Free MUNI for Youth a Possibility on the Horizons

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) voted on October 24th to unanimously approve $6.7 million dollars for MUNI to use to finance improvements. The SF Youth Commission and POWER have been working hard to secure the funds needed for a pilot program that would provide free MUNI for low income youth.

Mission Local blogger Talal Ansari reported on the free MUNI proposal:

Paul Monge-Rodriguez, legislative affairs officer for the San Francisco Youth Commission, believes that the free Muni project will encourage a new generation of transit riders while easing the fiscal burden of public transportation for low-income families.

“It is an investment that in the long run will allow many of our youth to attend school, to commute to work and to become more involved in the community in a lasting way. These are things that people who are not dependent on local transit systems often take for granted,” said Monge-Rodriguez.

Nicholas Persky, a 17-year-old high school student and vice-chair of the Youth Commission, is optimistic that the SFMTA will draft a proposal that will make the program a reality. “Having Muni free for low-income youth would help take away the financial burden of Muni fast passes to our families that often struggle to afford them on a monthly basis,” Persky said.

– Talal Ansari, Mission Local

A coalition of youth, parents and community groups have been organizing to secure funds for the free MUNI for low income youth pilot. In July the MTC voted to not approve the funds needed to give the pilot the green light. This hasn’t stopped the Free MUNI for Youth Coalition! Support has poured in from Mayor Ed Lee, the Board of Supervisors, Board of Education in favor of free MUNI for Youth. The Municipal Transportation Agency (MTA) now has to decide what to do with the $6.7 million in funding.

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