Muni Chief Brags of “National Reputation”

Track defects, deteriorating rail, train control breakdowns, sluggish response times, and a refusal to talk to regulators: all in a day's work for Muni.

A new report by the California Public Utilities Commission slams the self-described "transit agency" over repeated safety violations. Nearly two dozen inspections revealed numerous violations over the last year and a half, according to the Gate.

Muni officials, for their part, say that the problems are all fixed. It's up to you whether or not to take them at their word.

San Francisco's 145,000 daily subway passengers may be dismayed to read some of the accusations, which include terms like "resulting in unsafe operations and endangering Muni passengers."

But Muni's CEO, Nathaniel Ford, may not have to concern himself about such problems for much longer. Ford is currently in the running to jump to a new job, where he would run DC's airport transportation system.

As the SF Appeal points out, leaving Muni would allow him to eliminate his personal tax woes, which include state and federal liens, by cashing in his deferred compensation and vacation time. Ford is currently the highest-paid city employee in San Francisco, making more than even the Mayor.

Of particular concern: Duboce and Church, which is riddled with defects according to the SF Biz Times. A train control system is never switched on in one tunnel. Electrical cables rub up against "switch rods" near another tunnel. Citations from 2008 still haven't been fixed.

In addition, Muni has failed to file mandatory accident reports.

In several weeks, a judge will decide whether to issue fines for the infractions.

Meanwhile, Nat Ford has been bragging that the DC airport recruiters sought him out for the job, saying, "I have a national reputation." Yes you do, Mr. Ford, and it's well-deserved.

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