Free Muni Lunar New Year Weekend

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Today, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), in partnership with Supervisors Chan, Peskin and Preston, announced Muni will be offering free rides for the Lunar New Year weekend and festivities. Complimentary service begins Saturday, Feb. 19 at 5 a.m. to Monday, Feb. 21 at 5 a.m. This includes free rides on our historic cable cars, a beloved attraction for regional visitors providing them direct access to the Chinatown community and the weekend’s Lunar New Year festivities. 

Additionally, for the remainder of February, thanks to the leadership of Supervisors Chan and Peskin and their generous funding allocation, the SFMTA, Rec/Park and the Portsmouth Plaza Parking Corporation (PPPC) will be providing validation for two hours of free parking at the Portsmouth Square Plaza Garage.

The SFMTA is excited to be rolling out both programs to support the city’s economic recovery including for the Chinatown neighborhood and businesses’ vibrant culture and vitality.  

As we do every year to spread the spirit of Lunar New Year throughout the city, we’ve decorated two of our cable cars with a Lunar New Year theme and will be running them until Feb. 20. The SFMTA API Affinity Group and other staff members will be riding in the parade on a motorized cable car that will be outfitted with commemorative banners. 

A reminder, as we do not have the ability to turn off the Clipper ® readers or change our headway signs: 

  • Please do not tag your Clipper® card. If you tag it, you will be charged. 
  • Please do not activate a Muni Mobile ticket. Metro fare gates will be open. 
  • For access in Muni Metro stations, the fare gates will be open. 
  • For those who happen to tag a Clipper® reader during this weekend of free fares, the SFMTA does not have the ability to issue a refund. 

Safety for Muni riders is of paramount importance to us. To ensure San Francisco’s API community members, who’ve seen their loved ones subjected to hateful and racist attacks in recent years, are safe traveling during Lunar New Year, we’ve put additional support of Muni Transit Ambassadors on the buses and at bus stops in Chinatown to assist riders and support bus operators in keeping everyone safe. Many of our Muni operators come from the API community, so, for us, this is also a matter of protecting our employees. 

The SFMTA expresses our thanks to the city for giving us this opportunity to support the city and are extremely proud to be able to help keep Chinatown residents and visitors moving. 

For more information on Muni service and reroutes in effect for the Lunar New Year weekend, please visit the San Francisco Chinese New Year Celebration webpage (

 "Chinese New Year Parade is the civic pride of San Francisco, and we want everyone to have access to the parade and be able to join us in celebrating the Year of the Tiger," said Supervisor Connie Chan. "Free public transit for the weekend is a great opportunity to visit Chinatown. I thank the SFMTA for being a great partner in this initiative." 

"The Lunar New Year Parade usually attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors into the city. Free public transit and cable car service will encourage even more people to partake in this weekends' festivities," said Supervisor Aaron Peskin.

“Free Muni is a wonderful way to celebrate the Lunar New Year,” said Supervisor Dean Preston. “I’m thrilled to join with Supervisor Chan and the MTA in announcing that Muni across San Francisco will be free this weekend for all riders. We hope this will encourage everyone to go out and celebrate the Lunar New Year!”

“We want to do everything we can to support the Chinatown community and its vibrant culture and economy,” said Chair Gwyneth Borden of the SFMTA Board of Directors. “We hope our agency’s efforts will result in more San Franciscans taking part in a safe and festive weekend for the Year of the Tiger.” 

“We are thrilled to be able to support free uni this weekend in recognition of LNY to celebrate, support and recognize the Asian community’s significance in San Francisco, said Director Sharon Lai of the SFMTA Board of Directors. “MTA hopes to safely promote visitors and support the economy of Chinatown through facilitating public transit in celebration of the return of festivities since the pandemic. We are grateful for this partnership with the BOS.” 




“With the Chinatown Street Fair and Parade, this is the most important weekend of the year for our community, so making it as easy as possible to get to Chinatown has exponential impact,“ said Malcolm Yeung, executive director of the Chinatown Community Development Center. “With the great weather, the easing of the COVID surge, free parking at Portsmouth Square Garage and now free Muni, we can expect an incredibly vibrant weekend. Thank you SFMTA and our city leaders for your love and care!”