PUBLIC HEARING: FISCAL YEAR 2013/14 ANNUAL BUDGET

TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013  (11:00 AM)

Pursuant to California Public Utilities Code Section 131266, the following notice is hereby given:

The San Francisco County Transportation Authority will hold a hearing to consider the adoption of its Fiscal Year 2013/14 Budget at its regularly scheduled Finance Committee meeting on Tuesday, June 11, 2013 at 11:00 a.m. in the Committee Room, City Hall Room 263, at 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, San Francisco, California.

After recommendation of the Fiscal Year 2013/14 Budget by the Finance Committee, the Board of Commissioners will consider the Fiscal Year 2013/14 Annual Budget in the amount of approximately $245.1 million at its regular meeting on Tuesday, June 25, 2013 at 11:00 a.m. in the Legislative Chamber, City Hall Room 250.

Members of public will have an opportunity to provide input at both the June 11 and June 25 meetings.

The proposed budget is available for public review at the Board of Supervisors Clerk’s Office, City Hall Room 244, at the San Francisco Public Library (Main Branch), at the offices of various Chambers of Commerce, and at the San Francisco County Transportation Authority office at 1455 Market Street, 22nd Floor, as well as through the Authority’s website at www.sfcta.org.

New web site for the No North Beach Dig Movement

SCHEDULE OF 5 UPCOMING HEARINGS:
Follow all the action at nonorthbeachdig.org :
Hearings on May 29, May 30, June 4, June 11, June 25.
Videos of Speakers at recent hearings and Speaking Points.

Speak at public hearings—to stop further Muni service cuts.
The Central Subway is overbudget—only 4% contingency remaining ($65 million).
THE EASIEST SOLUTION IS TO REDUCE COSTS:
Delete the unnecessary 2,000 foot tunnels from Chinatown to Washington Square, saving $70 million.  Extract, dismantle or bury tunnel boring machines in Chinatown.
Delete the unnecessary Pagoda Theater Project, saving $9 million or more.

Regards, Howard Wong, www.SaveMuni.com

With little wiggle room, Muni trusting controversial contractor for Central Subway work

By: Will Reisman :sfexaminer – excerpt

Operating under a tight schedule and even tighter budget, Muni is about to hand over its $1.6 billion Central Subway plan to a man who has a contentious history with The City and a reputation for exceeding project costs…
Tutor, a billionaire construction magnate, has successfully overseen an array of multimillion-dollar undertakings across the country. He’s also been sued a number of times, including once by San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera.
In 2002, Herrera accused Tutor of defrauding city taxpayers by increasing the cost of a rehabilitation project at San Francisco International Airport from $620 million to $980 million. The two sides eventually settled, with Tutor paying The City $19 million…
Tutor has been demonized by his critics for initially bidding low for projects and then adjusting the cost upward, a practice called change-order contracting. In 1992, then-Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley said Tutor was “the greatest change-order artist I’ve ever seen.”
A report last year by The Bay Citizen found that 11 projects overseen by Tutor in the Bay Area exceeded their costs by a collective $765 million…
Director Tom Nolan, president of the transit agency’s board, said he was aware of Tutor’s reputation for change orders but did not know about Herrera’s lawsuit.
“This is far from perfect,” Nolan said. “But putting this out to bid again would have put us way behind schedule.”… (more)

Haven’t we heard this tune before?

RELATED:
Central Subway Project Well Over Budget

Central Subway: Federal Overseer Laments “Serious Deficiency” in Time, Money Contingencies

By Joe Eskenazi : SFWEEKLY – excerpt

Federal officials “concerned that it has taken the Central Subway Project so long to address this serious deficiency.”
If time is, indeed, money, the Central Subway project is in double trouble.
A recent report by an overseer monitoring the $1.6 billion federally funded project laments that the controversial subway line is at risk of falling well short of Federal Transportation Administration minimums for both surplus time and money….
Update, 3 p.m.: Rose says the contractor handling the headway construction has “brought in a second piece of equipment to double production.” With regards to concerns about time contingencies, he claims “we are moving forward with getting back on schedule.” Muni’s monetary reserve is well below FTA-approved levels — but Rose was confident the $65 million contingency would suffice. If not, he said, Muni could tap into a “capital surplus.”… (more)

San Francisco deserves better than the SFMTA. What are we going to do about it?

If the SFMTA is in the hole for $65 Million, why are they spending like there is no tomorrow, turning revenue generating parking spots into free bicycle parking, parklets and bulb-outs?

Why are they approving millions for non-Muni projects? (i.e. the $510 million deal on Market and Dolores).

Why are the spending a fortune on a subway station north of  Chinatown when major development is concentrated in the Eastern Neighborhoods?

