Muni Director of Transportation Ed Reiskin resigns in wake of rough month of problems

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- After a rough month of problems with Muni, the director of transportation at SFMTA is stepping down. Ed Reiskin made the announcement via email to his employees and city officials were fast to respond.

Muni riders ABC7 spoke to agreed that it's been a bad month for Muni but this system has had its problems for years.

So what tipped the iceberg? A collection of problems, according to the mayor of San Francisco, who wants a new director immediately.

In the email announcing his resignation, Reiskin explained, "The employment agreement I have with the SFMTA Board of Directors ends in August, and it's become clear that this is the right time for a change."

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Reiskin has served in the position for eight years.

Hours after his announcement, Mayor London Breed responded, "We are looking for someone who understands the bigger picture. It's not just one thing that this department represents. We need a real transportation expert who understands the complexities of what it means to run a major transit system."

Breed sent a letter to SFMTA's board of directors requesting an immediate search for a new director.

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At the news conference, the mayor alluded to the month-long list of problems with Muni, with a woman getting her hand stuck in a door, equipment failures that led to a day of delays last Friday and operators refusing to work overtime.

"Challenging time over the past couple months for our Muni riders in our system and I think it's important to demonstrate with actions that we are planning to make serious changes to make sure we can regain the public's trust," Mayor Breed said.

Supervisor Asha Safai acknowledged that Muni problems are also money problems. "We have another bond in the next year or two that's in the queue. But it's also about creating an agency that is more accountable to the public."

Prior to this resignation, last August, Mayor Breed wrote a letter to SFMTA expressing her concerns and frustrations with the system.

Some supervisors ABC7 spoke to said they want SFMTA to be more accountable to the Board of Supervisors and not just be the group that approves their budget.

RELATED: Muni operators willing to sacrifice days off to prevent more delays

Reiskin's full statement to Muni employees:

"I want to you let you all know that I will be stepping down from my position as the city's Director of Transportation, and as your colleague, this summer. The employment agreement I have with the SFMTA Board of Directors ends in August, and it's become clear that this is the right time for a change. I'm extremely grateful to the SFMTA Board for providing me with the privilege to serve in this capacity for eight years, and to all of you for the honor it is to work with you all. Your individual and collective commitment, professionalism, knowledge, and experience are what's responsible for the significant achievements this agency has realized during my time here.

I will continue to give my heart and soul to this job up to my last day, and as someone who will continue to ride Muni and enjoy the streets of San Francisco each day, I'll be confident in the fact that the SFMTA is in your good hands.

Thanks, all, for the work that you all do every day on behalf of the people of this great city."

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