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Muni fare hike plan draws fury of innumerate usual suspects

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  • 2/1 Associated Press
    Published Tuesday, February 1, 2005, by the Associated Press Muni rate hike plan draws fury of activists Railway officials facing increasing budget crunch.
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 1, 2005
      Published Tuesday, February 1, 2005, by the Associated Press

      Muni rate hike plan draws fury of activists
      Railway officials facing increasing budget crunch.

      Community groups are gearing up for a major political fight over
      Municipal Railway's plans to raise fares and cut service.

      The Coalition for Transit Justice plans to hold a rally at City Hall
      today, one day before Muni officials meet to consider a fare increase
      and other measures to close a growing budget deficit at the agency.

      "Making service cuts and raising fares ultimately does balance the
      budget on the backs of the poor," said Richard Marquez, one of the
      protest organizers.

      Supervisors Ross Mirkarimi and Chris Daly have also voiced opposition
      to plans to cut service and raise fares by at least 25 cents to bridge
      a projected $55 million revenue shortfall for the fiscal year
      beginning July 1. The measures could be take effect as early as
      September.

      "I don't believe a fare increase is needed every time Muni gets into
      trouble," said Mirkarimi, who has proposed a comprehensive audit of
      Muni's finances.

      Muni spokeswoman Maggie Lynch emphasized that a specific fare increase
      had yet to be proposed to Muni's board.

      "All options are still on the table," she said.

      The Municipal Transportation Agency's Board of Directors, which
      oversees Muni, is expected to hold a series of public hearings before
      voting in late February. With a two-thirds vote, the Board of
      Supervisors could reject the fare increases, but only if it rejects
      Muni's whole budget.
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