The board voted 6-5 in favor of allowing the advertising firm Titan Outdoor to place ads on the windows of 15 Muni buses. The move is expected to bring the agency as much as $500,000 in additional revenue, according to Muni officials.
Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi, one of the five members of the board to oppose the proposal, said he had talked to bus riders about the advertising and said it "didn't get very positive reviews."
Mirkarimi said the ads give riders the feeling of "being 'sardined' in even more" on the buses, and that they add to urban blight.
Eric Mar, Scott Wiener, John Avalos and David Campos were the other four supervisors to oppose the plan.
But Supervisor Sean Elsbernd said the advertising is a way to stem further cuts to Muni service.
"As a rider, what am I willing to deal with? An obstructed window, or having to walk 10 more blocks because the service has been cut?" Elsbernd said. "I'll take the obstructed view."
The proposal will go into effect on Sept. 1.