New Muni fareboxes begin rollout


Say your final goodbyes to the classic San Francisco Muni tear-off transfers.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency has begun phasing in new fareboxes into Muni vehicles this month that will print out a transfer when passengers pay the exact fare.

Last Tuesday, SFMTA Director of Transportation Ed Reiskin, said the new fareboxes are showing up now on Muni vehicles from the Flynn Division, which the houses the 14R-Mission, 38-Geary and 38R-Geary bus lines.

Just like with some of Muni’s older buses, the current fareboxes, which date back to 1991, have reached the end of its usefulness, according to the SFMTA.

SFBay was given a demonstration last Friday on how the new farebox works.

Jeffrey Flynn, chief transit officer, told SFBay that 20 buses from the Flynn Division will have the new fareboxes installed by this week so passengers will soon start seeing them onboard Muni buses.

The new fareboxes will help get rid of transfer theft, said Flynn:

“We have issues more frequently than we would like where people board the bus and try to steal the transfers.”

The transfers are now stocked inside the new fareboxes instead of having a booklet of paper transfers left out near the driver’s right side as it is now on Muni buses. Revenue staff will refill the machines every night.

New Muni transfers will show the type of transfer purchased, the date and time issued, vehicle and route number. The transfer will give passengers a precise time when they must complete their travel before the transfer expires.

The new farefoxes will consistently print out 90-minute transfers. Passengers will still receive a late-night transfer after 8:30 p.m.

While the point of contact with a Muni bus driver tearing off and handing a paper transfer to a cash-paying passenger will no longer exist, youth, senior, disabled and Medicare cash-paying passengers will need to tell the driver the type of transfer they would like.

The driver will then use their screen prompt to push the correct type of transfer to print out of the farebox. The farebox will automatically dispense a transfer for passengers paying the adult fare.

Muni passengers who choose not to pay the full fare, will instead receive a receipt ticket that reads the fare was underpaid and is subject to a citation with the transportation code printed as well.

Passengers will now show the printed Muni transfer as proof-of-payment to fare inspectors and subway station agents.

Flynn said the new fareboxes will have new technology help the transit agency keep track of the type of passengers who are paying cash and on which Muni routes:

“So we’ll know exactly on the 14-Mission on many cash payers there are.”

The SFMTA expects to complete the installation of the new fareboxes on all buses, light rail vehicles and historic streetcars by the end of summer, said Flynn.

In June of the last year, the SFMTA Board of Directors approved a contract with SPX GenFare for $21.9 million for 1,336 fareboxes.

The SFMTA wants to hear from Muni riders who have already encountered the new fareboxes.

Take a look at old Muni transfers from Muni Diaries.

EDITORS NOTE The story has been updated from its original version.

Jerold Chinn
Jerold Chinn is the San Francisco Bureau Chief of SFBay. A San Francisco native, he has spent a decade covering transportation in San Francisco. Send tips to or at Twitter @Jerold_Chinn.

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