(Bay City News) Qualifying low-income youth are slated to start riding San Francisco Municipal Railway buses and trains for free starting in March 2013 following today's approval of a pilot program by the city's Municipal Transportation Agency Board of Directors.
The board unanimously passed a resolution at this afternoon's City Hall meeting that accepts and expends $1.6 million for a 16-month pilot program to provide free Muni rides for youth who apply for the program and are eligible.
The funding comes from a $6.7 million Transit Performance Initiative grant from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission that also puts $5.1 million into a light-rail vehicle rehabilitation program.
Transportation director Ed Reiskin said the "lion's share" of the grant goes to service improvement, but "enables us to serve both" service needs and youth riders.
The TPI funding has the goal of increasing ridership, which is something free Muni advocates, including city Supervisor David Campos, have claimed the program will promote.