Take a Spin with Muni’s Budget as San Francisco’s Budget Czar
By: Kate Adams
If you controlled San Francisco’s transportation budget, what spending programs would you prioritize? Would you outfit Muni vehicles to be more environmentally friendly? Add lines to connect harder-to-reach parts of the city? Or add buses to current routes to make public transit quicker and less crowded? (We’re looking at you, 30 Stockton).
SF County Transportation Authority Wants Your Ideas
The SF County Transportation Authority wants to know just that. They’ve created a game to solicit public input on how to spend San Francisco’s transportation dollars. The city expects to pull in about $64 billion through 2040 and wants to start planning now to best to utilize these funds.
Participants can decide how to invest funds in the operation and maintenance of the system (75% of the current budget) and which new construction projects to fund. Additionally, they can implement schemes to raise revenue while each choice is displayed on a chart showing the total budget impact.
In addition to providing potentially valuable crowdsourced solutions, SFBudgetCzar.com uses gamification to help the public better understand how the public transit system works. Gamers address such sexy operational concerns as paving San Francisco’s 865 miles of roads, purchasing spare bus parts and replacing Muni escalators and rails.
Where Does Muni’s Budget Go?
With an estimated $56 billion going towards maintaining the operating the existing transit system, participants can elect the construction projects through which to funnel the remaining dollars.
Possible investments range from Muni enhancements like real-time arrival displays at stops and stations, to regional enhancements for BART, Caltrain and Golden Gate Transit, to increased access for bicycles and pedestrians on city streets. Options for specific programs include a proposed new BART station at 30th Street, relocation of the 19th street M light-rail to the side of the street to reduce traffic interference and delays, and A Better Market Street, which would revamp the thoroughfare for pedestrians, bicycles and transit.
So help the SF Transportation Authority make public transit work better! Voice the priorities that you think would best benefit our city.