Enforcing parking meters on Sunday, increasing ticket citations by $3, and increasing single-ride fares by 25 cents are some of the ideas being considered by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency to help make up its two-year budget deficit of $79.7 million.
The SFMTA, which operates Muni, released its budget projections for the next two fiscal years on Thursday. Not surprisingly, the agency faces daunting budget challenges.
Many of the ideas that the SFMTA is considering to make up the shortfall have been discussed before, to much derision from the public. The agency is once again looking at enforcing parking meters on Sundays, which are currently free. It is also considering extending existing parking meter hours — in some neighborhoods as late as midnight — while also adding an additional 500 to 1,000 new meters to city streets. Collectively, those three proposals would add $12.8 million annually to the agency’s budget.
Along with changes to its meters, the SFMTA is also considering tweaking The City’s parking garage policies. The agency wants to enforce a dormant city policy that prohibits any sort of discounted parking rates in downtown garages (motorists are supposed to be strictly charged by the hour.) It is also examining the possibility of extending this policy from the downtown core to the rest of The City.
Motorists aren’t the only residents who could feel the pain of the agency’s budget woes. The cost of a single-trip fare could increase from $2 to $2.25, and passengers who pay in cash could get hit with another 25 cents every time they transfer to another line. Those two programs are projected to generate an extra $5.7 million for the agency.
SFTMA executive director Ed Reiskin, who joined the agency in August, said that right now all those ideas are just that — ideas. He will sit down with the SFMTA’s board of directors on Monday to discuss which avenues the agency should pursue to make up its current shortfall.