Letters: Speed up SFMTA dealings 

➤ “SFMTA must halt its questionable handshake deals,” Editorial, Opinion, Thursday

Speed up SFMTA dealings

As noted in your editorial, handshake deals violate city procurement processes. They are also risky. From a previous San Francisco Examiner article, it appears that in the case of the hybrid buses, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency ended up having to accept 50 new buses already known to be lemons.

Handshake deals are clearly not the way to go. However, there’s more to the problem. Procurement and contracting processes are both unnecessarily complicated and agonizingly slow. What used to take three months can now take a year or more, thanks in some case to individuals along the way who really don’t care very much what happens, much less how fast it happens. If the processes were speeded up, there would be less excuse to bypass them.

Gerald Cauthen


➤ Muni bus lines

Don’t ax vital bus routes

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency could soon approve plans to eliminate two vital Mission district bus lines: the 27-Bryant and the 33-Stanyan.

Signs posted at bus stops Feb. 21 and headlined “Changes in Store: Improved Reliability, Service to Passengers” tell riders who read the fine print that we’ll be shunted to the overcrowded, often dangerous 9-San Bruno and 22-Fillmore lines, and the poky 12-Folsom.

Seniors, moms with kids and hipsters ride the 27 to shop; restaurant workers and retail workers ride it to Powell and Market streets. The 27 is the fastest way downtown from the east Mission, the only bus that serves the Hall of Justice, the only one that runs on Cesar Chavez Street and the only bus for northeast Bernal Heights. The 33 links the eastern Mission with the Castro and the Haight, and carries kids to Mission High School.

The signs announce three public meetings. Sixty residents, unanimous in protest, packed the first on three days’ notice, and left with the distinct impression that the process is pro forma and the Transit Effectiveness Plan is a done deal. The SFMTA meets to vote on the TEP on March 28. Riders should be alarmed. Check your bus stops for taped-up signs, and call your supervisors.

Joan Holden

San Francisco

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