Sunday meter enforcement is closer to reality than ever before, after The City’s transportation agency released its budget proposal Thursday.
The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, which operates Muni, is facing a two-year projected shortfall of $53.2 million. To make up the deficit, it wants to enforce meters from noon to 6 p.m. Sundays, increase parking citations by $5 and add 500 to 1,000 parking meters on streets.
Enforcing meters on Sundays, first proposed in 2010, has met heavy backlash in the past. But SFMTA chief Ed Reiskin said he has explained to City Hall that the decision is based on modernizing outdated assumptions on business and parking on Sundays.
“These policies were adopted in the ’50s, and The City has changed since then,” said Reiskin. “Free Sunday parking is just not warranted or appropriate anymore.”
Church groups and other places of worship oppose the plan. Even though the proposed enforcement times have been pushed back from 9 a.m., faith communities are still upset.
“This is even worse,” said the Rev. James DeLange of the San Francisco Interfaith Council. “Most church services start at 11 a.m., so people are going to be running out in the middle of sessions to feed their meters.”
While the SFMTA budget would have wide-reaching effects on motorists, the impact on transit riders would be noticeably lighter as there are no plans to reduce Muni service. And other than already-approved increases—based on inflation rates—fares will remain the same.
The budget also includes free Muni for low-income youths. Supervisor David Campos said it’s a step in the right direction, but doesn’t go far enough. He wants Muni to be free for all youths as a way for The City to be more family-friendly.
Reiskin has significantly cut expenditures, laying off a dozen managers to save $2 million a year while reducing overtime spending. However, the SFMTA has no plans to scale back its work-order program—bills paid to other city agencies for services. A plan to stop payment on the $9 million tab for the Police Department’s motorcycle unit did not materialize.
The budget proposal also includes greater dedication to maintenance programs. During the next two years, Reiskin has proposed $46 million in increased investments to ensure that frontline services remain reliable.
The SFMTA board of directors is scheduled to vote on the budget proposal Tuesday.
Key SFMTA budget initiatives
Proposal Annual impact
Enforcing meters noon-6 p.m. Sundays $2.5 million
Increasing parking citations by $5 *$5.4 million
Adding 500-1,000 parking meters $1 million
Allowing all-door boarding $1 million
Free Muni for low-income youth $4 million
Labor concessions $7 million
*Cost-recovery program; aimed at recovering increased courtroom fees from state