhancements As Supes Near Rejection Vote

1394717576_8cfde646c1.jpgService on the 14 Limited would be expanded from mid days to 5:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Flickr photo by Octoferret.
MTA Executive Director Nat Ford has released a list of proposed service enhancements on 14 lines that run parallel or near lines that are being eliminated or scaled back in this year's budget. The move comes following a "deal" worked out by Board of Supervisors President David Chiu that would put about $8.7 million back into the MTA budget for transit service enchancements, a compromise that some other supervisors say still falls short, and may lead to a vote to reject the spending plan tomorrow.

In a letter to the MTA Board of Directors Friday, Ford said his plan would tweak the schedules, creating better running times by investing "about 150 service hours per day to better match the scheduled running time with the actual time." He said the Transit Effectiveness Project (TEP) estimated the system needs about 230 hours of additional service per day to meet running times.

The lines slated for enhancements include the 9-San Bruno, 14-Mission (included the limited), 49-Van Ness/Mission, 4-Van Ness, 38-Geary Limited, 82X-Levi Plaza Express, 44-O'Shaughnessy, 5-Fulton, 10-Townsend, 48-Quintara, 39-Coit, the 1A-BX California Expresses and the J-Church. See the full list of here (PDF).

Ford made sure to include enhancements on a line in each supervisorial district.

The 14-Mission Limited would see some of the biggest enhancements. Currently, it only operates mid days and Saturdays, but service would be extended from 5:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. to "help absorb customers who switch to Muni because of the BART Premium Pass. It will also represent additional capacity on Mission Street, which will help ameliorate the proposal to discontinue the 26-Valencia."

The Board of Supervisors has scheduled a special meeting at noon tomorrow to again consider rejecting the budget. It was unclear whether Chiu and Supervisor Sophie Maxwell would be voting to reject, but Maxwell appeared willing to consider supporting adding Sunday and evening parking enforcement back in, something Supervisor John Avalos proposed in a "Transit Justice Package."

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Supes Delay Action on Motion to Reject MTA Budget

avalos_today.jpgSupervisor Avalos on parking enforcement: "The more I think about how we need to do what's best for the environment and what's best for riders my position has changed."
The Board of Supervisors will try again on an MTA budget, voting 7-4 this afternoon to delay a motion to reject it. Instead, they'll hold a special meeting Wednesday, May 27th, at noon.

The delay, requested by Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi, came after Supervisor Sophie Maxwell indicated a change of heart on parking. Maxwell, considered a swing vote on the rejection motion, had previously indicated she was against adding Sunday and evening parking enforcement, measures Supervisor John Avalos, some of his colleagues and transit advocates have demanded be put back in the budget to more equitably balance it between drivers and Muni riders.

“I too have come to a different feeling about parking. I mean, I was one who said I don’t know about Sundays and I don’t know about 10 [p.m.] but I am reconsidering and I think a lot of other people could too, so I think it’s something that should really be put on the table.”

Maxwell asked MTA Chief Nat Ford how soon an MTA study on parking would take. As part of a "compromise" reached with Board President David Chiu last week, Ford agreed to study increasing parking enforcement downtown from 6 to 8 p.m. Advocates, however, have proposed that Ford's original plan to enforce parking until 10 p.m. be added back in.

“My concern is that without pressure maybe the discussion won’t happen because the parking issues are something that we need to look at and I want to look at it sooner rather than later," said Maxwell.

Ford indicated that more parking measures will be studied and brought before the MTA Board, especially in light of the fact that the agency is now facing an additional $13 million gap, due to the recent rejection of an SEIU contract and more state budget impacts.

While not giving a specific time line, Ford responded: “It will be something that we’re looking at very quickly.”  He had earlier indicated additional parking measures would not be added without consultation with the MTA Board and the Mayor's office, which is opposed to adding more parking revenue in the budget.

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