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Call and Response: Free public transit for youth


A few weeks ago, we aired a story about San Francisco students' access to public transportation. The piece discussed possible legislation that would provide free Muni passes to local youth. Here are some responses that came through the Crosscurrents voicemail line.

DARIA MEAD: I live in the Excelsior and my kids go to school in the Mission. My kids are still little, but my 12-year-old is just starting to ride the bus. I can't believe that I didn't know that kids can't get free bus passes. I grew up in New York City in the 1970s and 80s. The city was in dire straights and kids still got free bus passes. It's outrageous. I spend so much time and money driving my kids across town. It would drastically reduce traffic and congestion as well as affecting the choice of high school, where we are now starting to hunt. And then you add the crazy lottery system where kids end up being schooled halfway around town. I am committed to living in the city. My husband is from LA. I am not a suburban person, but there need to be ways to make living in the city with a family easier and more affordable. Bus passes would be one. Another suggestion is trying to get a museum pass $250 per year.

CECILIA GEHRY: I'm a parent of a student currently in enrolled in SF Unified. I live in Bernal. I've been taking my child to school for two years across the city. At first, it was difficult because I didn't want to looe time from work. But then I started to think, in this economy there's no money. So maybe I'm putting my time and money to be more considerate about where our money goes. I am a single hard-working mom, 9 to 6pm and I really don't have complaints. I know there's a lot of resources. People don't take advantage of some of these and others are taken advantage of negatively. This is just something that I have to do: take my son to school in the morning. So I will take my son to school in the morning every day until the economy gets better. Other parents that complain, I have no sympathy. I am one of those individuals that don't qualify for city government aid. I have had to do everything on my own without public assistance. It's difficult to live knowing that there are people out there who are taking advantage of these things that I don't qualify for, but it's just something that I have to do and live with.

Ben was hired as Interim Executive Director of KALW in November, 2021.