Steve Moss – District 10

Name: Steve Moss

Age: 49

Occupation: Environmental nonprofit director/educator

District: 10

URL for website:

Neighborhood You Live In: Potrero Hill

Date Questionnaire Returned: August 31, 2010

1. How often do you rely on Muni to get you around town? If not, what do you use instead? What would make it easier for you to choose Muni over other forms of transportation?

Before I launched my campaign, I used MUNI several times a week, mostly to get downtown or to City Hall. Given the time pressures of campaigning, as well as inadequate public transport service coverage, I currently tend to rely on my car. It would be easier to choose Muni if San Francisco moved towards developing an information system matched with a diversity of transport modes – from shared cars, shared taxis, vans, buses, and biking – that increases access and improves transit’s overall experience and effectiveness. We should be able to step out of our homes and workplaces, and know that we can get where we want to go in a pre-estimated length of time, using whatever mix of public transport systems are most suitable for the journey.

2. What are the primary concerns of Muni’s owners (aka riders) about transportation and Muni in your District?

In the case of the bus system, there’s inadequate access. Buses stop short of key nodes, or require steep climbs uphill. In the case of the T-line, there are concerns about its reliability and safety.

3. As a Supervisor, you will serve on the Board of the San Francisco County Transportation Authority. What is the role of the SFCTA, and what would you set as priorities for the agency in the next 4 years?

The San Francisco County Transportation Authority administers and oversees the delivery of the Proposition K (Prop K) half-cent local transportation sales tax program and New Expenditure Plan, which was passed by 75% of San Francisco voters in November 2003. The Authority was created in 1989 to administer Prop K’s predecessor, the Proposition B half-cent transportation sales tax program, which began in 1990 and continued until it was superseded by Prop K.

4. Difficult decisions often have to be made regarding transportation in San Francisco. Sometimes a well-researched project may have loud, angry opponents, or a popular project may not be the best for City residents and for San Francisco’s transportation infrastructure. How would you make a decision under these kinds of circumstances?

(Feel free to cite a similar situation from your past experience as an example – it doesn’t have to be transit related)

This situation happens with all issues, all of the time in San Francisco. As an energy and environmental advocate, I’ve repeatedly taken the analytically-supportable path instead of the way advocated by the loudest interest group. Compromises always have to be made, but with a quarter-century experience as a policy analyst and advocate, I’m well used to having to stand up for the options supported by the facts.

5. What is the Fix Muni Now charter amendment? Do you support it? (Y/N) Why or why not?

I support Fix Muni Now as an appropriate policy to enable the City to better negotiate with MUNI drivers.

6. One (of many) causes for Muni’s perennial budget woes was the illegal seizure of state gas tax money by Governor Schwarzenegger and the Legislature. This has left a large hole in Muni’s income (as well as every transit agency in CA).

How would you make up this gap in Muni revenue? Would you support

– a local funding source or sources (fees, taxes, or other type of revenue) to avoid future problems caused by the state?

– would you achieve savings through cuts to Muni’s budget, fare increases, etc.

– or, do you have other ideas on how to get Muni out of its annual financial woes?

(You can choose more than one option, but just explain it clearly)

There’s no easy solution to increasing MUNI revenues. One approach would be to examine which of MUNI’s lines are in high demand, and to focus on improving service quality on those lines, with concomitant rate increases. Lines that are less “profitable” could be replaced with lower-cost transportation modes, such as shuttles, shared taxis, and the like.

Another possibility is to develop partnerships with other entities that are providing transport services (e.g., Super Shuttle; Bauer), to create a more effective, high-quality system that merits higher prices. In either case equity issues need to be considered related to price hikes.

Like other issue areas, I’d consult with MUNI riders for advice on how best to address this challenge.

7. Finally, tell us a story about a funny or unique experience you’ve had on Muni.

During this year’s Chinese New Year festivities my family and I arranged to meet another family at one of the Church Street stops on the J-Line. We found them as planned, and at virtually every stop along the way other families we knew got on the train. Soon our car was a rolling party of family friends on their way to the parade.

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