muni_driver.jpgThe San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency on Wednesday announced the suspension of its proof-of-payment saturation patrols on Muni vehicles as a result of complaints from the immigrant community.

The decision to suspend the patrols, which target fare evaders, resulted from meetings with the Immigrant Rights Commission in which concerns were raised about the presence of uniformed saturation patrol officers and confusion among some immigrant Muni patrons as to the officers’ intentions, Muni officials said.

In some cases, the fare inspectors have been mistaken for Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, according to transit officials.

Muni plans to work with the Office of Civic Engagement and Immigrant Affairs to emphasize cultural and linguistic competency in training transit officers on verifying proof of payment.

“Muni fare inspection is in place in order to promote fare compliance and for no other reason,” SFMTA executive director Nathaniel Ford said in a statement.

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