Takin' It To The Streets

City officials decided to shave costs, given the city’s huge budget deficit and Muni’s fiscal problem, by cutting street sweeping in more than 20 neighborhoods, in August, but what they didn’t anticipate was the loss of almost four times more money than it saved. City officials knew the change would lead to a loss in revenue from parking tickets but are they willing to keep with the trend? If so, the transit agency will be out more than $3.8 million per year in exchange for $1 million in savings for the Department of Public Works.

There has been concern from both city officials and residents of whether or not these cuts, in both cash and service, make any sense. But Muni officials claim that there has been a decline in parking tickets, in general, on all routes during the same time period therefore figuring the loss of revenue isn’t that high. The agency, also, states that the $3 million, in lost revenue, is a little misleading considering on average only 80% of ticket fines are recouped which brings the annual lost revenue, on those routes, closer to $1.6 million. However, the amount of lost revenue still may potentially increase because some of the street-sweeping cuts didn’t take effect until December.

All in all, transport agency spokesman Judson True made himself very clear by saying, “his transportation agency doesn’t base its tickets on possible revenue and doesn’t decide when streets need cleaning.” In turn Public Works officials claim the changes are about efficiency, not just cost-savings.

Street-sweeper reductions costing Muni money [SFGate]

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