ATTN: IB/OB 8 rerouting around Visitacion & Sawyer due to a stalled coach. Will update. (More: 18 in last 48 hours)

Press Statement - Muni's Impending Fiscal Cliff

Friday, May 26, 2023

Message from SFMTA Director of Transportation Jeffrey Tumlin: San Francisco cannot afford to lose public transit. But that is the direction we’re heading in if the state legislature doesn’t change course and make California public transit a priority. 

The SFMTA is doing everything possible to keep Muni running. We’ve limited our hiring to priority positions. We’ve proposed new sources of revenue from a modernized parking meter plan. We’re stretching our federal relief funds out as far as they’ll go, and we’re cutting costs everywhere we can. But it still won’t be enough to fill our budget gap.  

Without state funding, we will have no choice but to scale back Muni to pandemic levels of service when we had 40% fewer Muni routes, service ended at 10 p.m. and the hilly neighborhoods of San Francisco were barely served.  

57% of Muni riders are people of color and 70% of riders make less than $50,000 a year. Without funding support from the state, 40,000 daily riders will be directly stripped of their primary means of getting around San Francisco. Seniors and people with disabilities will have to walk twice as far to catch Muni to the grocery store or a medical appointment, and that simply isn’t feasible for many people. Without Muni, many more people will choose to drive, which will lead to more cars on our streets and more greenhouse gas emissions. 

Before the SFMTA makes any Muni cuts, we will work with community members to understand the most pressing needs, analyze new travel patterns and prioritize neighborhoods with residents who depend on transit most. But there is no good way to make cuts of this magnitude. In the end, cuts to transit will hurt all San Franciscans and our prospects for a strong economic recovery. It is imperative that the state legislature extend a lifeline to Muni and other transit agencies across the state that face similarly massive financial shortfalls. The people of San Francisco, and California, are depending on it. 

We will continue to focus on making Muni service better within our current financial constraints. To make Muni cleaner, we're cleaning vehicles continuously and have added custodians. To make Muni safer, we’ve added on-board transit ambassadors and budgeted for more safety positions, including staff to analyze the video footage we’ve used to help the police successfully apprehend so many of the recent suspects involved in crime and harassment on Muni. None of those budgeted positions can be filled if the state doesn’t act to support public transit.