Open Forum: Save Muni from itself

By Bob Feinbaum : sfchronicle – excerpt

Save Muni has long called for a management audit of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency. To that request we now must add: Review the agency’s structure. Well-reported problems with new train cars, operator shortages and maintenance problems last month have only highlighted the agency’s shortcomings.

The SFMTA was created over a decade ago to bring all the city’s transportation under one agency. As envisioned, professionals would work together to develop integrated policies and programs that served the public better than separate taxi, streets and transit departments. It simply was assumed that keeping politics out of transportation, by insulating the SFMTA from the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, would assure better decisions.

But the outcome has been a spectacular failure.

The Board of Supervisors was removed from transportation decision-making, other than voting for the SFMTA budget (without the ability to make amendments). But politics wasn’t eliminated — it simply went underground…(more)

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