Photo of the 14 Mission bus by Octavio Lopez Raygoza.

Supporters of a resolution that would have offered free Muni rides to San Francisco’s low-income youth lost hope yesterday when the Metropolitan Transportation Commission voted against providing $4 million in funds toward the plan, according to the Chronicle. From the article:

The MTC vote leaves Muni’s $9.4 million plan, which was to start on Aug. 1, $5 million short. Municipal Transportation Agency officials declined to declare the free-fare program dead, but have said repeatedly that they can’t afford to contribute any extra money.

“We’re disappointed in the outcome,” said Paul Rose, an MTA spokesman. “We’re going to have to regroup and go back to our board and see where we are without funding from the region.”

As for the board’s reasoning, the Chronicle reports that some of its members questioned why San Francisco should be given special treatment:

The MTA board, despite misgivings but under pressure from the Board of Supervisors, approved the free Muni plan in April, contingent on receiving up to $5 million from the commission. But commissioners, especially from the East Bay, were critical, questioning why San Francisco youth should be singled out for free transit …

“We should be looking at how to get free transit for all children under 18,” said Alameda County Supervisor Scott Haggerty. “We’re just not ready yet.”

The videos above were first published by Mission Local in 2011.

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  1. We pay for roads and sewers and schools through taxes, and nobody complains that youths are getting a freebie on those. Why not Muni?

  2. Free Muni is a bad idea. Discouints for youth and seniors is ok, but Free Muni creates a sense of “entitlement” which will never be taken away, reduces revenues to Muni which will reduce maintenance.

  3. Good – now they can just go and ride MUNI without paying like everyone else since fare enforcement is racist.