SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) –San Francisco’s new Director of Transportation for the city’s Municipal Transportation Agency is on the job.

As MUNI’s new chief, Ed Reiskin will oversee the nation’s eighth largest transportation system with 5,000 workers an operating budget of more than $780 million.

“I’m not coming in with a plan but I’m coming in knowing that it needs to improve,” said Reiskin.

An interview with SF’s new Director of Transportation:

Reiskin, who has been on the job for one week, said his number-one priority is safety. He said in the nation’s second densest city, it’s that much more of a priority.

“In order for us to have a world-class transportation system, whether you’re driving a bus, riding a bus or walking in the street or driving your own vehicle or riding a bike, you need to be able to feel safe and you need to be safe,” he said.

Improving the transit system’s reliability will be his initial focus while traffic congestion will be one of his biggest challenges.

“I can’t tell you that MUNI can’t run well because the streets are too congested because that’s my responsibility as well.”

Reiskin said voters created the MTA back in 1999 and they put all modes and all control of transportation in one place.

“As far as I’m concerned that’s exactly why the voters put together MUNI with parking and traffic.”

Although new to the position, Reiskin is not new to the Bay Area.  He’s been leading the city and county’s Departments of Public Works for the past few years.

You can hear KCBS In Depth, a weekly half-hour news interview, Saturdays at 5:30a.m. and Sundays at 8:30 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. on KCBS All News 740AM and 106.9FM.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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