DOUBLE your Impact with NewsMatch. Become a member today!

Muni sees ridership decrease

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency has reported a drop in Muni ridership for the fiscal year that ended June 30.

The system carried 10 million fewer riders, a 4.4 percent drop, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Muni had 215,982,240 boardings during the last fiscal year, an average of 591,732 boardings per day. Ridership decreased the most on the electrified trolley lines, followed by the motor coach bus fleet and then the light-rail lines. The cable cars saw an increase in ridership, but the increase was not enough to offset the losses on the other lines.

San Franciscans are skipping Muni because of fare raises and service reductions, according to NBC Bay Area. A Muni spokesperson said a drop in ridership was expected.

"Considering the service reductions, fare increases and the national trends of other agencies around the country, we anticipated ridership to drop more than it did," Municipal Transportation Agency spokesman Paul Rose said.

This was the first drop in ridership for Muni since 2007. It coincides with an increase in San Francisco's unemployment rate, so fewer people were riding Muni to and from work. 

Faced with budget woes, Muni eliminated some lines last fall and cut service by 10 percent in May. A little more than half of the service reductions were restored last month. Muni also raised fares by 50 cents to $2 while also raising the cost of the monthly Fast Pass last year.

Despite the drop in ridership, Muni brought in $181.2 million in fare revenue last year, $2.5 million more than expected.