Photo by Tony Chang
Low-income youth can ride Muni for free starting next March, thanks to a 16-month pilot program that the SFMTA board just approved yesterday.
According to a CBS Local report, the board voted to expend $1.6 million to provide free Muni rides for youth who apply for the program and are eligible.
The funding comes from a $6.7 million Transit Performance Initiative grant from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission that also puts $5.1 million into a light-rail vehicle rehabilitation program.
Transportation director Ed Reiskin said the “lion’s share” of the grant goes to service improvement, but “enables us to serve both” service needs and youth riders.
The plan has met lots of controversy over where the SFMTA should spend its funding. From the San Francisco Examiner:
“The issue of funding the plan has been divisive, since the Transportation Agency could use all $6.7 million to shore up its aging vehicles and infrastructure. Muni’s on-time performance has hit record lows in recent months, due in large part to faulty vehicles and operator shortages.
“I think funding the free Muni plan is a completely misplaced priority,” Supervisor Sean Elsbernd said “I’m thoroughly disappointed with Ed Reiskin and the SFMTA board.”
The monthly youth pass costs $22.