MTA weighs how to use pumped-up power effectively

When a majority of San Francisco voters approved a Muni reform bill in November, they not only backed a monetary boost to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency — they also endorsed shifting more power to the organization.

At a special meeting at the Presidio on Tuesday, transit officials began to unfold just what Proposition A means. On top of taking over gift acceptance, contract approval and grant approval — all tasks that were previously approved by the Board of Supervisors — Muni could also take over the authority of the Taxicab Commission if approved by supervisors later this year.

With on-time performance the cornerstone of Muni’s future, however, officials are still wondering how the measure will help buses move through the streets of The City faster. The voter-approved charter amendment gives the MTA board of directors the ability to approve the placement of traffic-flow devices on city streets. MTA engineers are working on ways to help The City’s public-transit vehicles navigate San Francisco’s streets more smoothly, said Muni Director Nathaniel Ford, who didn’t go into specifics of any future traffic flow plan.

Officials said much of the added responsibility provided by the measure — which was championed by Board of Supervisors President Aaron Peskin — is a way to free supervisors from having to deal with hearings on smaller regulations.

MTA Board of Directors Chairman James McCray said he doesn’t mind taking on the added responsibility. “What’s more important than us having more power, is that the staff is going to have to do more work. That’s why we’re examining the limits of Prop A — to see who’s in charge of what.”

At Tuesday’s meeting, only four members of the seven-member board were in attendance, following the removal of three appointments by Mayor Gavin Newsom. While the mayor has named replacements, the Board of Supervisors recently held off on approving the new board members, citing questions about Newsom’s “vision” for the public transportation agency.

bbegin@examiner.com

Bay Area NewsLocal

Just Posted

Niners defensive lineman Joey Bosa played a major role in stopping the Eagles in a Week 2 San Francisco victory. (Courtesy San Francisco 49ers)
What we learned from Niners beating the Eagles

By Mychael Urban Special to The Examiner Is your glass half-empty? Niners… Continue reading

If he secured a full term in the Senate, Newsom would become the most powerful Californian Democrat since Phil Burton at the height of his career, or maybe ever. <ins>(Kevin Hume/The Examiner)</ins>
Artist Agnieszka Pilat, pictured with Spot the Robot Dog from Boston Robotics, has a gallery show opening at Modernism. (Courtesy Agnieszka Pilat)
Screenshots of VCs, Kanye and tech parties by the Bay

In this week’s roundup, Ben Horowitz’s surprising hip-hop knowledge and the chic tech crowd at Shack15

San Francisco Giants manager Gabe Kapler, pictured in July at Oracle Park, says team members simultaneously can be “measured and calm” and “looking to push the accelerator.” (Chris Victorio/Special to The Examiner)
How Gabe Kapler sets the tone for Giants’ success with strategy, mindset

‘There’s no doubt in my mind that he’s the hands-down manager of the year’

Firefighters extinguish burning material near Lake Tahoe on Sept. 3 in the wake of the Caldor Fire; environmental scientists say the huge fire is bringing to light deficiencies in forest management. <ins>(Max Whittaker/New York Times)</ins>
Cal Fire, timber industry must face an inconvenient truth

We are logging further into the wildfire and climate crisis

Most Read