Remember when we said the bright spot in the new San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) budget was a pilot program that would provide low-income children with free transit passes? Well, it looks like that’s not going to happen after all.
Yesterday the Metropolitan Transportation Commission voted against funding the project, effectively killing the program that was going to run for 22 months and had garnered the support of both the SFMTA and the San Francisco Unified School District. The program was voted down by a vote of 8 to 7, and according to a Tweet from SF Chronicle reporter Michael Cabanatuan, the reaction was less than positive:
In an interview with Streetsblog, Jaron Brown, one of the Free Muni for Youth campaign’s supporters stated, “We were definitely very disappointed, especially with the kind of resources the MTC has and the other allocations they’ve been able to make without this level of struggle… But there’s no way we’re stopping at this point.”
So to recap: a pilot program initially intended to allow free public transit for all children under 18 was modified to only include children from low-income families, and then ultimately voted down anyway.
Fortunately, based on the latest data, we’re still seeing a dramatic shift away from car culture, with more and more young people opting to utilize mass transit. It’s just too bad the ones who can’t afford it are out of luck.