"Free Muni" Is Never Free
|Hey, we'd desire some fiscal reality for Muni!|
She's not getting one in Stanley Kowalski (Gavin Newsom). In the play, Kowalski marginalizes and sexually assaults DuBois. In San Francisco, Newsom siphoned funds away from Muni to pay his green advisers' lucrative salaries, and allowed other city departments to pillage the transit agency, using Muni as a city slush fund. Newsom is gone, but this is still happening.
Blanche was also done wrong by seemingly nice guy Harold "Mitch" Mitchell, who tried to lay hands on her -- because that's all he thought she was good for. Mitch is played in San Francisco by city progressives -- who can't think of anything to do for Muni other than make it put out for free.
This latest attempt to make Muni do more with less hit a bump in the road yesterday, when transit officials said it would cost twice as much as the Board of Supervisors claims it would to allow all children to ride the bus for free. If so, this is deeply frustrating -- for the rationale behind the huge cost increase was the same one that derailed Newsom's harebrained scheme to make Muni free for all.
Muni figures, rather logically, that if you make the service free for all the city's children, more children will take advantage of it. If so, you suddenly need more service to keep up with increased demand. And then you've got a problem -- because just as you're decreasing the funds going into Muni, you're demanding more service. And that's not free.
|My green advisers got to get paid, too. Hiya!|
The people pushing to open Muni's faregates to all young people seem to have their hearts in the right place. San Francisco is the most child-free big city in all the realm. Working people are struggling to raise families here. A matter of a few hundred bucks a year would mean a lot to them.
That's undeniably true. But what's also irrefutable is that Muni is foundering financially and the proposal to let all kids ride is, at present, a looming fiscal and logistical debacle. Like Blanche DuBois, Muni depends upon the kindness of strangers. Blithely decreasing supply while increasing demand doesn't cut it.
Perhaps Blanche put this line of thinking best: "I don't want realism. I want magic!"
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