Much-maligned Muni chief Nat Ford will find out tomorrow if he has a new job. The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, which is in charge of two airports in the capital, will decide whether to hire him as for the top spot. The decision — unlike Muni buses — will come early tomorrow at around 8 a.m., the San Francisco Examiner reports.
Recently, Ford's road has been rocky as he presided over deep service cuts, fare hikes, labor unrest and plummeting on-time performance. However, it wasn't always so bad. Ford counts completing the T-Third Street line, putting in new bike lanes and getting funding lined up for the Central Subway project among his accomplishments.
Ford — who has often been rumored to be leaving town — has been the head of the troubled transit agency for the past five years. For an excellent explanation about the problems with Muni, read the piece by Joe Eskenazi and Greg Dewar that ran in the SF Weekly last year. In the article, they explain how the mayor's office often meddled with Muni and Ford:
Multiple sources within Muni independently confirmed to SF Weekly that the mayor's office dictates the transit agency's budget down to the smallest detail. More disturbingly, Muni insiders intimately involved in the budgeting process claimed the agency's deficits were deemed by the mayor's office to be "too high" for public consumption, and that Muni is cajoled into presenting "smaller numbers" that are "politically palatable."
Even so, Ford has drawn continual criticism. He's the highest-paid public employee, making more than $300,000, and the late buses do nothing to placate Muni riders.