The head of Muni wants you to know that he's "not going anywhere," despite rumors to the contrary.
Nathaniel Ford came to San Francisco five years ago, during which time Muni has continued to struggle for credibility. His statement comes amidst personnel shakeup at the transit agency, with many top administrators promoted. Some observers suggest that the changes could pave the way for Ford's departure.
The timing is also noteworthy. Ford will finally be eligible for retirement benefits this year, according to the Chronicle.
But Ford and his colleagues all insist that he's staying put. He wants to continue to oversee construction on the Central Subway, which by the end of the decade will connect Chinatown to Bayview, with a connection to Caltrain. He's also looking forward to re-negotiation the contract with Muni operators.
Last year, voters elected to give Muni more bargaining power by removing a stipulation that Muni operators be among the highest-paid in the country. The re-negotiation could free up considerable revenue for the agency.
And that money is sorely needed. Muni's revenue is so low that the city has re-evaluated its ticketing operations, and is re-deploying Parking Control Officers to hopefully issue more tickets. Also on the table is ending "early bird" parking rates that encourage commuters to drive instead of waiting hours for a bus.