Muni kicks F-Line fare hike to the curb

The idea to increase the Muni F-Market & Wharves historic streetcars fare by as much $6 has derailed.

Since the plan was first introduced a possible revenue generator at a San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency board meeting last month, it has received negative feedback from riders and city supervisors. SFMTA board members were also not a fan of the idea.

Ed Reiskin, director of transportation, said at a SFMTA meeting Friday:

“I don’t plan on advancing that recommendation.”

The plan was to increase the fare on the F-Line $1, $2, or $3 higher than the suggested automatic indexing of the cash fare of $2.25 in the SFMTA budget.

Reiskin said at a budget town hall meeting that some people do consider the F-Line as a “specialized service” and compare the service to the cable cars, which charge $6 for a single ride. (Cable car service is also included for monthly Muni pass holders.)

With the revenue proposal gone, the SFMTA still needs to find a way to balance its two-year budget during the next two weeks, said Reiskin.

A revised budget presented by the transit agency’s Chief Financial Officer Sonali Bose showed a deficit over the next two fiscal years of $5.9 million (2014-2015) and $16.4 million (2015-2016).

The latest budget now includes spending to increase transit service by 10 percent over the next two years, preventative maintenance and the additional hiring of operators.

A program to give free Muni for low and moderate income seniors and the disabled is also included in the revised budget.

The SFMTA said it would lose $4.5 million in revenue in each year by implementing the program. Most board members though support the proposal as well as extending the current free Muni for youth program to 18 year olds.

As far as eliminating Sunday parking meter enforcement, Reiskin said he was still unsure what he plans to recommend to board members.

The first chance for the SFMTA board to adopt their two-year budget is April 1. The transit agency must submit its budget to the City by May 1.