Citizen’s group eyes motorists to make up SFMTA’s budget deficit 

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s board of directors still has to decide on how it will make up the agency’s upcoming two-year budget deficit of $53.2 million, but a citizen’s group that advises the board has already made its stance clear: go after motorists.

A subcommittee of the SFMTA’s Citizens’ Advisory Council, a group that offers non-binding recommendations for the agency, has issued its top priorities to make up the budget deficit.

The Council has recommended the agency extend meter hours to weekends and Sundays, install 500 to 1,000 new parking meters, and increase citations by $3. The Council also suggests enforcing a long-dormant ordinance that prohibits discounted parking rates in downtown garages, and extending that ordinance to other neighborhoods.

Those initiatives would raise $28 million annually for the agency.

Tom Nolan, chair of the SFMTA board, which makes final decisions on the agency’s budget, said his body has a lot of respect for the Citizen’s Advisory Council, which has representatives from each of The City’s 11 Supervisorial districts. He said the board will weigh the Council’s recommendations carefully before making a decision.

However, he said the SFMTA should try and distribute the cost of the deficit equitably to all of the agency’s patrons, which include both Muni passengers and motorists. One idea that Nolan mentioned was reducing transit service to “right-size” with the agency’s budget.

On Tuesday, the SFMTA board will review possible revenue measures to make up the agency’s budget deficit. The agency’s board could make final decisions on the budget by April 3.

This article was corrected on March 2.

CORRECTION: In the March 1 article “Citizen’s group eyes motorists to make up SFMTA’s budget deficit,” it was incorrectly reported that the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s Citizen’s Advisory Council had made several recommendations to balance the agency’s budget shortfall. It was actually a council subcommittee that made those recommendations. The full council has not yet taken any action.

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