Recap: the Muni Budget Crisis

BY JULIE KIM
March 3, 2010

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[Despite historic shortfalls, SPUR believes the SFMTA can balance its budget without further service
cuts and fare hikes.]


Looks like SPUR's 28-point proposal to balance the Muni budget's been catching on. (We're glad, because we think it makes a lot of sense, too!)

In last Sunday's Chronicle, Rachel Gordon put current events in context by noting other significant Muni reform efforts (including SPUR campaigns in 1993, 1999 and 2007) over the last two decades. On Tuesday, the paper ran an op-ed citing SPUR's "good faith effort to advance the discussion."

In his round-up of the backlash to the MTA's proposed service cuts and fare hikes, Steve Jones of the San Francisco Bay Guardian cited SPUR Executive Director Gabriel Metcalf's call for an end to the "gamesmanship" around eliminating millions of dollars in SFPD work orders for "unspecified services." (The $12.2 million gain that could result from these cuts were the largest of any single line item in SPUR's proposal.)

By way of background: the SFMTA is projecting deficits in the $45-$56 million range for the next two fiscal years (the periods between July 1 and June 30 in 2010-11 and 2011-12). Across-the-board service cuts and fare increases (to certain categories of monthly fast passes and transfers) were on the table as cost-saving measures. Last Friday, the MTA board approved a 10 percent cut to service. At yesterday's hearing, however, no additional cuts or fare hikes were approved.

Check Streetsblog SF for the most frequent (and insightful) updates. Their team of intrepid transit reporters will undoubtedly follow this issue through to its bitter end on March 30, when the MTA board votes on whether to declare a fiscal emergency to enact the cuts.