Expensive, Stupid Public Transit Tricks: San Francisco’s “MUNI”

San Francisco city government is totally, utterly out of control.:  Shame on California voters for rewarding the dippity-do mayor Gavin Newsom with the Peter Principle promotion to lieutenant governor.:  Newsom’s absentee leadership while campaigning continuously leaves behind a city mired in half a billion in red ink.:  The failure to deal effectively with the city’s public transit agency is creating a very expensive waste of taxpayer’s money.

The latest story coming out of: : the city’s municipal bus/train system: follows months of scandal and ineptitude:The San Francisco Examiner reports that 50 city bus drivers DO NOT HAVE LICENSES to drive buses.:  They may have medical reasons, they may have a DUI, and they are at LEAST : not being paid salary but they are still being paid $12,000 a year medical and retirement benefits.:  And it gets worse…….

Aside from taxpayers shelling out the money for the nonworking operators to receive benefits, the agency is blocked from hiring any other operators to fill the positions. That leaves Muni dozens of operators short before any scheduled vacations, sick calls or unexplained absences.

This department of crap-wagons is nothing but trouble due to its pesky union rules and city ridership: being down.:  Because so many people are laid off in San Francisco and not going to work on the bus, revenues are down.:  Because revenues are down, ticket prices have gone up and routes have been cut.:  So, fewer people pay more to ride the city bus or trains.

The boondoggle continues:

Despite the city committing $30 million for upgrades last year, MUNI still complains that its system is out-of-date.:  “Melt-downs” and power outages plagued the recent playoffs and World Series series service when thousands of riders really needed public transit.

The greedy union of San Francisco MUNI train and bus drivers, Transportation Workers Union Local 250-A, : just gouged the city taxpayers and riders for their new contract, the only city union NOT to concede anything despite the fact that San Francisco’s budget was $483 million short.:  Muni bus drivers just got 6 percent raises due to a “unique” city charter requirement that they be paid the 2nd highest salary in the country.

Muni operators just received a pay raise of nearly $2 per hour.

$27.92: Current average hourly wage for Muni operators

$29.52: Average hourly wage after pay increase

5.73: Percentage increase

$8 million: Cost to SFMTA

$19 million: Labor concessions turned town by operators union in June

$750 million: SFMTA operating budget

Source: SFMTA

For paying all this good salary, benefit and retirement to their bus and train drivers, San Franciscans: are constantly inconvenienced: during their commutes.:  The San Francisco:  examiner has written about:

“…….the “mysterious driver malady” that affects Muni drivers on Mondays and Fridays. According to the article, “On May 1, a Friday, nearly 22 percent of Muni’s 1,632 scheduled operators were “unavailable” — 132 called in sick, but no less than 112 just failed to report for their shifts. They were marked down as taking ‘unplanned leave,’ a catchall category that also includes claimed injuries, suspensions or getting sick during a run.” But wait, it gets better. The items goes on to say that “t[t]he AWOL rate was even higher the following Monday, May 4, when 113 drivers didn’t arrive to start their routes.” And best of all, there’s little to no consequences for no-show drivers.”

What a nice bunch of guys, eh???

Overall ridership of all public transit is way DOWN in San Francisco ( and all over the state ) but hey, that doesn’t matter to the political ruling class. With a consistent half billion dollar city deficit in recent years,:  San Francisco is going: “all-in” : to buy a new subway system. : It will be only 1.7 miles long and will supposedly “only” cost $1.6 billion to build.:  Despite all its budget problems, San Francisco miraculously just “found” $137 million in its budget for this needless project, so that it could draw another $900 million from the feds, which is also money we don’t have.

CROSSPOSTED: at UNCOVERAGE.net

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