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Muni ridership up, but fare hike possible

A Muni streetcar makes its way through San Francisco
Richard Eriksson
A Muni streetcar makes its way through San Francisco

The San Francisco Metropolitan Transportation Agency has oversight over the Muni railway and bus system, as well as bicycling, parking garages, traffic infrastructure, pedestrian walkways and taxis.

In a statement Friday, the agency invited the public to weigh in on its plans to fill the gap with its 2024-2026 budget, which is due to the mayor's office before May 1st.

Muni revenue is 56 percent of pre-pandemic levels, according to the SFMTA. Public meetings are scheduled for Feb. 22 and March 2.

Eliminating a Clipper discount implemented 10 years ago would generate more than five million dollars, according to the agency. The discount was put into place to get Muni riders to switch to Clipper, which most riders have already done.

Increasing parking fines by five percent would generate more than three-and-a-half million dollars. An automatic inflation adjustment for residential parking permits would be about three million dollars, and reinstating taxi fees would add $12 million, said the agency.

With the help of more than one billion dollars in federal pandemic relief funds, the city's bus and rail agency has made investments in transit platforms, safety features and data tools.

The virtual public meeting, via Zoom, will be Feb. 22 at 5 p.m. and the in-person open house will be March 2 at 11:30 a.m. at the Richmond branch of the San Francisco Public Library.

Sunni M. Khalid is a veteran of more than 40 years in journalism, having worked has in print, radio, television, and web journalism.