May 6, 2024 - News

City transit agency proposes Muni fare increases

muni busses

Muni buses travel along Stockton Street in 2020. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Muni fares are on track to increase for the first time since before the pandemic.

Why it matters: The proposed fare increases, along with other increases, come as the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency seeks to crack down on fare evasion and is beefing up enforcement of illegal parking, including on sidewalks.

  • Officials say that the rate increases, part of a proposed $1.4 billion operating budget submitted to the mayor's office last week, are among efforts to reduce the agency's $12.7 million budget deficit.

Zoom in: The budget proposes raising single-ride Clipper and Muni mobile app fares from $2.50 to $2.75 next year and to $2.85 the following year.

  • The adult monthly pass is also set to increase from $81 to $85 next year and to $86 the following year.
  • Single-ride cash fares, however, would remain unchanged at $3.
  • Parking fines would increase by 8% each year.

What they're saying: To close the budget gap, the SFMTA board "had to make difficult decisions," spokesperson Andrea Buffa wrote in a blog post.

  • "Our revenues still haven't recovered from the economic impacts of the pandemic," she wrote. "So, we have to raise revenues to avoid cutting programs or services San Franciscans need and deserve."

The other side: Janelle Wong, interim executive director of San Francisco Transit Riders, told Axios via email that the fare increases would negatively affect ridership as the city is striving to be a transit-first city, reduce the impact of climate change and meet its Vision Zero goals.

Flashback: SFMTA proposed fare increases in 2020 but changed course after city supervisors argued that increases would further burden already struggling San Francisco residents amid the pandemic.

What to watch: Once Mayor London Breed sends the budget to the Board of Supervisors, the board will decide whether to allow it to take effect or reject it.

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