Muni extends free rides to special ed students

Muni is expanding its free Muni for youth program as thousands of students in San Francisco return to school this week.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s board of directors approved Tuesday to expand the program to low- and moderate-income students enrolled in the San Francisco Unified School District’s Special Education Services Program.

Students enrolled in the program are between the ages of 19 and 22, and would normally have to pay for an adult Muni Fast Pass. The transit agency said the program has about 200 students enrolled.

During an April 15 budget hearing, the SFMTA board approved extending the free Muni for low- and moderate-income youth for another two years and expanding the program to 18-year-olds.

A $6.8 million gift from Google helped make the board’s decision easier to include the program in its two-year budget.

At the meeting, the board asked staff to see if it would possible to add students in the special education program to the free Muni for youth program.

The SFMTA staff report Tuesday said that adding the adding special education students would require minimal administrative resources.

The cost of adding the students is $163,300. The funds will come out of the SFMTA’s budget.

Students can check the SFMTA website to see if they qualify for the free Muni for youth program. Applications will be available starting Sept. 1, according to the transit agency.

Students in the special education program and 18-year-olds can start using the free passes on Nov. 1.