SFMTA Creates Muni-only “M” Fast Pass to provide a less expensive alternative
to BART-valid Adult “A” Fast Pass.
The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), which operates the Municipal Railway (Muni), is advising customers of Muni fare increases that go into effect on Jan. 1, 2010.
The Adult “A” Fast Pass, which is valid for travel on BART within San Francisco, will increase from $55 to $70.
Also beginning in January, the SFMTA has created a new $60 Muni-only “M” Fast Pass, which is on sale now along with all other Muni monthly passes at www.sfmta.com.
Sales locations throughout San Francisco will offer all Muni passes as usual in advance of Jan. 1; for a list of locations and sales periods visit sfmta.com/fares. In addition to the Fast Pass, the January fare increase will affect visitor passports and interagency stickers. Muni cash fares are not changing.
“We sincerely regret the need to increase fares in these challenging economic times,” said SFMTA Executive Director/CEO Nathaniel P. Ford Sr.
“Our focus now is on making sure our customers understand which Fast Pass is right for them so they are only paying for the transit service they use.”
To decide which monthly pass is the best choice, existing Adult “A” Fast Pass customers should consider how often they use their “A” pass for travel on BART within San Francisco.
Customers who typically use their Adult “A” Fast Pass to ride BART within San Francisco more than six times per month — or who want the convenience and flexibility of using their pass on BART — are likely find the $70 Adult “A” Fast Pass to be the most economical choice.
The new $60 Muni-only “M” Fast Pass is not valid for travel on BART within San Francisco, so this pass makes the most sense for customers who predominantly ride Muni (including the cable cars).
The SFMTA is working to inform customers of their choices through station banners, informational notices within Muni vehicles, e-mails to stakeholders and outreach to sales locations, among other efforts.
The January fare increases were adopted this past spring to help close a $129 million deficit for the fiscal year that began July 1.
The deficit was caused in large part by the State of California ’s elimination of funding for transit operations. Overall, the SFMTA cut expenditures by $77 million through position eliminations and internal efficiencies and raised revenue by $52 million through a combination of parking fee and fine increases, Muni fare increases and other measures.
The January fare increases are expected to increase revenues by $4.85 million over the six months remaining in this fiscal year.
The increase to the fare of the Adult “A” Fast Pass reflects the SFMTA’s effort to defray in part the cost of the BART access provided by the pass.
The SFMTA pays BART $1.02 for every Fast Pass trip on BART within San Francisco —which added up to $13 million in the last fiscal year. The increase to the Adult “A” pass is expected to generate $1.35 million of the $4.85 million mentioned above, again for the remaining six months of this fiscal year.
This past July 1, the Adult “A” Fast Pass increased $10 (from $45 to $55) and discount monthly passes for seniors, youth and people with disabilities increased to $15 from $10. Cash fares increased to $2 for adults 18 to 64 years old and to $.75 for the discount fare.
Along with the increases in July, the cost of the Muni Lifeline Pass — a pass for low-income customers and the only one of its kind in the United States — decreased from $35 to $30. In recent years, the SFMTA has worked with the Human Services Agency (HSA), which qualifies customers for the pass, to increase its distribution. Muni customers may contact HSA at 415.557.5900 to apply.
Additional fare increases for 2010 are summarized in the chart below. Increases in discounted monthly passes for seniors, youth and people with disabilities were postponed from Jan. 1, 2010 to May 1, 2010 during budget discussions this past spring with the Mayor’s office and the Board of Supervisors in order to keep fares as low as possible for Muni’s most economically-vulnerable customers.
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