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Free Muni rides, including cable cars, all Lunar New Year weekend

Don’t tag your Clipper. Don’t activate a ticket on the app.

This weekend, San Francisco Muni riders will be able to ride public transit for free, as part of the Lunar New Year festivities and parade Saturday and Sunday in Chinatown.

Transit officials are telling riders to not tag their Clipper cards and to not activate a ticket on the Muni Mobile app. Muni Metro fare gates will be open.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency announced the free rides Thursday, in partnership with supervisors Connie Chan, Aaron Peskin and Dean Preston. Rides will be free on all Muni buses, trains and even on cable cars, starting Saturday at 5 a.m. and lasting until 5 a.m. on Monday, the agency said.

Saturday night is expected to draw the biggest crowd in the downtown area and Chinatown as the Chinese New Year Parade returns in person after last year’s parade was canceled. The Chinatown Community Street Fair will also be held on Saturday and Sunday.

Peskin, who represents Chinatown, said in a statement:

The Lunar New Year Parade usually attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors into the city. Free public transit and cable car service will encourage even more people to partake in this weekends’ festivities.”

Chan said in a statement that the free public transit rides will ensure residents will be able to take part in the Lunar New Year festivities and watch the parade:

Free public transit for the weekend is a great opportunity to visit Chinatown.”

In addition to free Muni, The City is offering free two-hour parking at the Portsmouth Square Garage through the end of February.

The agency is also stepping up safety for its Asian and Pacific Islander riders by having Muni Transit Ambassadors on buses and at transit stops in Chinatown. SFMTA board Director Sharon Lai was key in having ambassadors on Muni buses that serve the API communities as they have been attacked physically and verbally during the pandemic.

Lai said in a statement:

MTA hopes to safely promote visitors and support the economy of Chinatown through facilitating public transit in celebration of the return of festivities since the pandemic.”

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