Today’s Headlines

  • Supe Wiener Wants to Charge Sports, Music Fans a Fee to Fund Muni Improvements (SF Weekly, Chron)
  • SFMTA Board Approves Central Subway Work Contract Despite Costs Pushing Limits (SFGate, SF Exam)
  • BART Board Member Wants to End Agreement That Allows SF Riders to Use Muni Fast Passes (SFBG)
  • BART Board to Vote on Lifting Bike Blackouts Tomorrow (CoCo Times)
  • Academy of Art Students Win Yerba Buena Bike Corral Design Competition (SocketSite)
  • San Mateo County Cities Not Ready to Take Local Control of El Camino Real From Caltrans (PTA)
  • Caltrain Looking to Install Wi-Fi, SamTrans Looking for SFO Connection Solutions (Green Caltrain)
  • SMART Applying for FTA Funding for Extension From San Rafael to Larkspur (Marin IJ)
  • San Rafael Driver Who Was Arrested Twice for DUI in Same Day Does It Again (Marin IJ)
  • NIMBYs in Strawberry Who Oppose “Dangerous” New Shuttle Traffic Don’t Seem to Mind Car Traffic (MIJ)
  • Marin Transit Proposes New, Clearer Route Signage (Greater Marin)
  • San Jose Man, 81, Killed by Driver in Crosswalk is 10th Ped or Cyclist This Year (CBS)

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • I just can’t really stomach an increase in fees to go to a show at the Fillmore when the frequency of MUNI service at the time a show at the Fillmore ends is once an hour. Or the Warfield, the show lets out and instead of taking the MUNI Metro I have to take an OWL service bus.

    Without fail, at concerts I would take a bus to the concert, and a cab back, because MUNI is nearly non-existent post concert. I don’t predict that the additional funding will go to supporting late night service for concert goers.

    And frankly, there are more people going out to dinner on Valencia Street on a given night than attend a Fillmore show. Tax restaurants!

    The Giants are a different story. The answer there, IMHO, is to add a $2 surcharge to every ticket, and then give ticket holders free public transit access from 2 hours before to 1 hour after the game. Caltrain/MUNI/BART/AC/Ferries. Those who take transit get a great deal, funded by those who don’t.

  • mikesonn

    100% agree.

  • Ryan Brady

    Fine, as long as the ticket increases also pay for a bike valet.

  • mikesonn

    Giants already have bike valet and the Warriors better as well.

  • The problem is every Muni ride costs the city an estimated $2.86. So if the city collects $2 and then spends $5.72 getting the fan to the stadium and back, there is a net loss of $3.72. So Muni would lose money on the deal, not gain.

    As the area around the stadium is developed and most of the parking lots go away, getting to ATT park by means other than car is going to increase as an issue. Really from a cost standpoint what the city should do is encourage all BART riders (who are able to) to walk from ATT Park to the Montgomery BART station. (A 20 minute walk.) Shut down 2nd st after each game and create a kind of fan parade. (Heck, it can take forty minutes right now to wait for a Muni train after a game and then ride it to the Montgomery Station. I think many, many people don’t realize walking is much faster.) And the city should encourage bike riders with lots and lots more bike parking–way more than is available via the valet situation right now–and with safe, comfortable bikeways all the way to the stadium from multiple directions. (This is not the case at all right now.) Given how much every Muni ride is subsidized, the city is insane not to making biking as attractive an option as possible.

    I agree that it’s unfair to tax concert goers given Muni’s pathetic late night coverage. But how to get extra funds for Muni? Well, for one, Muni should lower their operating cost structure by implementing their TEP stop consolidation proposals. But if we’re going to tax anything, we should be taxing private parking spots offered by businesses in the congested NE quadrant of the city to both their employees and customers.

    Offering parking induces congestion with all its attendant costs and problems. Congestion slows Muni down and increases its costs, high levels of car traffic result in pedestrian and bicyclist injuries, and car pollution causes all sorts of health problems and costs. We should tax what we want to discourage (congestion, carbon emissions, pollution, vulnerable street user injuries), and use the money to improve Muni so that it becomes a pleasanter, more reliable transportation option. It is only fitting that businesses that offer parking should pay for a least a small part of the externalities they are inflicting on the city at large.

