Overflow crowd gathers to protest Muni cuts 

An overflow crowd has gathered Friday at a meeting of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency board of directors to protest proposed fare hikes and service cuts.

The SFMTA proposed the cuts to close an estimated $16.9 million budget deficit. Agency officials today revised the estimated deficit to $12.1 million but are still proposing the same cuts and fare hikes.

Among the proposals are increases to fares for youth, seniors and disabled persons, which appear to have drawn the most negative reaction.

"There's nobody who wants to do this," said SFMTA board chair Tom Nolan, but he added that the SFMTA "has a serious budget problem."

Nolan suggested that only concessions by Transport Workers Union Local 250-A could avert proposed cuts.

Walter Scott III, secretary and treasurer of TWU Local 250-A, told the board that his union doesn't want fare hikes or layoffs.

"Before you cut service, you need to cut from the top," Scott said.

The agency is also proposing a 10 percent cut to Muni service, as well as increases to parking garage rates.

Any fare increases would have to be approved by the Board of Supervisors.

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