Privatize Muni and Bart

Janet's picture

In order to improve on the services of public transportation (MUNI & BART), we need to first privatize and encourage competition.  In addition, we need to eliminate union workers.  I have heard and saw too many rediculous things about them.  For example, the Muni maintenance group, some of them are forced by their supervisors to delay works in order to collect overtime pay.  As for drivers, many would take break time together.  As the result, no buses would come for a long time.  And when they do come, they come in clusters.  Many of the union workers do not care about their job, because no matter how bad they perform, their jobs are guaranteed. 


Enforcing fare payment:  It is not the police's job to enforce fare.  It is the Bus driver's responsibility to enforce payment.  Why do we have to pay the police officer(s) to do what the bus driver is suppose to do?  From my personal experience, many drivers simply didn't bother to verify transfer or enforcement.  No wonder Muni is always in deficit.  Keep increasing fares is not a solution.  We need to make sure that the Muni employees are doing what they are supposingly hired to do.  We need PROUD workers, not LAZY ones.

Generating revenue without increasing fares:  There are so many wasted spaces on the buses and stations that can potentially generating millions of advertisement revenue.  Having to continue increase fares while reducing services in order to balance the budget every 6 to 12 months is totally absurd.  Put together a business development team and starting generating more revenue.

Stitch94133's picture

Privatization is a mistake

San Francisco used to have private transportation systems and all that happened was lousy service for a high fare.


This attitude that we are somehow "subsidizing" public transportation needs to stop.  We don't talk about "subsidizing" our water system, yet the city supplies high quality water at a reasonable price. 


  • Control the flow of private vehicles in and out of the city as well as in congested areas like the Financial District.


  • Offer low fares and possibly free fares in designated areas, such as Market Street.  The increase in sales tax alone would probably help in paying for additional transit.


  • Provide dedicated MUNI lanes in high traffic areas such as the Geary Street corridor.  This would help the merchants in these areas as well improve traffic flow.


  • Stop trying to balance the transit budget on the backs of the employees.  They're not to blame and despite apocryphal evidence to the contrary, they don't really cause the unbalanced MUNI budget.
gcotter's picture

Free muni?

Check out my posts on some of the other discussion threads about the idea of a free muni.

I am generally in favor of privatization because generally it means the service will be run as a business.  

Even if Muni were a free public service - free meaning paid entirely out of the city budget same as park and rec, DPW, etc. - we should still be able to negotiate contracts with service providers and just might get rid of some of the politics.  Maybe outsiders would have better leverage with the unions.

Calum Cameron's picture

Transport Privatization doesn't work.

Privatization of public transport is a tricky business and usually results in failure. When the British government privatized British Rail in the 1980s the result was a fragmentation of services as many small companies tried to compete for the market. The result was a worse service at a higher price. The government then had step in to subsidize services to make then viable. Now the government spends more money subsidizing these public services than it spent running the service as a public entity.


While a free public Muni and other transport would be nice, the financial burden would probably be unsustainable. However, there needs to be real concrete incentives for using the system. One side of this is improving the system. However more things can be done to encourage usage. UC Berkeley students get free bus services as a perk and take advantage of this. Private organizations should be encouraged to provide their employers with free transport in San Francisco as a perk of employment. This can encourage people to leave their cars at home and have a stake in the public transport system. This would improve the street of San Francisco and lead to more investment and improvements in the public transport infrastructure. 

Paid for by Phil Ting for Assembly 2012. FPPC ID# 1343137