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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Muni Employees Don't Have to Pay to Park, Budget Deficit Lingers

Posted By on Wed, Jan 19, 2011 at 7:58 AM

Free Parking
  • Free Parking

Yesterday we wrote about how Muni employees might have to start paying to park just like the rest of us. But after some closed-door discussion last night, the Municipal Transportation Agency Board backed off approving plans to start ticketing their own employees who park on MTA property without permits.

Last year, the agency decided it was time to start charging its employees a monthly fee to park as a way to help the cash-strapped Muni, which is facing a $21.2 million deficit. The plan stated that anyone who parks without a permit would receive -- as proposed -- a $55 ticket.

But last night, MTA board members couldn't take the pressure from lamenting Muni workers. The group ducked into closed session Tuesday evening to debate the issue, only to later decide that Muni workers could keep parking for free at any of the 1,000 parking slots on MTA property. 

Unbelievable. This was done just a few days after the agency rolled out a plan with stiffer parking rules for San Francisco drivers, including tickets for parking at broken meters.

The Examiner reports that the MTA board provided no clear reasoning for this. MTA chief Nathaniel Ford did offer up some insight, telling the newspaper that the board decided to hold off on enforcing the new parking permits -- which would generate $1.3 million annually -- because it didn't want to perpetuate already low morale among transit workers.

He then acknowledged that the board might scrap the parking permit plan altogether, which means Muni workers would keep their parking perks indefinitely. 

So there you have it. While Muni looks for ways to restore its service cuts, its own workers are parking for free. 

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About The Author

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert was the Online News Editor for SF Weekly from 2010 to 2015. She's a Texas native and has a closet full of cowboy boots to prove it.


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