This is news to us: A 1993 ballot measure, sponsored by a group led by Jerry Brown, made it official city policy that the Mayor, the Board of Supervisors, and other top city officials must all ride Muni or other public transit to work at least twice a week. It was approved by 65 percent of voters. Has anyone been enforcing this in the last decade? The answer is no.

The Examiner brings up the issue as we are about to have a 25-cent fare increase on Muni that takes effect September 1.

But Muni remains riddled with problems, and another ballot measure in 1999 set Muni a goal of reaching 85-percent on-time performance by the middle of 2004. They've yet to reach that goal. Last year their on-time performance was a dismal 57.2 percent, an all-time low, and that came up this spring to an also dismal 60.2 percent.

More measures aimed at fixing Muni will be on the ballot this November, with one sponsored by Scott Wiener to tie Muni funding to population growth.

This Examiner editorial suggests that we should stop funding these fixes willy-nilly, and that we should be tying Muni officials' pay to reaching those on-time performance goals, since they've failed to do so in the last fifteen years. And yes, they are paid handsomely: Muni chief Ed Reiskin makes more than the Mayor does ($294,000 per year) and "Reiskin has nine top deputies who each get paid more than $169,000 per year — a bigger salary than the director of transportation for the entire state of California." Yeah, wow.

Long story short: Muni has been a problem for a long time, and will probably continue to be, unless drastic changes are made to how it's managed. And this idea of tying pay to performance isn't a bad one.


Previously: You Will Soon Be Paying An Extra Quarter To Ride Muni