SAN FRANCISCO—The San Francisco Board of Supervisors approved a Free Muni Pilot Program with a $12 million supplemental on May 25. District supervisors Matt Haney and Dean Preston proposed the program in April for economic recovery and to get people back on the transit system.

Haney and Preston proposed the program for low-income populations who have not received relief during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Many riders suffer from food insecurity and loss of income due to the pandemic, Haney said in a Twitter post.

“Under the plan, the BOS would allocate funds to MTA to offset fare revenue for a 3-month pilot, putting $ in riders’ pockets, restoring ridership, reducing congestion & getting data about Free Muni!,” said Preston in a Twitter Post.

San Francisco is a transit first city and would act as a leader by breaking the barriers between people and public transit, said Haney in an Instagram TV video. The program will be funded with the city’s money to encourage people to use public transportation to reduce the number of cars on the street, according to Haney.

“There was also a nearly $300 million projected surplus in the current year,” said Haney in a Twitter post. “We can & should give $12 million of that back to our residents who ride transit for 3 months.”

If the Free Muni Pilot Program is approved by Mayor London Breed and the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, one-time funding to the SFMTA to offset fare revenue for a three-month pilot of fare-free public transit would start on July 1, 2021, Preston said in an Instagram post.