SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – Low- and moderate-income youth between 5 and 17 years old can now ride Muni free with a valid Clipper card as part of a 16-month pilot program that began Friday.
The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s board of directors in December approved $1.6 million for the program as part of a grant from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission. The SFMTA and the San Francisco Unified School District also contributed additional funding. More than 20,000 children had already signed up by Wednesday.
“We had a hard decision to make,” said SFMTA director of transportation Ed Reiskin.
“The Muni system has a lot of needs,” Reiskin said. “But while our system has needs, our community has needs too.”
The cost of a Muni youth pass had gone up from $10 to $22 since 2009, while the school district had reduced its bus service by 43 percent since 2011 because of state budget cuts.
The program had support from some members of the city’s Board of Supervisors, most notably Supervisor David Campos.
“We’re investing in the future generation of riders,” Campos said. “We have to make it so families can afford to live in San Francisco.”
For information on eligibility and how to sign up for the program, people can go online at www.sfmta.com/freemuni4youth.
Muni will provide a 30-day grace period for enforcement to educate new users on how to use a Clipper card.
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