SFMTA received $1 billion in federal stimulus: Why are some buses and trains not running?

By Carly Graf : sfexainer – excerpt

…So, where is all the money? And what’s it being spent on, if not restoring service in its entirety?…

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s short answer: it’s being spread out slowly to maintain much of, but not all, of Muni service until the SFMTA can ask voters to pass a ballot measure in 2022 that would give it more stable funding. It says doing so will help the agency avoid otherwise severe financial and workforce cuts in the future.

Critics counter that this approach could only exacerbate Muni’s decline and threatens to undermine The City’s public transportation system for the long haul…

Additionally, years of hiring and retention issues coupled with a pandemic freeze on all but mission critical jobs have created a stubborn shortage in all types of agency roles, according to SFMTA officials. They have repeatedly said they’re accelerating their recruitment and training efforts, but until they have positions filled, they cannot return to full service levels.

“We’re not buying that,” says Roger Marenco, who leads Local Transport Workers Union 250A, the union that represents many Muni operators. “Our operators are ready, willing and able to go back to work at pre-pandemic service levels and to re-establish Muni for what it once was — a good public transportation service for the city and county of San Francisco.”

He wants the agency to test full service for 90 days to see if the public responds with increased ridership.…(more)

What can we say? SFMTA needs to respond to wha the the public wants if it wants public support. Cutting back to coerce ridership is a dumb move, but, the one they generally choose.

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