San Francisco

Plan to Make Muni Free in San Francisco Still Up in Air as it Awaits Mayor's Signature

NBC Universal, Inc.

The move to make Muni free for riders in San Francisco appears to have a hit a snag.

For weeks, city supervisors have discussed the move as a way to spark economic recovery, even voting to move forward with the plan. But Mayor London Breed still has the opportunity to veto it.

The plan to make Muni free for all riders until the end of September included a July 1 start date, but that date could be a long shot because the proposal still has to be signed by Breed.

As it stands now, the proposal passed at Tuesday's Board of Supervisors meeting by a 7-4 vote, one vote shy of being able to override a veto from the mayor. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Breed says she plans to veto the measure once it reaches her desk.

For months, city leaders have said the move would spur the city's economy and benefit middle- and low-income riders. In a statement to the Chronicle, Breed’s office says: "The mayor believes we need to return Muni to full service to support our economic recovery, especially for our lower income communities, before we use precious general fund dollars to provide free rides for those who don’t need it."

Muni ridership is still well below pre-pandemic levels. In February 2020, the system saw more than 500,000 riders a day and hit a low of fewer than 100,000 riders in April 2020.

At the beginning of this month, the numbers have grown slowly to a little more than 200,000.

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