March 2, 2011

S.F. Muni offers free passes to students

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) board of directors, which oversees all surface transportation, including the Municipal Railway (Muni), authorized providing the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) with 12,000 free monthly Muni Youth Passes for the last three months of Fiscal Year as part of its joint effort with city partners to foster greater opportunities for low-income SFUSD students.

Beginning with the distribution of the April passes in March, 12,000 passes will be distributed by the SFUSD to low-income SFUSD students free of charge for April, May and June of 2011.

This follows the passage last April by the board of supervisors of Supervisor Mirkarimi's resolution to create a youth Lifeline discount Fast Pass and the subsequent creation by the SFMTA Board of Directors of the half-price pass for low-income students to be distributed through the SFUSD for Fiscal Years 2010-2011 and 2011-2012.

Although implementation of the program was delayed due to difficulties experienced by the SFUSD with developing and implementing an internal plan to distribute the Youth Lifeline Pass and collect the $10 per pass fee, the SFMTA will continue to work with them and other city partners to move the Youth Lifeline Pass program forward.

Prior to moving forward with distribution of the free passes this year, the SFUSD will provide the SFMTA with a distribution plan for the 12,000 free monthly low-income youth passes. This plan will include criteria used in determining eligibility and methods developed for proper distribution to recipients of the approved application process.

Given that the low-income free pass distribution will only be in effect for the remainder of the current fiscal year, it will cost the Agency $720,000 in decreased revenue instead of the anticipated $1.4 million originally estimated in the SFMTA's Fiscal Year 2011 budget.

 

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