Muni’s New Year’s resolution: Higher fares

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency will be ushering the New Year with higher Muni fares starting on Jan. 1, 2017.

As previously reported by SFBay, Muni adult passengers opting to pay transit fares with cash for single-rides will have to pay an additional 25 cents for a total of $2.50. Limited use tickets will also be $2.50.

Fares for passengers using their Clipper card or pay using the MuniMobile app for single-rides will remain at $2.25.

SFMTA spokesperson Paul Rose said the cash fare increase is to encourage cash-paying passengers to start using Clipper, which will help speed up the boarding process on Muni:

“These changes are meant to encourage quicker, safer fare payments that allow Muni to spend less time boarding at stops and more time getting you where you’re going.”

Discounted cash fares for youth, senior and persons with disabilities will rise from $1 to $1.25.

Monthly Fast Passes are on the rise as well.

The adult monthly “A” Fast Pass with access to San Francisco BART stations will increase from $86 to $91. Discounted monthly Fast Passes for youth, seniors and persons with disabilities will jump from $25 to $36.

Adult monthly “M” Fast Passes will remain at $73.

The SFMTA’s Board of Directors approved the new fares in April as part of it’s two-year operating budget. The transit agency’s Automatic Fare Index Policy formula sets the new fares.

Directors though did approve in its two-year budget to increase the monthly adult “A” Fast Pass $5 above the September indexed fare of $86 for 2017 in order to recover more of the costs paid to BART to continue to make the passes available for passengers.

They also approved decreasing the discount youth, seniors and persons of disabilities for Muni fares and passes. Currently, discounted monthly Fast Passes are 66 percent below the cost of a monthly adult “M” Fast Pass. Starting next year, it will be 50 percent below the “M” pass.

Fare discounts for seniors and persons with disabilities will still meet federal guidelines.

The SFMTA still offers its free Muni programs for low- and middle-income youth, seniors and persons with disabilities.

Directors also approved extending the youth age to 18 for students who turn 18 while still in high school to allow them to continue receiving the youth discount fare until they turn 19.

The transit agency will extend the late-night transfer offer to Clipper card users and MuniMobile app users.

Rose said passengers who pay for a single-ride either on Clipper or on the MuniMobile app after 8:30 p.m., will get to ride Muni all night until 5 a.m just like how passengers who pay with cash receive a late-night transfer.

Muni fare inspectors will treat passengers who tagged their Clipper card after 8:30 p.m. as valid despite the Clipper card system not allowing for transfers longer than 90 minutes.

A campaign is on the way to get tourists to also hop on board getting a Clipper card when visiting San Francisco, said Rose:

“We will work with SF Travel, travel associations, hotels and rental car agencies to help spread the word. We will be placing ads in the print, digital and broadcast media. We will share information on social media, on our website, station banners, and interior bus ads.”

The Powell-Hyde Cable Car, the Powell Mason Cable Car and the 39-Coit are some routes with the highest cash usage, said Rose.