SF Municipal Transportation Agency projected deficit

April 15th, 2009

Projected $128.9 Million Deficit Requires Difficult Decisions

As a result of the global economic downturn, a national recession, the elimination of state funding for transit operations and a City budget deficit approaching a half billion dollars, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) is facing an unprecedented budget deficit of $128.9 million for the next fiscal year that begins on July 1.

The SFMTA Board of Directors will be considering a broad range of options to increase revenues and reduce costs.

At its regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, April 7 at 2 p.m. in Room 400 at City Hall, the SFMTA Board of Directors will hold a public hearing on proposals to balance the budget. Details of the proposals are available online and include:

Fare and Fee Increases

Proposed increases to Muni fares and parking fees, fines and rates and a proposed extension of parking meter hours.

Service Modifications and Reductions

Three possible comprehensive options of service cuts, reductions and modifications have been proposed. If approved these cuts, reductions and modifications would most likely be implemented in September. Specific details of each of these three options can be viewed online. Please note that the service cuts, reductions and modifications developed in response to the SFMTA’s unprecedented budget deficit do not represent the implementation of the Transit Effectiveness Project (TEP). However, the proposed reductions and modifications have been informed by the data collected and the extensive public input received during the TEP planning phase.

Taxi Medallions

A proposal that 100 taxi Medallions be auctioned on a pilot basis.

Declaration of Fiscal Emergency

The April 7 meeting of the SFMTA Board of Directors will also include a public hearing on a possible declaration of a “fiscal emergency” for the SFMTA for the next fiscal year, which would allow the service reductions and fare and fee increases under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

A “fiscal emergency” means that the agency is projected to have negative funding within one year from the date of declaration. It is important to note that a declaration of fiscal emergency does not by itself implement service reductions or changes to fares, fees, fines, rates and charges that support transit service.

The SFMTA last declared a fiscal emergency in 2005.

The SFMTA has also scheduled additional meetings and opportunities for public comment, which will be held as follows:

Tuesday, April 14, 9 a.m.
SFMTA Board of Directors Policy and Governance Committee
One South Van Ness Avenue, 2nd Floor Atrium Conference Room

Saturday, April 18, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Information Meeting on the SFMTA Budget and Proposed Service and Fare Changes
One South Van Ness Avenue, 2nd Floor Atrium Conference Room

Tuesday, April 21, 2 p.m.
SFMTA Board of Directors Meeting
City Hall, Room 400

Thursday, April 30, 2 p.m.
Special SFMTA Board of Directors Meeting* on fiscal year 2010 Budget
City Hall, Room 400

* Note: The SFMTA Board of Directors is scheduled to vote on a budget balancing plan at this meeting.

In addition to encouraging attendance at the upcoming meetings, the SFMTA requests public feedback on the budget balancing options and proposed service reductions and modifications via:

E-mail: sfmtabudget@sfmta.com
Telephone: 311 or TTY 415.701.2323
Facsimile: 415.701.4502
U.S. Mail: SFMTA Board of Directors, One South Van Ness Avenue, 7th Floor, San Francisco, CA, 94103

NOTE: All written comments on the declaration of a fiscal emergency on the Board’s April 7 agenda must be received at the SFMTA by Friday, April 10.

Following the SFMTA Board of Directors submittal of an Amended Operating Budget to the Mayor and the Board of Supervisors on May 1, the Board of Supervisors has 30 days to allow it to take effect or to reject the entirety of the Amended Budget with seven or more votes.

Entry Filed under: Issues