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Release date: 9/2/2008

*** Press Release ***

Revenues for transit cash fares and pre-sale fare media increased5.7 percent while boardings on the transit system have grown 6.5 percent

San Francisco—The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) announced today that due to larger economic trends and various SFMTA initiatives to enhance service delivery and improve revenue collection, Municipal Railway (Muni) has achieved significant increases in ridership and fare revenue.

A variety of factors have impacted these elements, including, but not limited to:

  • Additional revenue vehicles in daily service
  • Reduction of missed service trips
  • Increased fare evasion enforcement
  • Increased fare media access via retail outlets
  • First time on-line fare media access
  • 1.6 percent in additional San Francisco jobs1
  • 10.3 percent increase in domestic air passengers
  • 3.0 percent increase in international air passengers1
  • 3.1 percent increase in the San Francisco labor force1
  • Approximately 20 percent increase in gas prices
  • $1 increase in the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge toll


The growth in ridership between the two fiscal years is approximately 6.5 percent (adjusting for the extra day in FY 2008, the growth is 6.4 percent). In terms of boardings, this was an increase of 13.5 million from FY 2007 to FY 2008.

Improved service delivery and the concentrated focus on reliability which spearheads the Transit Effectiveness Project (TEP) have made Muni more efficient. One of the reasons for this improvement is the increase in vehicle availability and service delivery. For example, more revenue vehicles have been placed into daily service. The monthly average of missed service trips have been reduced from average of 7 percent to 2 percent on the rail lines and from 4 percent to 3 percent on bus and trolley routes compared to the last fiscal year. Additionally, missed operator days have been reduced by 30 percent between the two fiscal years from 13,806 in FY 2007 to 9,730 in FY 2008.

Revenues from Fares

As a result of increased ridership and other initiatives, revenues from fares have increased by 5.7 percent or $8.1 million between the two fiscal years.

Two key categories of fare sales have led this increase: adult Fast Pass® sales and the pre-selling of Cable Care fare media.

Commuter Fare Media: Monthly Passes

Revenue from adult Fast Pass® sales represents the majority of the revenue increase in FY 2008. Sales have swelled to $4,127,425 or 7.2 percent from last year to date. Additionally, discount passes for youth, senior and disabled customer rose 2.3 percent.

These escalations are also impacted by the increased availability and convenience associated with purchasing Fast Passes®. The Customer Service Center began selling Fast Passes® on July 9, 2007 and sold 30,349 passes to walk-in customers as well as 17,684 passes via on-line sales. Bay Crossings, a vendor located in the Ferry Building, opened a second location, supported by an MTC grant, at the Embarcadero Muni Station in August of 2007. Since its opening, sales have steadily climbed from $34,966 a month to approximately $177,098, an 80 percent surge. Additionally, over 1,500 sales hours have been added since 2007.

Fast Pass® revenue growth is also associated with enhanced fare evasion enforcement. Over the last two years, the SFMTA has more than doubled the number of Fare Inspectors and has hired 20 fare inspectors this fiscal year bringing the total to 51. Concurrently, fare evasion citations issued during FY 2008 increased 44.3 percent when compared with the same time period last year.

Tourist Fare Media: Passports and Cable Car Souvenir Tickets

Overall revenues from cable cars have increased 8.5 percent. Revenue from pre-sale Cable Car fare media also increased. Specifically, revenue from sales of 1-Day and 3-Day Passports increased $1,746,482 or 23.1 percent. Revenue from Cable Car Souvenir tickets increased $634,832 or 17.9 percent. Growth in San Francisco tourism has impacted this increase with domestic air travel showing a 9.1 percent increase overall while international air travel has increased 3.0 percent compared to 2007.

The increase in Cable Car fare media is also associated with a recent pilot program which sought to reduce cash fares on Cable Cars by selling pre-sale Cable Car media to customers waiting to board during the summer months. This program increased sales of pre-sale fare media by 3.3 percent. The shift from cash fares to pre-sale Cable Car fare media also impacted the $410,180 or 4.3 percent decrease in Cable Car cash fares.

This increase can be attributed to a steady local economy, increased commuting costs and high levels of tourism as well as to efforts by the SFMTA to improve service delivery and revenue collection by encouraging pre-paid sales and decreasing fare evasion through enforcement efforts. The approved FY 2009 and FY 2010 SFMTA budgets have incorporated these trends.

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