12 thoughts on “29-Year-Old Muni Fast Pass”

  1. When I saw this, my second thought – after thinking the design is totally rad in a 1981 version of radness (which is even more rad now) – was that the raddest thing about this Fast Pass is that it cost only $16! But then my third thought was about inflation…
    However, according to an online inflation calculator based on government data:
    “What cost $16.00 in 1981 would cost $37.28 in 2009.”
    Given this, it appears that MUNI has indeed become more expensive.
    Especially because now Fast Passes cost $60 for the M and $70 for the A, it would appear that MUNI has gone so far as to be TOTALLY RIPPING US OFF as compared to 1981 – this is greater than a 50% (M) -75% (A) increase in inflation-adjusted cost of a pass. (I guess Dansf already mentioned something close to this…)
    To vet this hypothesis, I would further investigate:
    – comparative price of gas and percentage of MUNI budget spent on this
    – comparative salaries of MUNI workers and percentage of MUNI budget spent on this
    – comparison of MUNI coverage, including geography but especially including streetcar lines; there are likely fewer bus lines, but more streetcar lines and more geography covered by these, and surely major investment went into these new lines – how does one value that to the rider or factor it into a cost passed on? and how was it funded anyway? mostly with taxes, right?
    It would also be interesting to consider utilization. Is MUNI having to carry more load? Are riders using their MUNI passes more often or to go farther? What are the comparative 1981 and 2010 costs-per-mile for the average Fast Pass user? Is rider satisfaction down or up? Who cares?!
    If no one wants to investigate these burning issues, I’m nonetheless content to conclude based on currently-available information that MUNI IS TOTALLY RIPPING US OFF.
    Plus – does anyone think their design of Fast Pass cards has improved? Will people in 2039 be doing thought-controlled holo-blogging about MUNI Fast Passes from 2010? Or wearing clothes from 2010 – oh, wait, those are the same now as in 1981.
    Anyway – very cool, and retro/historic-cool. Thanks, Allan.

  2. My first Fast Pass is from 1992 (whutwhut, sixth grade! Oh no, Jeremy Lassen is now calculating my age and trustworthiness…) and it rocks. Got to make a collage out of my 1992-1998 collection one of these days. Gotta say that mine have NOTHING on this bad boy. MUNI brown FTW.

    1. That’s rad. I have the ’93-’97 run. Back in the days when I stopped collecting baseball cards and fast passes seemed like a good way to continue to pacify the OCD.

      1. I have seen a few fast pass collages, I’d say push the abstraction, FWIW. The quilt-types have been done and done.

        Let us know how it turns out.

  3. I have a few late-’70s passes, still, with the cut-outs. If I can dig them up, I’ll send ’em in for your enjoyment.

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