muni_driver.jpgThe San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s board of directors voted Tuesday to provide the city’s school district with 12,000 free monthly Muni passes for low-income students this spring.

The board unanimously approved the monthly passes, which will be valid for April, May and June, the last three months of fiscal year 2011, Muni spokesman Paul Rose said today.

The passes will be handed out in late March in time for them to be used in April, Rose said.

“The SFMTA is pleased to assist its city partners in providing a needed service to the SFUSD students,” SFMTA executive director Nathaniel Ford said in a statement. “Public transportation is, at its core, about improving our quality of life and increasing opportunities.”

The free passes are will cost the agency an estimated $720,000 in lost revenue, Muni officials said.

The school district will be responsible for providing the SFMTA with a plan for distributing the passes, including how to determine eligibility, and the best methods for handing them out.

Supervisor David Campos, who had expressed support for free or reduced-price passes for low-income students, lauded the SFMTA board’s decision.

“As budgets across the city and at home are stretched tighter and tighter, I hope to see more collaboration of this kind…to better serve all members of our community,” Campos said in a statement.

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

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