Snazzy new fareboxes: Coming soon to a Muni near you


Last week, we told you about the end of an era: the departure of paper transfers because SFMTA was looking to upgrade farebox technology. This week, SFMTA approved the new fareboxes, diagrammed above, that will print out receipt-like transfers when you board the bus, reports The approved contract for $21.9 million will mean the installation of 1,336 new fareboxes for cash-paying riders, according to

Here’s what the new transfers will look like:

Yeah, well, OK. While the images feel more descriptive of a Vertsateller machine from the ’80s or a prop from Back to the Future, we accept that it’s probably more efficient, if less “San Francisco” — an outcome that always requires at least one sad face emoji.

That’s right, gone are those nights when you feel like you’ve won the lottery because the driver gave you a Late Night transfer, so get your nostalgic transfer shirts (or tattoos) soon.

Photo credit:


  • Dexter Wong

    The new transfer receipt reminds me of the transfers SamTrans gave out when the district was new (back in the late 70s). It was printed by a little printer next to the farebox when the driver was asked for a transfer. Later Samtrans did away with transfers altogether so this is just a memory.

  • Dexter Wong

    This would be the sixth type of farebox adopted by Muni that I can recall. First was the manual Johnson that took pennies, nickels and dimes. (It’s now a sought -after antique.) Then two different versions of the Grant Electrolock that showed the coins inserted on a large cogwheel that the driver could see and counted the amount of money deposited over the day (the coins ended up in a locked vault that had to removed and sent to a counting room), then the non-metering GFI that was emptied by a vacuum hose at the garage, finally the GFI model that took dollar bills but was still emptied by vacuum.

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