MAYORS BUDGET TOWN HALL: CENTRAL SUBWAY OVERBUDGET BY $400 MILLION+

FRIDAY, MAY 17, 3 PM, Mock Funeral (Small Business Week) by No North Beach Dig, at 721 Filbert/ Columbus.
SATURDAY, MAY 18, 10 AM, Mayors Budget Town Hall, at Galileo Academy, 1150 Francisco/ Van Ness.
Speaker cards will be selective—but support speakers opposing the Pagoda/ Central Subway Projects

SaveMuni.com                                            Revision B  May 15, 2013
CENTRAL SUBWAY OVERBUDGET:  FISCAL CRISIS CONCEALED
Without the sunshine of independent audits, huge cost overruns for the Central Subway Project are being concealed—to force city officials and taxpayers into future debt loads.
According to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), all project contracts have been awarded or bid.  Based on available data, contingency funds are now at insufficient levels or gone altogether—even before major construction begins for tunneling and deep excavations:

chart

Attached: Total Project Budget and Contracts List

Given the FTA’s designation of the Central Subway as high risk and given the problematic history of tunneling, the Central Subway will go over budget by hundreds of millions of dollars.

Without full independent audits, hundreds of millions of dollars of cost overruns are being concealed—to force city officials and taxpayers into future debt loads.

MUNI SERVICE CUTS FOR YEARS TO COME
The Central Subway will absorb most of San Francisco’s transportation capital budget for years to come, sacrificing essential transit projects.  As required by the FTA, San Francisco’s taxpayers will pay for all project cost overruns—with decreased Muni operating funds and service cuts.

  • Cost overruns do not include the unnecessary Pagoda Theater Project, which is also going overbudget, taking at least $9.15 million from Muni operating reserves.
  • SFMTA can save up to $80 million by burying, dismantling or extracting tunnel boring machines in Chinatown (like New York, Chunnel, Brisbane…) and deleting the 2,000 foot tunnels from Chinatown to Washington Square.
  • These cost overruns are stunning, since the Central Subway’s budget has already increased from $647 million to $1.578 billion since 2003.
  • Moreover, design cuts have reduced quality, shortened station platforms to maximum 2-car lengths (forever limiting passenger capacity), eliminated moving sidewalks, reduced fire exit paths….

Central Subway Has Already Cut Muni Service:  To get local matching funds, the Central Subway has drained Muni’s operating/ maintenance funds—-causing service cuts, route eliminations, deferred maintenance, crumbling infrastructure, missed runs, switchbacks, shorter “holiday” schedules, increased fares/ fees/ fines/ meters….

  • In 2007, the new T-Line (Central Subway Phase 1) eliminated the 15-Kearny Bus/ 20 Columbus Bus and cut hours for the 41-Union Bus.
  • In 2009-10, budget deficits led to 15%+ service cuts, including 6 discontinued routes, 16 shortened routes and reduced operating hours on 22 additional routes.
  • If built, according to FEIR and FTA documents, the Central Subway will take $15 million annually from Muni operating funds and cut 34,000-76,000 bus hours/ year from the 8X, 30, 45 bus lines.
  • With elimination of the T-Line’s Embarcadero loop and direct connectivity to Market Street’s BART/ Metro Stations, the Central Subway will cut transit service levels for hundreds of thousands of riders.

Central Subway a Development Deal, Not a Transit Project.  Initially a political deal, the Central Subway is now driven by developers, real estate interests and the 1% who benefit financially—at the expense of Muni riders and taxpayers.  Commuter links to Caltrain will drive up land values, development, gentrification, rents and evictions—hurting affordability, diversity, middle-class families and the Mediterranean quality of northeastern neighborhoods.

  • For the Central Corridor Plan on Fourth Street, business associations are already lobbying for densities higher than proposed by the Planning Department.
  • On October 9, 2008, the Planning Director and a Planning Commissioner held a Chinatown meeting for “Rezoning Chinatown”.
  • The illegal 2,000-foot tunnels from Chinatown to North Beach sneak in part of a northern subway without environmental reviews and public processes—sacrificing fragile businesses for development.

“If they build the Subway, it will ensure major, major new development at the stops in Chinatown and North Beach; and in terms of scale, these neighborhoods will never be the same again.”Allen B. Jacobs,  Past SF Planning Director & Dean of UC Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design.

Abandon the wasteful Central Subway and Pagoda Theater Projects;  Invest hundreds of millions of dollars into revolutionizing Muni throughout San Francisco.  Follow examples of stopping the Embarcadero Freeway and Alaska’s Bridge to Nowhere.

The Central Subway’s local funds and recovered federal funds (like Sarah Palin and the Bridge to Nowhere) can quickly create transit-preferential streets, pedestrian-bicycle enhancements, street beautification, robust commercial corridors and neighborhoods.  By example, in 1973, Zurich’s voters rejected an expensive subway project and voted instead to implement a less costly transit-priority program—-leading to one of the world’s highest per capita ridership rates because its transit service is fast, frequent, reliable and inexpensive.

ZURICH: The World’s Best Transit City:  http://www.planetizen.com/node/53044
ZURICH STUDY:http://www.andynash.com/nash-publications/Nash2001-Zurich-PT-MTI-01-13.pdf
ZURICH VIDEO:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=280mYXdci4w

Regards,
Howard Wong, AIA
www.SaveMuni.com
http://nonorthbeachdig.org/