Press Release

Mayor London Breed, Supervisors Rafael Mandelman and Aaron Peskin create Transit Performance Working Group

The Transit Performance Working Group will develop a roadmap for better and more reliable Muni service.
June 24, 2019

Mayor London N. Breed today announced the creation of a working group to review the performance of Muni service and to make recommendations on how to improve it, convened together with Supervisor Rafael Mandelman and Supervisor Aaron Peskin.

The working group has been tasked with reviewing the performance of the City’s current bus and rail system and recommending actionable steps that the City can take to improve service for riders. The working group includes transit experts who have operated large systems throughout the country, labor leaders representing the City’s transit workers, and transit advocates pushing for improvements in Muni service. The group will be co-chaired by Ed Harrington, the City’s former Controller, and Gwyneth Borden, the incoming Chair of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) Board of Directors.

“Muni has to work for everyone—for people commuting to work, for people getting to appointments, for people who are just trying to live their lives,” said Mayor London Breed. “It needs to be reliable, safe, and efficient. That requires us continuing to invest in new trains and buses, but also looking at the system as a whole to see how we can make improvements. I want to thank this group of experts for committing to create a roadmap to transform Muni and make it work for the people of San Francisco.”

“Since taking office one year ago, I have heard nearly every day from constituents sharing harrowing tales of their experiences on Muni,” said Supervisor Rafael Mandelman. “In this 20th anniversary year since Proposition E established the SFMTA and with a change of leadership on the way, we have an opportunity and obligation to evaluate this agency’s track record and current performance and offer its new leadership a roadmap to fixing Muni and delivering San Franciscans the 21st century world-class transit system they deserve. This working group brings together an impressive number of local government and public transportation leaders with decades of combined experience to help us finally get Muni on track.”

“While we continue our efforts to identify revenue to fund public transportation infrastructure for our growing city, we must also ensure it’s being invested strategically and with increased accountability,” said Supervisor Aaron Peskin, who also chairs the San Francisco County Transportation Authority. “This long overdue working group brings together some of the best minds in transit policy to determine the reforms necessary to ensure that public money is being spent wisely and with public input. Building on the group’s shared institutional knowledge, we should be able to recommend a restructuring that will ensure SFMTA delivers better, faster and more reliable public transportation for the hundreds of millions of riders annually who depend on our system.”

“Since being elected in 2016 I have been calling for reforms to the SFMTA. This working group has come at a critical time,” said Supervisor Ahsha Safaí. “Now more than ever, we need SFMTA to be responsive and move quickly so we can achieve our goal of building better and safer streets. It is vital that we create a thriving public transportation agency that can meet the needs of our dynamic city.”

On April 29, Ed Reiskin, the current SFMTA Director of Transportation, announced that he would not be seeking a renewal of his contract at the end of its term in August. The SFMTA Board of Directors, as specified in the Charter, is currently running a search process to identify the Agency’s next Director of Transportation. The Transit Performance Working Group is in a unique position to identify clear short-, medium-, and long-term recommendations that can be implemented by the new Director, when they are hired.

Since being in office, Mayor Breed has outlined numerous areas requiring improvement at the SFMTA, with a priority on ensuring dependable bus and rail service. The Working Group’s recommendations present an opportunity to help resolve the issues that impact Muni riders on a daily basis.

Muni plays a critical role in moving people within San Francisco. The system has over 716,000 daily boardings, the largest of any Bay Area transit operator, and it continues to experience increased demand. Since 2010, ridership has increased by 5%.

The working group will complete its assessment and issue a public report by January 2020. The working group will be supported by staff from the Controller’s Office, the MTA, and the San Francisco County Transportation Authority.

Transit Working Group Members

  • Gwyneth Borden, incoming President of the SFMTA Board
  • Ed Harrington, former City Controller and General Manager of the Public Utilities Commission
  • Dr. Beverly Scott, former Executive Director of transit systems in Atlanta, Boston, and others
  • Mike Hursh, Executive Director of AC Transit and former deputy director at the SFMTA
  • James Gallagher, Chief Operations Officer of the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit Agency
  • Kathleen Kelly, former executive and senior roles at AC Transit, BART, and with the City
  • Alicia Jean-Baptiste, Executive Director of SPUR and former SFMTA Chief of Staff
  • Roger Morenco, President of the Transit Workers Union Local 250-A- Terrence Hall, Treasurer for the Transit Workers Union Local 250-A
  • Rachel Hyden, Executive Director of the Transit Riders Union
  • Queena Chen, MTA Citizen Advisory Committee and Chinatown Transportation Improvement Project

Supporting Agency Departments

  • Micki Callahan, City Human Resource Director
  • Tilly Chang, Executive Director of the San Francisco County Transportation Authority
  • Julie Kirschbaum, SFMTA Director of Transit
  • Ben Rosenfield, City Controller