Subject: fixing the MUNI
Date: Wed, 02 Jul 1997 10:03:54 -0700
From: Richard Petersen

Mr. Mayor:

I am the person who was quoted in the Chronicle Monday (June30, A19) as
saying that you should not be reelected as mayor if you cannot fix the
MUNI.  I would like to clarify my position and offer some suggestions,
which I hope, will be helpful.

Mr. Mayor, you need to confront the truth that you have not delivered on
your campaign promise to fix the MUNI.  If you do nothing now the issue
will confront you at election time.  I would like to invite you to
consider the MUNI not just as an issue, which you have to keep making
excuses for and have to avoid.  I would like to encourage you to
confront the issue directly and use fixing MUNI as a unifying issue for
the city.  

Here are some of my suggestions: 

1. Get involved personally.  Your skills as a mediator are needed.  When
you talked to the drivers after you were elected it made a noticeable
difference in how the drivers behaved (They started calling out stops). 
You need to talk to the drivers again.  Find out what is going on.  I
suspect that a lot of problems exist between drivers and management,
which are poisoning the system and contributing to poor system
performance.  Your skills could do a lot to help bring a cooperative
attitude in the system.  Your personal involvement is needed.  It would
also make good press.

2. You need to evaluate whether Emilio Cruz is up to the job of running
the system.  Does he have the confidence of his staff and the drivers? 
My sense from seeing him in public is that he is more interested in
making excuses for why things are not working than finding solutions. 
He also seems to lack knowledge about what other public transportation
systems are doing.  

3. You seem to like being mayor of a "world class city".  You might
consider how San Francisco could have a "world class public
transportation system".   Encouraging transit innovation in the city
might lead to future business for the city.  Just as San Francisco
airport is now getting business with other airports, San Francisco could
gain public transportation expertise by using the city as a transit

4. Confront the MUNI about its use of technology to help manage the
system.  A GPS based system coupled to computers might be more effective
(and cheaper) than simply hiring more supervisors.  If real-time
information about slowdown existed and busses were dispatched to these
problem spots - this could have a significant affect on one of the major
rider complaints - unduly long delays followed by several buses in a

I hope this helps and that you will give some consideration and
attention to MUNI issues.

Richard Petersen

PS - I am also the person with the Fix the MUNI website
( and the "Unofficial" Willie Brown site

Richard Petersen
z publishing