Free Muni Pilot to Kickstart Economy Recovery

Supervisor Myrna Melgar

The Board of Supervisors are close to piloting a three-month Free Muni trial but Mayor Breed is threatening to veto it. We need eight Supervisors to support so that we can avoid the Mayor's veto but we are currently one vote short. Supervisor Myrna Melgar has supported free Muni in the past and is now the swing vote that we need to get Free Muni passed. Just last week, Supervisor Melgar voted against the Free MUNI pilot, even though she supported free Muni during her campaign. Can you sign our petition demanding that Supervisor Melgar votes yes for the three-month free Muni program?

We need free Muni to incentivize the use of mass transit over congestion and pollution-causing alternatives. Traffic is already back at pre-pandemic levels and with workplaces reopening -- expanding Muni ridership and service is essential to our economic recovery. San Francisco has an opportunity to prioritize service, ridership, and fare relief.

The pandemic continues to burden disproportionately working-class residents of our city and people of color, many of whom are our essential and front-line workers -- nurses, janitors, grocery store workers, restaurant staff, delivery drivers, security guards, shelter workers, and many more -- who have given so much to our community throughout this pandemic.

Our City leaders must take bold steps to meet our Transit First mandate and bring public transit back strong. That means ramping up service, investing in operators and making Muni free. We must do all three. With renewed federal investments, the MTA and the City can do just that. Free Muni is a key part of the path forward. We need to pilot this now to get people back on Muni, put money back in struggling workers’ pockets, and jumpstart our recovery. Piloting Free Muni in this way won’t cost a lot, won't affect the MTA’s timeline to restore service, and will benefit our public transportation system and our overall recovery. Most importantly, the Free Muni pilot will not impact the restoration of any lines.



Petition by
SOMCAN SF
San Francisco, California

To: Supervisor Myrna Melgar
From: [Your Name]

Dear Supervisor Melgar,

I am writing to you as a resident of San Francisco to strongly urge you to vote in support of Supervisor Preston and Haney’s ordinance for a three-month Free Muni pilot. The pandemic continues to burden disproportionately the working-class residents of our city and people of color, many of whom are our essential and front-line workers -- nurses, janitors, grocery store workers, restaurant staff, delivery drivers, security guards, shelter workers, and many more -- who have given so much to our community throughout this pandemic. And now when ridership is at all time low and people need free Muni the most, you voted against, even though you supported free Muni during your campaign.

Our City leaders must take bold steps to meet our Transit First mandate and bring public transit back strong. That means ramping up service, investing in operators and making Muni free. We must do all three. With renewed federal investments, the MTA and the City can do just that. Free Muni is a key part of the path forward. We need to pilot this now to get people back on Muni, put money back in struggling workers’ pockets, and jumpstart our recovery. Piloting Free Muni in this way won’t cost a lot, won't affect the MTA’s timeline to restore service, and will benefit our public transportation system and our overall recovery. Most importantly, the Free Muni pilot will not impact the restoration of any lines in District 7. The timeline for lines to return is the sole decision of the MTA and this money is separate from the MTA operating budget.

The concerns you raised at the Board of Supervisors are no longer true. The MTA originally stated that the system could not handle the extra capacity because we were operating under COVID distancing restrictions that limited riders to about 50% of capacity, however, just last week at the TA meeting, the MTA shared that they plan to roll back social distancing and capacity restrictions by mid-June, weeks before the pilot is set to begin. The timing of this pilot works perfectly with the lifting of restrictions which will dramatically increase capacity on our buses.

I strongly urge you to vote in support of Supervisor Preston and Haney’s proposal for a three-month Free Muni pilot. We are a Transit First city and should do everything possible to support riders and encourage ridership.