Wiener floats ticket surcharge to help fund Muni


San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener is no stranger to voicing his concerns over the lack of funding for The City’s transportation system.

Wiener asked the city’s controller’s office to assess the possibility of adding a fee to event tickets such as large concerts and sporting events — like the San Francisco Giants games and future Golden State Warriors games — to help fund cash-strapped Muni.

He said on his Facebook page:

“Muni is at the edge, with billions in deferred maintenance, not enough vehicles, and poor reliability. We need to make sure that service is adequate both for these events and for the general public’s needs.”

Details of the proposal still need be hashed out, but preliminary work has begun at the controller’s office. A fee range of $1 to $3 could generate between $3 million to $22 million for event venues that seat between 1,000 to 5,000, Wiener said at Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting.

Wiener said the possibility of $22 million annually could help Muni purchase four light-rail vehicles or rehabilitate over a dozen vehicles, which he said Muni will need in order improve the current state of the subway:

“Muni in the subway is at a breaking point right now. The system is not meeting the needs of 2013 San Francisco, and with a significant increase in population, economic activity and potential stadiums … that breaking point is going to get worse. If we don’t begin planning now for how we are going to fund, grow and shore up the system we are going to be in world of hurt.”

Muni spokesman Paul Rose told SFBay:

“We appreciate Supervisor Wiener’s efforts to explore options to improve Muni reliability and look forward to further discussion following the results of the controller’s assessment.”

Jerold Chinn
Jerold Chinn is the San Francisco Bureau Chief of SFBay. A San Francisco native, he has spent a decade covering transportation in San Francisco. Send tips to or at Twitter @Jerold_Chinn.

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