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.

Please make sure your comment adheres to our comment policy. If it doesn't, it may be deleted. Repeat violations may cause us to revoke your commenting privileges. No one wants that!
  • Xenu

    Why would they assume that? Because only illegal immigrants ride the bus?

  • Greg Dewar

    The sheer amount of lying from the Supervisors and self appointed activist groups on this issue has been amazing.

    Also, will these immgrants rights groups stand up for me if I’m stupid enough to board the N Judah without paying?

    (crickets chirping)

  • variable455

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

    they’re stopping the program because some people think “la imigra” is coming?

    every time my bus has been boarded, real SFPD were right there too.

  • Wil

    Wasn’t this program costing more to run than it was bringing in?

    Strange that “immigration activists” have more sway in this city than “economists.”

  • Erik

    Thanks to the SFMTA for providing years of fodder for the crazy anti-immigrant lobby.

  • Erik

    Fare enforcement isn’t supposed to pay its own salary with fines; the idea is that if people notice that there is a greater than zero chance they they will get busted for not paying then many of them will be more likely to do so.

  • FM

    So hypothetically- if they aren’t law enforcement officials, must I stop to get a ticket from them when riding without a fare? Or can I just keep walking? Can I give them false information to write down as to not end up paying a ticket?

  • Erik

    Yes. If you get off the bus and walk away then all they can do is call the police.

  • FM

    Interesting. BTW, I do pay my fares. Was just curious about the hypothetical situation.

    FWIW, I’m pretty sure the VTA fare inspectors are actual cops (carry guns and all).

  • Alex Zepeda

    So if fare enforcement is a net drain on the SFMTA budget, what’s the point? Being morally superior? Do it on your own dime… Your fares don’t cover the cost of your trips (especially if you’ve got a FastPass). Think about it, an LRV trip will cost the MTA over $3, cable cars about $7. For every person who rides the cable car and pays the more expensive cash fare, the MTA loses as much money as they would if someone hopped on a bus without paying. Let’s just set up some cops on the cable car routes to prevent people from riding them! It’ll save us money!

  • soupdeldia

    If it is true that Muni fare inspectors are not law enforcement officials, why does the patch that they wear on their jacket sleeve, look so much like the one that SFPD wears?