Free Muni youth passes rack up $400K boost

S.F. Examiner File Photo
A committee of the San Francisco County Transportation Authority
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Muni’s plan to provide free passes for low-income youths received a big funding boost from local officials Tuesday, as it faces questions at the regional level.

A committee of the San Francisco County Transportation Authority, which is governed by the Board of Supervisors, recommended $400,000 for the plan. The 22-month pilot program would provide free Muni for 40,000 youths.

Last month, Muni’s board of directors said the program could move forward only with $5 million from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, a regional transit agency.

Since then, other Bay Area transit operators have put their hats in the ring for the $5 million allocation, and MTC board members have expressed skepticism about using regional funds for something that would only benefit San Francisco residents.

The MTC is scheduled to vote on the allocation next month.

Even with those issues looming, the $400,000 recommended Tuesday by the Transportation Authority Plans and Programs Committee is an important funding component. Supervisor David Campos, who has pushed for the program, said the funding allocation will reflect The City’s united commitment to the project.

Ed Reiskin, Muni’s director, echoed those sentiments.

“This is not a slam-dunk at the regional level, but this $400,000 will complete the San Francisco side of the equation,” he said.

The Transportation Authority’s full board must sign off on the allocation, which could happen this month. The TA oversees San Francisco’s local transportation tax dollars and allocates state and federal funds for projects.

wreisman@sfexaminer.com

Funding breakdown

A Muni pilot program would provide no-cost rides for The City’s low-income youths.

  • $4.3M Muni operating funds for program
  • $5M Funds requested from MTC
  • $200K School district funds
  • $400K TA funds recommended Tuesday
  • $9.9M Total cost of 22-month program

Source: San Francisco County Transportation Authority

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