If this reporter’s experience is any indication, Muni’s increasing efforts to crack down on fare evaders just might be working.
Muni has organized a team of transit inspectors and police officers to perform ‘stings’ at Muni stations throughout The City, as a way of coming down on people who don’t pay their “fare” share.
According to Muni spokesperson Judson True, these stings have gotten results: 106 riders were cited Tuesday morning in just two hours at Embarcadero and Folsom Street station, for failing to provide proof of payment.
An additional 78 citations were made on Wednesday at the same station. Not mentioned in the Examiner story is that this is a station without a working ticket machine, which we’re told that, as of this morning, is still not fixed.
Muni plans on continuing the daily stings at different locations for the next “several weeks.”
Said MTA Chief Nathaniel Ford: “These concentrated efforts demonstrate that we are serious about reducing fare evasion on Muni.” Ford was previously quoted as saying, “We’re going to get much more aggressive.”
I witnessed this aggression firsthand when leaving the AT&T ballpark with a group of friends after a Giants game on Tuesday night.
Our Muni transfers had expired about an hour prior, and for a second we contemplated taking a risk and boarding with these expired transfers. It was late at night, who would check?
But at the entrance to the N station stood a Muni employee, blocking all riders from entering until they provided a valid transfer or pass.
With the $50 fine for fare evasion (and the possibility of embarrassment) looming in our minds, we chose to walk instead.