The board of directors for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), which manages all surface transportation in the city, including the Municipal Railway (Muni), approved a 7% Muni service increase; free Muni for moderate to low-income seniors and people with disabilities; additional funding for transit vehicle cleanliness and appearance; and the elimination of telephone and on-line computer transaction fees.
“In my State of the City address, I called upon the SFMTA to expand free Muni to low-income seniors and people with disabilities, and I thank the board of directors for answering this call today,” said Mayor Ed Lee. “Also today, I call upon the private sector to partner with us, once again, and help fund this vital service that supports our City’s most vulnerable.”
A generous grant from Google Inc., allowed the board to approve the continuation of free Muni for low and moderate income youth through fiscal year 2016. As well, the SFMTA board approved extending this program to include seniors and people with disabilities effective March 1, 2015. The program is available on Clipper only.
Through careful review of the SFMTA’s financial health, the board voted to reaffirm their 2014 commitment to deliver a 10% service increase by spring 2016. This approval means more frequent, faster, and safer Muni service over the next year and a half.
The 7% approval follows a 3% service increase for the current fiscal year. These service increases, part of Muni Forward, represent the first major evaluation of San Francisco’s mass transit system in three decades and will redirect finite public resources where they are needed most. The changes, some major and some minor, seek to reduce crowding, improve reliability, and enhance system-wide neighborhood connectivity and access to regional transit through new routes, expanded limited-stop service and schedule adjustments.
The first service increases role out on at the end of January and include a new bus route, with additional increases set to arrive in spring 2015, fall 2015 and winter 2016.
Finally, in another bold step, the SFMTA board allocated $1.8 million to maintain the quality of SFMTA’s fleet; part of an ongoing commitment to both improve the customer experience and increase customer safety while riding Muni.
Together, with enhanced maintenance practices, this investment will help protect the city’s taxpayer’s recent investment in new vehicles by dedicating $600,000 in funding to clean Muni vehicles through the close of fiscal year 2015, with an additional $1.2 million reserved for vehicle cleaning through fiscal year 2016.
This funding will allow the SFMTA to add additional staff to increase vehicle cleaning intervals and remove graffiti and tagging in a timely manner and create a better, safer Muni ride for our customers.