Muni could do a better job of safeguarding and keeping track of the maintenance tools the agency needs for bus repairs, according to a new report from the City Controller’s Office.
Overall, the study concluded that Muni does a generally adequate job of tracking its maintenance equipment, but could improve certain controls to ensure tools aren’t lost or stolen. Muni is operated by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency.
The report, which covered a six-month period at three different bus maintenance facilities, found that Muni lacked written procedures to determine the security, usage and checkouts of maintenance tools.
At the Kirkland Yard maintenance facility, the tool box was unlocked and Muni had no way of ensuring that the equipment wouldn’t be stolen. The study also found that several inventory lists were missing or incomplete.
The report made five recommendations, including the development of a written procedure for the usage and storage of tools and requiring maintenance supervisors to maintain accurate inventory lists at all times.
In response to the report, Muni implemented changes for four of the study’s five recommendations. The creation of a quick tool checkout procedure was the only recommendation not carried out by Muni. The agency responded that it already had controls in place to oversee that operation.
In a letter to the City Controller’s Office, SFMTA chief Muni Ed Reiskin disputed two of the audit’s findings. He said the agency has a maintenance supervisor posted at all times at the Kirkland Yard, and not just during the weekday day shifts, as the report surmised. He also said that two inventory lists at the Wood bus yard were being updated off-site, which is why they were absent during the inspector’s visit to the site.
Maintenance issues have consistently plagued Muni. The agency’s bus fleet is the oldest in North America for transit operators. Muni has dedicated an extra $46.5 million over the next two years to improving its maintenance reliability.