muni_generic.jpgElsewhere: Youth Activists: Poor Adults Get Muni Discounts, Poor Kids Don’t SF Weekly, MTA Board Vote on Service Cuts and Fare Hikes Confirmed for Friday Streetsblog, Muni considering service cuts, fee hikes Chron,
Muni fare hike, cuts appear inevitable Ex

Members of the San Francisco Youth Commission are asking residents young and old to speak out against plans to charge young riders more for their monthly transit passes.

Faced with a $17 million budget deficit for the 2010 fiscal year, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency board is considering a slate of fare increases and service reductions that include possibly raising the price of a monthly youth pass to $30. Currently, a monthly pass for riders age 5 to 17 is $15 and is slated to go up to $20 on May 1.

Youth Commission members, along with other young Muni riders, are speaking out against the proposed increase at two public meetings this week.

Commissioners take issue with the fact that the youth pass increased from $10 to $15 last year, and is already scheduled to increase again, according to member Nicholas Quesada, 17, a senior at San Francisco School of the Arts who lives in the Excelsior District.

“There are other things that haven’t gone up 300 percent in the past calendar year,” he said on his way in to today’s Board of Supervisors meeting. Quesada and other commission members planned to speak during the public comments section of today’s meeting, and again at the MTA board meeting on Friday where members will discuss proposed budget solutions.

The Youth Commission is made up of 17 residents age 23 and younger who are appointed by supervisors and advise the board on youth issues.

Members are also asking city and transit officials to create a discounted fare card for low-income students, similar to the half-priced Lifeline passes for low-income adults.

Students who qualify for free or reduced lunches with the San Francisco Unified School District could be eligible for the Lifeline youth pass, Quesada said. He estimated nearly half of the district’s students would qualify for the special fare.

Quesada said he supported closing the SFMTA budget gap through other options like having city employees pay for their own parking.

“We understand there’s a recession going on and it’s very hard to run the city without increasing revenue,” he said. “There are other ways to go about it.”

The Youth Commission passed a resolution, authored by commissioners Hillary Liang and Lea LaCroix, asking supervisors to reject the SFMTA’s proposal to raise the youth fare prices, along with fast passes for senior and disabled riders. Commissioners say six supervisors have expressed support for the resolution.

SFMTA budget measures require review and approval from the Board of Supervisors.

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