Supervisor Seeks To Curb Parking Meter, Muni Fare Hikes

District 11 Supervisor Ahsha Safaí put forward two proposals to change the City Charter this week.

Parking meters
The way San Francisco changes parking meter rates and Muni fares may change if voters approve a charter amendment proposal. | Anne Marie Kristoff/Ingleside Light

District 11 Supervisor Ahsha Safaí, who represents much of greater Ingleside at City Hall and is running for mayor, announced the introduction of two charter amendments this week.

One would require the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency to seek approval from the city’s mayor before implementing fare or parking meter rate changes. The other would codify the Department of Emergency Management in the charter and require its director have specific qualifications.

Fares and Meter Rates

The reforms for fare and meter rate changes is a response to the transportation agency’s plans to extend meter operating hours to 10 p.m. from Monday to Saturday and adding meter hours from noon to 6 p.m. on Sundays.

The decision was met with outcry from residents across the city, including from Board of Supervisors President Aaron Peskin, who co-sponsored a resolution to urge the transportation agency to delay these changes until the completion of an independent economic impact report.

“San Franciscans deserve to know who is making decisions about transportation costs that will affect their everyday transportation needs,” Safaí said in a news release. “Today, that decision is made at the discretion of one unelected department head. This charter amendment will provide San Francisco residents with a defined public process.”

The City Charter also provides authority to the mayor to appoint members of the transportation agency’s Board of Directors with approval from the Board of Supervisors but it currently doesn’t grant any authority over other operations at the agency.

“The mayor should be the one weighing in on decisions to raise fares or extend parking meters,” Safaí told the San Francisco Chronicle. “I’ve seen for the past seven years that whenever there is a big decision at the MTA, the mayor’s office sits back and doesn’t take responsibility despite working behind the scenes to influence the outcome.”

Emergency Response

Safaí also wants to strengthen the San Francisco Department of Emergency Management by making adding it to the charter and requiring its director have "significant" qualifications.

“San Francisco has confronted significant disaster, from earthquakes and fires to dangerous air quality conditions and severe flooding,” Safaí said in a news release. “We must guarantee the Department of Emergency Management operates at the highest level by putting it into the charter and ensuring a qualified leader remains in charge for generations to come.”

Today, the City Charter allows for the mayor to declare emergencies, subject to the Board of Supervisors’ agreement, but is otherwise silent on how the city responds to an emergency or what department is in charge, according to Safaí’s office. The charter change would provide flexibility to grow and modify the department. 

Both charter amendment proposals will be referred to the Rules Committee, with hearings likely to occur as soon as October. If approved by the full Board of Supervisors, the measures will appear on the March 2024 ballot.

Great! You’ve successfully signed up.

Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.

You've successfully subscribed to The Ingleside Light.

Success! Check your email for magic link to sign-in.

Success! Your billing info has been updated.

Your billing was not updated.