I was excited at the prospect. Finally, the City Controller Office is doing serious work regarding a delinquent, City funded entity (MUNI)! What a responsible and noble task! Considering the City almost entirely funds this entity, let’s get control over the actions of this entity.
Associate Engineer for SFMTA, Britt Tanner, presented the findings. Peter Straus, Service Planning Manager for the SFMTA, was also there.
Needless to say, it was a disappointment.
I summed up my frustration when the floor opened for questions and comments. I said the following:
- We all agree, this ridership research data is accurate and helpful, although it’s nothing new. (1) (2) (3) (4) (5)
- The ideas for service improvement are good, although they’re nothing new. (1) (2) (3) (4)
- Here’s the real issue: the fault of MUNI improvement lies with IMPLEMENTING improvements, not research or thinking of new ideas. Maybe we need to fix the way we fix MUNI?
Their response? “This time it’s different.” Ms. Tanner and Mr. Straus, with all do respect, I don’t think this time is any different.
The project’s own mission statement says the TEP is a project to “review, evaluate, and make recommendations on the existing Muni transit system…” (emphasis mine)
The project’s own mission statement DOESN’T INCLUDE IMPLEMENTATION! Would you pay to go to a restaurant where you are seated, choose an entree from the menu, and simply imagine eating food?
At the end of her presentation, Ms. Tanner described the project finalization timeline, “We’ll present these findings to the Board, then we’ll implement!” (paraphrased) It is a grave concern that the “we’ll implement!” stage is given so little thought.
I am sad to report the TEP appears to be nothing more than an expensive masturbatory exercise, lacking both the teeth and balls to make true improvements to the City’s public transportation infrastructure.
For shame, City Controllers. Do your job.