The Chronicle features another Muni story today, this one about the request for more than $100 million to build a new central control and communications center. It won’t be easy for Muni officials to find support for this new project. People who use public transit are too busy complaining about the service to want to hand over more money, and people who never use transit are oblivious to the problems. There is no question that San Francisco needs an efficient public transit system. We have a small, compact city in which there is just not room for a one-car-per-person pattern to work. As more high rise buildings are approved, the needs grow even bigger. Why are city officials not talking seriously about raising transit fares? Muni fares are lower than on most transit lines in the country, and the service is much more extensive, but everyone is afraid to raise fares. A start would be to raise discount fares to half price instead of the current level. An adult monthly pass costs $45, while a senior pass is only $10. Not all seniors need this subsidy. Low fares should be given to those who need them, not to an arbitrary age group.
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