  • Anonymous

    I felt the same way about the $2 added to the ticket, that it wouldn’t be enough money to cover the cost of the Muni rides, but then I realized that Murphstahoe is suggesting $2 be added to every giants ticket, regardless of whether the attendee uses Muni. So in that way it should at least come out even or be a net gain for Muni.

  • Right. I can’t say exactly what percentage of attendees take public transit, and in theory that percentage would go up if riding it is free, but the percentage is certainly not 100%.

    Also – the stat that every ride given by MUNI costs $2.86 seems completely misleading to me. That number can only be calculated after the fact – how many rides did MUNI give and how much did we subsidize the system. On the margins, an extra rider costs MUNI zero dollars. And for something like a Giants game, an extra rider on MUNI saves the overall city budget a lot of dollars in terms of game area congestion.

    And at the very least, MUNI would then save the money used to have people sitting outside the stadium selling MUNI tickets.

  • GiveMeABreak

    Instead of trying to increase revenue, why doesn’t the Board of Stupidvisors try to decrease expenses?

  • Anonymous

    hmmm, maybe because MUNI has been underfunded for years and there’s only so much the Supes can do. The light rail trains cost 5.5 million each and right now there are none to spare so I’m not sure how SFMTA, the Supes, or you can bring the prices of those vehicles down.

    From the article: “To put these annual amounts in context, an extra $22 million would allow Muni to buy four brand-new light rail vehicles a year or rehabilitate 18 annually. As of now, the transit agency has no spare light-rail vehicles, which explains a lot.”

  • Muni collects on average $.86 for every ride taken, against a cost of $2.86. (Pretty much terrible farebox recovery.) Although this includes all Muni passes, discounted riders such as youth and seniors, etc. People from out of town are way more likely to pay full fare of $2, so they are only subsidized 86 cents a ride. These stats come from Muni’s own stats on cost per ride and farebox recovery. (Of course these numbers are an average of all rides over the entire year.)

    It’s true the marginal rider who crams into an already full train doesn’t cost anything extra except perhaps a small second of delay. But it’s also true Muni adds a lot of extra trains (and all their attendant driver and maintenance costs) to service ATT Park games. So shuttling people to and from the park does cost the city quite a bit. Perhaps with the increased load maybe Muni breaks even on trips to the ballpark, if a large part of their customers are full pay. I doubt, however, each trip gets as low as $1, so I still doubt $2 would cover the expense. And then you’re sacrificing the $4 the person didn’t spend on the fare on top.

    Again, as the Giants develop the area and the parking lots go away, by necessity in less than five years most people (>85%) will arrive at the stadium by public transit unless the city can convince them to bike or walk. If we charge everyone attending a game an extra $2, then walkers and bicyclists are paying extra for benefits they largely don’t get.

    I do buy the argument that everyone, even walkers and bicyclists, benefit when people take Muni rather than private cars, which is why I don’t mind so much of my tax dollars already going to subsidize every Muni trip taken. But I fundamentally don’t think Muni should be funded out of an entertainment tax, which is what taxing concerts and ballgames is. (Why not then tax movies? the opera? the symphony?) I think in the end Muni is going to have the bite the bullet of lowering their operating costs through stop consolidation and signal prioritization (increasing throughput), probably raising fares a bit to make their farebox recovery less abysmal, and getting adequate repair and maintenance money from the general fund. Property taxes produce a lot of moolah for this city. I think we will hear more about tearing down freeways and turning the land over to revenue producing buildings as time goes on.

    In addition, while Muni takes less energy and contributes less carbon emissions than private cars (either via fuel or just the manufacture of the train cars) Muni takes substantially more energy and creates more carbon emissions than biking or walking. The last thing we want to do is turn bikers and walkers into Muni riders by making Muni a better economic deal for them.

  • Anonymous

    I love, Love, LOVE the idea of a Fan Parade down Second after every game.

  • If you want to fix the Muni, the first step is to stop redirecting Muni funds and developer fees from Muni operations to non-Muni projects through the “like kind” agreements that are financing complete street projects. How can you justify spending $510 million dollars on a single block? That is what they did on Dolores and Market. Go look at it and explain it.