SFMTA to fill budget gap with more tickets

Everyone’s favorite brand of civil servant is about to get even less popular, as the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency looks to make up a $17 million deficit.

The Ex reports the agency wants to increase the number of parking citations issued to generate an additional $6.5 million in revenue over the next two years.

Are you wondering how the most efficient branch of The City’s government will do an even better job of bringing people to tears on days they just can’t scrounge an extra quarter out of their cigarette tray?

The good news — especially if you’re reading this between Craigslist job searches — is that San Francisco will be hiring more enforcement officers.

The SFMTA originally had a balanced budget, which they submitted to City Hall before the May 1 deadline. Contract negotiations, though, did not develop the way they anticipated.

The agency thought they were going to negotiate $14 million in labor concessions, but even after working with Mayor Ed Lee, they ended up spending an additional $3 million on salaries.

Additional money will also come from the SFMTA’s taxi medallion sales program, and citation revenue from cracking down harder on illegal limousine and town car services.

Ed Reiskin, SFMTA director of transportation defended the agency against concerns they will begin unfairly targeting motorists:

“There is always going to be a concern about that. But, everybody benefits, including motorists, when we enforce the laws that we have. We’re not anticipating these revenues from more meters or extending meter hours- it’s enforcing the rules we have.”

In 2011, the most common ticket issued by the SFMTA was for street cleaning violations. 527,563 tickets were issued, generating about $29 million in revenue. Parking meter violations were the second most common, with 397,449 tickets raking in $23 million for The City.