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San Francisco kicks off free rides program for seniors, people with disabilities

Posted on March 9, 2015

ZacBowling
ZacBowling

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), which manages all surface transportation in the city, kicked off its “Free Muni” program for low-to-moderate income seniors and people with disabilities.

Following unanimous approval by the SFMTA board in January, the SFMTA has worked tirelessly to meet the city’s demand for this program. In just over one month, the SFMTA has processed more than 38,000 applications for the Free Muni program expansion.

"Approximately 8,000 multilingual applications, sent to 150 community organizations, senior centers, and 10 police stations are just a portion of the outreach by SFMTA staff,” said Tom Nolan, chairman, SFMTA board. “Their unflagging work comes with a reminder that Free Muni has income, age, residency and other requirements that govern this unprecedented program.”

The SFMTA board engaged in a careful review of the agency’s financial health before voting to expand Free Muni. Nonetheless, over the next two years it is estimated the cost of the Free Muni program will be approximately $6 million.

“This program is about making public transportation affordable to some of our most vulnerable residents - seniors and people with disabilities,” said SFMTA Director, Transportation, Ed Reiskin. “Under Mayor Lee’s bold vision, we believe Free Muni aligns with his ‘affordability agenda’ to improve transportation for all who depend on Muni.”

In passing the Free Muni for senior and people with disabilities legislation, the SFMTA board also voted to approve a 12% increase in Muni service last year as part of the agency’s two-year budget. Seven percent of this increase was approved during the Jan. 20 board meeting — along with Free Muni for seniors and people with disabilities (a 3% increase was already approved last year).

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