SFMTA Board Approves FY 2025 and FY 2026 Budget

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Thursday, May 2, 2024

A senior and two women carrying shopping bags wait in line to board a 14. We see other vehicles moving in the background.With our new budget, people can still get where they need to go on more than 70 Muni routes. 

On Tuesday, April 16, the SFMTA Board of Directors unanimously approved the agency’s FY 2025 and FY 2026 SFMTA operating and capital budgets. The consolidated budget has just been sent to the Mayor’s Office for review. Next, it will head to the Board of Supervisors for final review. 

With this budget, we can continue to provide:   

  • Transit service on 72 Muni routes  

  • Improvement projects that help make Muni safer, cleaner, faster and more reliable  

  • Paratransit service for half a million seniors and people with disabilities every year 

  • Street safety programs and projects like new street designs that make our roads safer for everyone 

We’ll share how we got to this stage, and the importance of your feedback. We’ll also cover some of the key features of our budget and what you can expect next in the process. 

Reducing our budget gap to preserve critical services 

In December 2022, we projected a $214 million budget gap for the upcoming two-year budget. Our teams worked hard to shrink this gap.  

We reduced the agency’s expenses. We made our processes more efficient. We also limited hiring to key positions. By December 2023, we had reduced the budget gap to $12.7 million.  

To close the remainder of the gap, the Board had to make difficult decisions. Our revenues still haven’t recovered from the economic impacts of the pandemic. So, we have to raise revenues to avoid cutting programs or services San Franciscans need and deserve. 

Incorporating your feedback  

Community input was invaluable as we developed the budget, and it shaped the final version that our Board approved.  

We held two citywide listening sessions and 35 meetings with neighborhood groups, merchant associations and community-based organizations. We also heard from the public at our Board meetings from January through April. 

In response to that input, we modified our original proposal for generating the $12.7 million needed to close our budget gap. The budget now includes modest increases to Muni fares, fees and fines. These increases will protect vulnerable populations and improve fare equity. They will also support the future financial health of the agency. 

Aerial view of Geary Boulevard in the Richmond. Cars are moving in their lanes beside a 38R traveling in a designated transit lane.The new budget ensures people who pay in cash won’t see fare changes on their Muni rides. 

Muni fare changes 

The cash fare riders pay for Muni will remain the same because that’s how San Franciscans with the lowest incomes pay to ride. We will also continue providing Free Muni for Youth and a 50% discount on monthly passes to riders with low incomes, seniors and riders with disabilities. And we will do more to promote our discount fare programs so that more people who qualify can take advantage of them.  

We originally proposed eliminating the Clipper Card discount over the course of two years. But we heard concerns about how this might impact Muni ridership and changed our proposal. We now plan to reduce the discount but not eliminate it.  

Other changes 

Parking fines will go up in both years of the budget. By the second year, tickets for street cleaning and parking meter violations will have gone up by $15. 

We understand that a lot of you are concerned about people not paying to ride Muni. Fare evasion has gone up since the pandemic. So, we’ve included funding in this budget for 36 additional fare inspectors. The more our fare inspectors are visible on Muni, the more people will pay their fares, so this investment will pay for itself.  

We also heard that you want us to improve street safety. In response, we reallocated resources and will improve our intra-agency collaboration to speed up street design changes that protect people who walk, bike and roll. 

Next steps 

After the Mayor’s Office sends our proposed budget to the Board of Supervisors, the Board may allow it to take effect without any action or it may reject the budget.  

We appreciate the hundreds of people who participated in our budget process. We’re proud that we’ve been able to make Muni faster and more reliable than it’s probably ever been despite our financial challenges. And we all want to do more than that.  

We want Muni to thrive, not just survive. We want it to become the best transit system in the world. We know you share that goal, and we look forward to working together to achieve it. 

For more information on the budget proposal, you can review the April 16 budget presentation we gave to the SFMTA Board.