Old Muni tokens

For a yet to be determined project: old sf muni tokens.
Photo by Joe Moore

When I moved to San Francisco in 2000, I lived on a cable car line and immediately began using it and the Van Ness bus lines. (Remember the 42-Downtown Loop? I sure do, and fondly.) Aside from riding wide-eyed around my new city, learning the ropes of the public transit system, I recall using tokens like the ones pictured above. They seem like such relics nowadays, what with the present-day move toward Clipper and electronic payment/proof-of-payment.

I’m pretty sure I saved one of these away in my little keepsake box at home.

Do you have any tokens left? Have you used any to ride Muni lately?

Related stories:

Be Sociable, Share!
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • email
  • Reddit

Comments (11)

Dexter WongDecember 18th, 2010 at 12:37 am

Yes, I have a couple of brass “SF” tokens and a couple of aluminum “Market St. Ry.” tokens (Muni bought out Market St. Ry. in 1944).


jeff Reply:

Hi Dexter, do you have photos of the MSR tokens you could share with Muni Time Capsule readers?


Cranky Old Mission GuyFebruary 17th, 2011 at 2:36 pm

My remaining tokens are from the early ’90s, when Muni briefly handed them out when buses were late. I know that sounds strange to modern ears, but it is true.


BRMay 11th, 2011 at 2:28 pm

I have an old brass Muni token, if anyone wants it. It’s from the early ’90s, just as the poster noted above.


Samantha MackayMay 11th, 2012 at 8:59 am

Do you know where I can get the old tokens from? My friend wants to use them as part of her wedding theme as she is getting married in the city


SFerMay 16th, 2014 at 3:46 pm

Any idea if these are worth anything? I have a couple bags of them…


Scooby DubiousJuly 31st, 2014 at 6:51 pm

I moved to SF in 1993 and rode Muni trains and buses daily for many years.
I never saw anybody use a token. Ever.

I never saw them offered to purchase anywhere either.
What alternate universe did you people live in where Muni was still using tokens in 2000?


Janie WorkmanNovember 14th, 2014 at 4:50 pm

I just found one of these tokens in a box my dad gave me. My guess is that he had it when he was in the Navy and spent some time in the Bay Area in the early 50′s, so it is at least 60 years old…


ChadDecember 18th, 2015 at 12:40 pm

I was vacationing in san Francisco. I foun a brass token on the beach. Really cool. Im from Seattle.


WayneFebruary 19th, 2016 at 2:22 pm

I used them in SF in the mid-50′s., Still have a few. I sold one at a garage sale for $5 two years ago, and was happy to get that. If a dealer has a price guide, I’d like to hear its real value…


tigthepeMarch 10th, 2017 at 2:57 pm

They shouldn’t be worth much more than a ride, as they are still in use on Muni. See the Muni website, where you will find the paragraph below:


Tokens are only available to non-profit/government organizations for client services. If you have tokens previously purchased, they are still valid for travel. No surcharge is required. Customers paying with tokens at Muni Metro light rail stations must purchase a Limited Use Ticket from a Ticket Vending Machine (TVM) located outside of the faregates. Tokens are accepted at the Ticket Vending Machine (TVM). Tap the ticket to the faregate reader for access.

Hilarious that folks have imagined them to be worth more!


Leave a comment

Your comment