MTA and the Controller to report on data detailing how service delays, deferred maintenance and disruptions not only inconvenience riders, but also affect economic activity
At today's Board of Supervisors Meeting, Supervisor Scott Wiener will call for a hearing at which the Municipal Transportation Agency (MTA) will present a detailed report on the state of Muni's service and maintenance, and how service disruptions affect economic productivity through the entire city. Supervisor Wiener will also request that MTA release monthly updates of this service, maintenance and productivity data to track trends and progress throughout the Muni system. In addition, MTA will be asked to provide monthly updates on its current and future strategies to notify riders in real-time, via text and social media, about breakdowns and other service disruptions.
"A reliable public transportation system must be a top priority for our transit-first city," said Supervisor Wiener. "Yet, much of our understanding of Muni's problems is either anecdotal or too narrowly defined. Both the public and City Hall policymakers need to understand Muni's deep operating challenges - including its chronic underfunding - and the negative impacts of these problems on riders as well as economic productivity in San Francisco. When Muni melts down and people can't get where they're going in a timely manner, our entire city suffers."
At the hearing and in ensuing monthly reports that will be provided to the Board of Supervisors and shared with the public via the press and social media, MTA will provide detailed data on Muni performance and how it affects San Francisco's economy. The performance data requested of MTA will be service numbers including on-time performance rates, missed runs, average speed of vehicles, as well as maintenance statistics like deferred maintenance on Muni vehicles and other infrastructure. Also included will be total number of vehicles in service, total number of vehicles broken down, total numbers of vehicles needed to meet Muni's Charter-mandated service requirements, and other detailed vehicle breakdown and maintenance statistics.
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MTA will be asked, as well, to report on large unplanned service disruption events, also known among riders as "Muni meltdowns," including cause, length of delay, and the number of vehicles and riders impacted. And, with analytical support from the Controller, MTA will report on the economic productivity impact for each specific meltdown, and for the month in total.
"When a train breaks down in the subway, it doesn't happen in a vacuum," said Supervisor Wiener. "Multiple Muni lines are affected, workers are delayed, commercial activity slows, and our economy suffers. These disruptions discourage people from using Muni, which results in increased vehicle congestion and negative environmental impacts. By quantifying the effects of Muni meltdowns, we will see how essential a well-funded, efficient transportation system is to our City's vitality."
MTA will also report on what strategies the department currently employs to alert riders of service disruptions in real time, as well as what strategies can be implemented in the future, including driver announcements, text alerts, and social media alerts. The lack of reliable and timely information about service disruptions is a significant source of frustration among Muni riders.
Finally, MTA will report about the status of work rule reform and driver absenteeism.
Future hearings to discuss improvements or diminishments in these numbers may be called as deemed necessary based on the monthly reports.
The hearing will be requested to take place at the Land Use and Economic Development Committee.