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SFMTA's board OKs two-year budget with maintenance improvements

On Tuesday, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s (SFMTA) board approved a budget for fiscal years 2013 and 2014 that calls for a “significant investment” in maintenance intended to increase the Municipal Railway’s (Muni) reliability, reduce overtime and focus on key initiatives such as the Transit Effectiveness Project (TEP).

The two-year capital budget will consist of $582.3 million in FY2012-2013 and $477.8 million in FY2013-2014, and will fund 16 capital programs. Those programs include $38 million in Muni Metro System track and signal infrastructure, and $447 million to continue development of the Muni Metro T Third Central Subway project.

“The budget represents a significant investment in maintenance,” said Edward Reiskin, SFMTA’s director of transportation, in a prepared statement. “For far too long, our maintenance operation has been understaffed and underfunded, which adversely affects service reliability on a daily basis. This budget allows the agency to invest in our infrastructure, including the buses and trains, the track and overhead lines, and other aspects of the system so that we can address any issues before service is impacted.”

Key components of the operating budget include:

• Implementing management efficiencies through $2 million in cuts to management staff, a $5 million reduction in overtime and $1 million in savings through improved management of worker’s compensation;
• More than $1 million to support the implementation of all-door-boarding by July 1;
• Additional safety and traffic personnel to improve traffic and transit safety and efficiency;
• Projected savings of $7 million annually related to salaries and benefits in labor contracts currently being negotiated;
• Modernizing antiquated parking policies and expanding current parking management; and
• Offsetting state citation fees, including a $5 increase in citation fees to cover two state-imposed court surcharges.

“While we’ve made tough decisions in order to develop a responsible, balanced budget, we have done everything we can to avoid additional fare increases and service cuts,” said Reiskin.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 4/19/2012