San Francisco Muni budget deficit ballooning

The Energizer Bunny of deficits, Muni’s midyear shortfall just keeps growing and growing and growing.

In September, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, which runs Muni, projected a $23 million shortfall for this fiscal year, which ends June 30. The agency said it could make up that deficit my cutting down on overtime and reducing work orders — bills paid to other city departments for their services.

However, by November the agency’s shortfall had grown to $27.8 million. Now, with about three months left in the fiscal year, the deficit stands at $29 million.

SFMTA spokesman Paul Rose said the deficit has increased in large part because of ballooning salaries and benefits, including higher-than-expected overtime allotments.

The agency is pulling out all the stops to make up the shortfall.

SFMTA chief Ed Reiskin announced last week that a dozen managers, including many prominent names in the agency, were being laid off as part of an effort to save $2 million annually. The agency also is again vowing to reduce overtime while freezing certain nonpersonnel contracts, and releasing funds for purchases that will not be completed this fiscal year.

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