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SFMTA OKs two-year budget that expands Muni service

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency's (SFMTA) board yesterday approved a two-year budget for fiscal-years 2015 and 2016 that includes a 12 percent increase in Municipal Railway (Muni) service.

The budget allocates $562.9 million in FY2015 and $637 million in FY2016 for capital expenses, including $118.9 million for the Muni Forward Transit Optimization and Expansion program and $468.9 million for the Muni Forward Fleet renewal and expansion program, SFMTA officials said in a press release.

In addition to expanding Muni service, the budget aims to support efforts to make the city safer for pedestrians, improve bicycle connections, and bolster SFMTA's goals to make transportation services safer and more accessible, they said.

"By supporting families, addressing affordability issues and increasing Muni service, this budget works hard to enhance how San Franciscans get from point A to point B, while doing what we can to make this city an even better place to live and work," said SFMTA Chairman Tom Nolan.

The budget also will enable SFMTA to continue free transit service the next two years for low-to-moderate youth ages 5 to 17 made possible by a $6.8 million gift from Google, and expand the program to 18 year olds.

Additionally, the budget lays out plans to implement some or all of the following programs or services, contingent on the board's determination of the agency’s fiscal health in January 2015: funding a 7 percent increase in transit services in FY16; providing free Muni for low- and moderate-income seniors and disabled riders who use a Clipper® card as a pilot program for FY15 and FY16, effective June 1, 2015; allocating additional funding of $600,000 in FY15 and $1.2 million for FY16 from discretionary operating funds for transit vehicle fleet cleaning and appearance; and eliminating all service transaction fees effective April 1, 2015.

Increases to Muni fares and other fees and fines, including a 25 cent increase for daily adult cash fares on Muni, are the result of the SFMTA's automatic consumer price index policy approved in 2009. The board approved a freeze on the index increase for senior and moderate-income seniors and disabled riders that will be determined in January 2015.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 4/16/2014