Mike Koozmin/The S.f. ExaminerBayview resident Jackie Wysinger

Mike Koozmin/The S.f. ExaminerBayview resident Jackie Wysinger

Advocates turn attention to free Muni for SF seniors, disabled after Google gift

With a recent gift from Google to cover the cost of a free Muni program for youths, advocates have turned their attention to senior and disabled residents in hopes that tech will provide a similar offer.

Ed Reiskin, director of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, acknowledged that there is strong support in the community and from some SFMTA directors for the proposed program, which would reduce the agency’s revenue by $4 million to $6 million annually by providing free Muni for low-income seniors and people with disabilities.

“It’s just a matter of tradeoffs,” Reiskin said of the costs. “If we forego that revenue, maybe it’s less Muni service we can add.”

Google has pledged $6.8 million over two years to cover free Muni for The City’s low- and moderate-income youths. But whether Google or another tech company will step up for the seniors program is unknown.

“I think there’s many discussions with many tech companies about many possible city funding needs,” Reiskin said. “I imagine this one is on the table along with many others.”

Alex Tourk, managing director of the nonprofit sf.citi that represents the interests of tech companies, told The San Francisco Examiner last week that he “did not find any other companies who are internally discussing” the Muni for seniors program.

Cities that already have free bus service for seniors or disabled people include Chicago; Lancaster, Pa.; Palmdale; and San Jose.

Last week, hundreds of people rallied outside City Hall calling for free rides for seniors and the disabled. They reiterated that the monthly pass for their demographic increased from $10 in summer 2009 to $23 this past July. Norman Yee, the only city supervisor to attend the rally, said he supported the proposed program because many seniors live in his District 7.

“There are many challenges they face living on a fixed income,” Yee said. “We’re a city that supports seniors and we should be compassionate to seniors.”Bay Area NewsGoogleSan Francisco MuniSFMTATransittransportation

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Cities including San Francisco, Oakland and Berkeley are calling for large grocery and drug store chains to pay employees hazard pay for working during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Shutterstock)
SF proposes $5 hazard pay law for grocery, drug store workers

San Francisco may soon join the growing number of cities requiring large… Continue reading

Hikers walk along a closed stretch of Twin Peaks Boulevard on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SFMTA board to vote on future of Twin Peaks Boulevard

The proposal would keep Burnett Avenue gate closed to vehicles, open Portola Drive

Kindergarten teacher Jennifer Klein collects crayons from students in the classroom at Lupine Hill Elementary School on Monday, Nov. 9, 2020 in Calabasas, California. (Al Seib/Los Angeles Times/TNS)
Newsom, legislators strike deal to reopen California schools

Taryn Luna and John Myers Los Angeles Times Gov. Gavin Newsom and… Continue reading

A sign about proposed development of the bluff at Thornton State Beach in Daly City on Friday, Feb. 26, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Retreat center proposed at popular state beach

Daly City residents oppose construction on ocean bluffs

Rev. Roland Gordon shows “The Great Cloud of Witnesses” collage mural at the Ingleside Presbyterian Church, which he began building in 1980.<ins> (</ins>
Rev. Roland Gordon preaches love in action

Pastor promotes peace, hope through art and prayer

Most Read