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Back to School Tips: Putting Safety First

Friday, August 17, 2018

Kids crossing the street.

It's that time of year again. Kids across the city are packing their bags, parents are making lunches and Muni is getting ready for the big day. With the first day of school on Monday, we wanted to give you a few tips to ease back into things. 

About 57,000 children attend a school in the San Francisco Unified School District, and about half of them will be using Muni to get back and forth beginning next week. Did you know most are within a five-minute walk of a bus stop?

With the imminent start of school next week, the agency will be adding Muni services specifically to address the needs of this particular group of customers – students. And we’re making sure students can travel safely and affordably through agency initiatives such as Free Muni for Youth, discounted youth fares, and the Crossing Guards and Muni Transit Assistance programs.

We're also teaming up with our city partners, the San Francisco Police Department and the Department of Public Health, to remind parents, students and everyone else using the streets how to be safe.

Plan Your Trip

School Trippers: Muni sees close to 29,000 student boardings on an average school day. In response to this high demand, we provide supplemental after-school service for 27 middle schools and 23 high schools throughout the city. Referred to as “school trippers,” these added runs begin at a school once the school day has ended and then merge into the regular bus route. Visit our Routes & Stops page to see a map and schedule for all SFMTA services. To find the school and which are the nearest bus routes and rail lines, visit our Middle Schools and High Schools pages.

Crossing Guards: The SFMTA is also ramping up its School Crossing Guard Program. With next week marking the first day of school for many students, it will also be the first day for seven new school crossing guards. In total, the SFMTA has grown its School Crossing Guard Program this year to 187 crossing guards, staffing 151 corners at 106 private and public schools citywide.

The Twin Peaks Tunnel: The Twin Peaks Tunnel is scheduled to be closed for at least the first week of school, affecting service on the K, L and M lines. While the tunnel is closed, Forest Hill and West Portal stations will be closed, the K Ingleside will travel on a shortened route, and bus service will run for the L Taraval and M Ocean View lines. Temporary stops near Forest Hill (L Taraval only) and West Portal (M Ocean View only) will help keep everyone moving. Transfers to Muni Metro underground service for the L and M buses can be done at both Castro and Church stations. Visit our Twin Peaks Tunnel Project website for more information.

Back to School Safety Tips

It's easy to ride transit to or from school. Every middle and high school in the San Francisco Unified School District is served by at least one Muni route. But if that's not possible and you do need to drive and drop your children off, please remember to:

  • Pull into a passenger loading zone for drop-off. If there is no passenger loading zone or no space available, park in a legal parking space further away. Walking is healthy.
  • Drop your child off at the curb on the school side of the street rather than crossing into oncoming traffic or having your child run across the street.
  • Have your child sit on the passenger side with their backpack so they can get out of the car easily, quickly and safely.
  • Talk about crossing safely and remember to:
  1. Stop at the curb or edge of the street
  2. Look left, right, left and behind you for traffic
  3. Wait until no traffic is coming and begin crossing
  4. ​​​Keep looking for traffic until you have finished crossing
  5. Walk, don’t run across the street
  6. Don’t use your phone when crossing the street

September is also Pedestrian Safety Month, a good time to remember to slow down and pay attention. Some of the best tips for traveling back to school safely by walking on sidewalks, and obeying traffic signs and crossing guards can be found in Back to School Safety Tips.

    Discount Fares

    Free Muni for low-to-moderate income students: The Free Muni for Youth Program provides free Muni services for low to moderate income city youth between the ages of five and 18 (students enrolled in Special Education Services and the English Learner Program are eligible until the age of 22) to help meet their transportation needs whether it be in the morning or afternoon. Since Free Muni for Youth began in March 2013, nearly 34,500 youth have enrolled in the program.

    Applications are available for those who have not had time to sign up for the Free Muni for Youth Program, and are between the ages 5-18. They can still get a discounted fare of $1.25 when using a Clipper card ($1.35 with cash) to ride on Muni with a valid identification.