SFMTA Board Approves Measures to Improve Service and Access
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), has taken another leap forward by approving:
a seven percent 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.”
Free Muni for Seniors and People with Disabilities:
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. Customers who already have a Senior or Regional Transit Connection (RTC) Clipper card may apply immediately online, by mail or by dialing 311. A new card is not required. More information about the program can be found at www.sfmta.com/freemuni. “This program expansion is more than a vote on how to get around town,” said Ed Reiskin, SFMTA Director of Transportation. “This vote ensures that residents of San Francisco, who need it most, will continue to have access to vital life sustaining medical care, jobs, education, and recreational pursuits.”
Betty Traynor, Board President for Senior & Disability Action applauds today’s vote.
"It is getting harder and harder for low-income seniors and people with disabilities to live in San Francisco. Rents and evictions are sky-high and low-income communities and communities of color are being pushed out of the city.
Free Muni is a step in the right direction. This says that our city values the participation of seniors and people with disabilities in our community!"
"When the end of the month comes, and I'm rationing my disability income, I'll be able to attend both medical appointments and support groups, instead of having to choose between one or the other,” says Mira Ingram, Member of Senior & Disability Action. “My ability to take part in the many events San Francisco has to offer was hindered because of MUNI costs. Now I'll be able to fully participate in my community.”
More Muni Service:
Through careful review of the SFMTA’s financial health, the Board voted to reaffirm their 2014 commitment to deliver a ten percent service increase by Spring 2016. This approval means more frequent, faster, and safer Muni service over the next year and a half.
Today’s seven percent approval follows a three percent 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 roll out on Saturday, January 31, and include a new bus route, the 55 16th Street. Additional increases will arrive in spring 2015, fall 2015, and winter 2016.
- There will be service increases on more than half of all Muni lines including the 8X Bayshore Express, 9/9L San Bruno and San Bruno Limited, 14L Mission Limited, 29 Sunset, 38L Geary Limited, and 54 Felton.
- SFMTA will launch all-day limited service on 19th Avenue and new 28L connection to Balboa Park BART
- SFMTA will launch the new 11 line - offering new connections from the Northern Waterfront and Downtown to SoMa and the Mission.
“With 700,000 daily transit boardings Muni transports nearly the entire population of the city of Columbus, Ohio every day,” said Tom Nolan, Chairman of the SFMTA Board. “So increasing services, part of Muni Forward, sets a precedent for efficient, reliable, and safe transit that will serve as a model nationwide.”
Funding for Transit Vehicle Cleanliness and Appearance:
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.
Elimination of Telephone and On-line Computer Transaction Fees:
The Board also wants to eliminate fees and make doing business with the SFMTA more affordable and easier for customers. So today’s vote, eliminated a $2.50 transaction fee charged for citation payments made online or by telephone.
The approval of these remaining budget items will provide great benefit to San Francisco’s transportation system. Collectively, today’s Board approval’s, are made possible by the financial strength of budget; due in part to the passage of Prop A and B, which allows us to shore up capital infrastructure.