Previously: Muni Crackdown On Fare Evaders Promised, Again

Some people might get away with sneaking on San Francisco Municipal Railway buses and street trains without paying today, but the coming months could prove to be more challenging.

Muni spokesman Judson True said Thursday the fleet of 45 law enforcement agents will grow to 60 in coming months, and they have been documenting hot spots and techniques, which is part of a plan to help close a massive budget deficit.

For an ongoing report, Muni workers have documented about 35,000 occurrences that have to do with people not paying the fee that increased from $1.50 to $2 on the first of the month.

Muni will compile the data and disperse its fleet more efficiently.

One Muni rider in his 50s who said he rides the 14-Mission bus about five days a week, laughed when asked how many people he believes sneak on without paying.

“I’d say it’s close to half in the Mission area,” Richard Murguia said. “That’s one thing; if everyone would pay, maybe the prices wouldn’t have increased.”

True said Muni takes on about 700,000 riders a day, but did not know how many of them actually pay.

Brendan Mainini, 30, who said he has been riding Muni for 11 years, said the fee increase “sucks” but “more power to the people who can sneak on.”

For those who are caught today, the fine is $50.

True said Muni is also asking for state and federal grants to help bridge the deficit.

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