It is no secret that District 5 Supervisor Dean Preston thinks that Muni ought to be free for everyone to ride, full stop. He campaigned on the idea to eliminate Muni fares by 2025 when he successfully ran for the seat in 2019, and was part of the charge to cancel a scheduled Muni fare hike the SFMTA had proposed last summer.
Earlier today, I sent a letter to @sfmta_muni leadership requesting Free MUNI for the rest of the pandemic. It's a crucial step to restore ridership and put money into struggling San Franciscan’s pockets when they need it most. The time for Free MUNI is now! pic.twitter.com/GLFpmpmOZO— Dean Preston (@DeanPreston) February 25, 2021
Preston is back on the “Free Muni” soapbox again, as seen in the above tweet saying that on Thursday he had “sent a letter to @sfmta_muni leadership requesting Free MUNI for the rest of the pandemic.” In a subsequent tweet in the thread, he notes that “With new federal funding coming from the Biden Administration and very low fare revenue right now anyway, this is absolutely something MTA can do without compromising service or negatively impacting staff.”
This comes on the heels of Mayor Breed’s announcement that Muni rides to get the COVID-19 vaccine will be free. A statement from Preston’s office adds that “The current approach grants fare-free travel to people going to get vaccinations, but leaves people going to get COVID tests, health care workers commuting to work, patients on their way to medical appointments, residents going to grocery stores, families going to childcare, and others paying for their essential travel during the pandemic.”
The Fresno City Council just passed a free bus fare act that goes into effect March 1, and remains in place for the remainder of the pandemic.
Hoodline has not directly reviewed the letter Preston sent to the SFMTA, though we have reached out to his office, and will update this post if we get a look at it. The matter does not currently appear on the agenda for this coming Tuesday’s SFMTA board meeting.