Your Thoughts: Free Muni for Schoolkids?

Kids loving Muni
Photo by velobry

Mayoral candidate Leland Yee made a splash last week by calling for Muni to issue passes to San Francisco public school students. According to SF Appeal, Supervisor David Campos joined school and transit advocates at today’s SFMTA Board meeting to demand the same. SF Public Press’ Jerold Chin tweets that the item made it to next week’s official SFMTA agenda.

As SF Weekly notes, fares account for around 25 percent of Muni’s annual revenue. But the idea is plausible; for example, offering the passes only certain times of year, and only for low-income students.

We’re curious what you think. We already know how many of you feel about Muni buses and streetcars filled with children. But what about public school students? Should they get a free ride?


  • Nay! MUNI has enough graffiti and loud obnoxious people.

  • Dave Newton via Facebook

    Nay! The buses already get hijacked by those idiots at least twice a day… What ever happened to school buses?

  • Dexter Wong

    How are we going to pay for it? If Muni loses 25% of its revenue, how are they going to make it up? And don’t tell me, who cares, because someone else is going to suffer if the money can’t be made up.

  • In the long run this might be a good thing, because it might help ween young Americans off our nationwide car fetish.

  • elaine

    I vote free or even discounted rates for students. I go to SF State and commute every day. It adds up! Im only a broke college student!

  • Chris Ackord Rivas Panaligan-Taylor via Facebook

    Nay! When I was a kid I rode something called a yellow school bus. And I know that “Student First School Bus Co.” Has school buses for the kids.

  • Jolean Banks via Facebook


  • Shrug. I pay for my kid’s clippercard. Funding for a perk like a school bus doesn’t exist in “public” education in California. At my kid’s school there’s been no funding for supplies (pencils, paper) for years.

  • Jessica Cohen via Facebook

    Free public education should include transportation

  • Joey

    I don’t know about free rides all the time but I do think teachers should be able to take students on the bus for free during school hours for field trips.

  • Jose

    NO. The fact that they are inviting more people to ride the bus for free while still doing NOTHING about fare evasion says it all. Youth pass is already 1/3 the cost of my pass (which price also went up – I’m not made of money either).

  • I don’t understand what’s so controversial about this: in NYC, where I’m from all kids get free Metrocards to ride the bus and subway up to 3 times a day. Public transportation is expensive and really takes a toll on many poor families’ budgets.

  • loren

    i straddle the fence on this issue.
    on one hand, as other commenters have mentioned, if public education is free- getting there should be as well- or discounted at the very least. many families struggle financially as it is.
    on the other hand, i’ve been on more buses than i can count where a large group of students get on and cause more destruction to the bus and more disturbance to the passengers than it’s worth. some of the worst damage i’ve seen done to the interiors of coaches have been by groups of unruly and unsupervised kids… and who has to pay for that? the rest of us, if they aren’t paying fares.

    i could go either way.

  • Dennis

    In general, it is a bad idea. It depends on what types of restrictions are placed on it. Letting any kid get a free ride to wherever they want in the City is a recipe for trouble.

  • unemployed dragon

    NO! Absolutely not! I see kids get on the bus wearing $80 dollar sneakers, while I’m unemployed and paying for every ride. They board the J Church in the afternoon and are loud, and rude. These kids need to learn to pay their fair share.

    Why should I have to get get hassled for proof of payment when these kids who can well afford to pay for a Fast Pass would get to ride for free?? Absolutely not!

  • Heather

    kids are annoying but they are kids! I say give them free muni. Most drivers wont say no to a kid but I really like the idea of knowing that kids can get on the bus for free. It can be safer and nicer on the bus then outside. In high school and middle school we would spend our day travailing around the city doing nothing because we had no money but our bus pass. We got to see the city and get out of the house. Not every single kid is a vandal or punk just like not every single bus rider is a drunk smelly bum.

  • Jerold

    The San Francisco Unified School District has cut about 43 percent of the school buses because of their budet problems for the next two years I believe.

  • Keith

    Sure, why not, just as long as they’re not on my bus 🙂
    Kids are loud, noisy, rude, and boisterous but they need to get to school. I figure if I get out the door on time I can miss most of the school-age commuters, if I’m late it’s just part of my penance.

  • Susan

    NO! They need to learn to pay their share… if they don’t learn now, then they won’t understand how the real world works! Don’t raise my fares to cover kids – MUNI doesn’t have enough money now!

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