Mayor London Breed and Supervisor Myrna Melgar Announce Expansion of Free Muni for Youth Program
The Free Muni for Youth Program will provide free Muni rides to all youth 18 and under in San Francisco, no application required
San Francisco, CA – Mayor London N. Breed, Supervisor Myrna Melgar, and the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) today announced that the SFMTA will expand the Free Muni for Youth program so that everyone 18 and under can ride Muni free of charge, without having to apply.
The expansion of the Free Muni for Youth Program was originally adopted by the SFMTA Board of Directors in April 2020, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic SFMTA lacked the financial resources to fund this program. By allocating $2 million in the upcoming budget, Mayor Breed is ensuring that Muni is accessible to the more than 100,000 youth across San Francisco.
“For some people in our city the financial burden of riding Muni is small, but so many young people and families with children rely on public transportation and these fares have a significant impact on their budgets,” said Mayor Breed. “After more than a year of social distancing and virtual learning, I want to see students taking the bus to get to school and to hang out with their friends. This will not only save them money, but also hopefully foster a new generation of Muni riders. I want to thank Supervisor Melgar for bringing this idea forward and pushing to make it a reality.”
“Communities have been fighting for free Muni for all youth for over a decade, and I’m so grateful to Mayor Breed for engaging with me, and for funding a program our city so desperately needs. This collaborative spirit is essential to making progress on community needs,” said Supervisor Melgar. “This makes sense now during our recovery and it makes sense in the future to reduce our carbon footprint, introduce more riders into the system, and help youth and their families economically by providing free transportation to and from school and activities. This removes barriers, makes for a more confident and equitable system and paves the way for a more accessible system in the future. I look forward to this program’s success, sustainability, and to continuing to advocate for a stronger, sustainable, accessible Muni and to making San Francisco a more child and family friendly city.”
The Free Muni for Youth Program began as a pilot in March 2013, and provides free Muni rides to children ages 5 to 18 who reside in low- to moderate-income households. With this announcement, all young people will qualify for the program without having to apply. The Free Muni for Youth Program will run through Fiscal Year 2021-2022. The SFMTA also provides Free Muni for seniors and persons with disabilities. Program eligibility is set at an annual income at or below 100 percent of the Bay Area median. The SFMTA Board of Directors expanded this program in 2020 to persons experiencing homelessness.
“As the representative of the District with the largest population of students enrolled in SFUSD, I can tell you with great confidence that having access to Free Muni for all youth will have an overwhelmingly positive impact for working families in my District and throughout the City,” said Supervisor Ahsha Safaí. “It is vital to fund Free Muni for all youth as we begin our summer programs and return to in person learning in the fall.”
“San Francisco’s youth depend on Muni to get them to school, their extracurricular activities, and part-time jobs and more—public transit helps them grow and thrive,” said Gwyneth Borden, Chair of the SFMTA Board of Directors. “Our Board is committed to removing any and all barriers to opportunity and education for the City’s youngest residents.”