There are many ways to avoid paying on Muni, it seems. From practically humping the tailcoats of the person in front of you, in desperate hope of going through their paid gate to holding onto an ancient transfer from four years ago that no driver seems to check, reaping the benefits of a free Muni ride is about as easy as having a keen attention to detail.

As reported by KRON4’s Stanley Roberts, thanks to the newly-installed Clipper gates, you can say goodbye to ever paying for a Muni train again with a simple wave of your hand in front of a sensor located on the gate. Seriously.

Roberts shows you exactly how to get the gates to open for you without any payment whatsoever, saying that to get through the (quite expensive new) fare gates you can “you can either wave your Clipper card, or wave your hand.”

During the morning broadcast (but not included in the embedded statement) SF MTA spokesperson Paul Rose says (I am paraphrasing, Paul, if you read this, please do feel free to clarify!) that while this fare gate exploit was news to him, that Muni takes fare evasion very seriously and that riders caught without proof of payment on any of their vehicles will be cited.

the author

Always in motion. April Siese writes about music, takes photos at shows, and even helps put them on behind the scenes as a stagehand. She's written everything from hard news to beauty features, as well as fiction and poetry. She most definitely likes pie.

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  • mayonnaiseslacks

    What the hell was wrong with the old turnstyles in the first place that they HAD to be replaced with these gates?

  • mayonnaiseslacks

    What the hell was wrong with the old turnstyles in the first place that they HAD to be replaced with these gates?

  • mayonnaiseslacks

    Plus, I hate the Clipper Card! There I said it. I’m holding out to the last possible minute before I switch. Give me an old paper monthly pass any day.

  • mayonnaiseslacks

    Plus, I hate the Clipper Card! There I said it. I’m holding out to the last possible minute before I switch. Give me an old paper monthly pass any day.

  • Akit

    The old turnstiles are way too old, they are 30+ years old, and replacement parts is next to impossible and they break down too often. It happens all the time when manufacturers can’t make replacement parts and the cost of frequently fixing broken equipment forces Muni to buy new equipment to save costs in the long term.

  • Akit

    The old turnstiles are way too old, they are 30+ years old, and replacement parts is next to impossible and they break down too often. It happens all the time when manufacturers can’t make replacement parts and the cost of frequently fixing broken equipment forces Muni to buy new equipment to save costs in the long term.

  • Becca Klarin

    Is this why MUNI pulled the new gates from the Montgomery station?

  • Becca Klarin

    Is this why MUNI pulled the new gates from the Montgomery station?

  • madenoughtocomment

    1. Have the fare gates require a tap-out to open the gates, like BART
    2. Fire all the “fare enforcement” clowns
    3. Make fare evasion a criminal offense
    4. Put an SFPD officer at each station to catch people jumping the gates
    5. ???
    6. Profit!!!

  • madenoughtocomment

    1. Have the fare gates require a tap-out to open the gates, like BART
    2. Fire all the “fare enforcement” clowns
    3. Make fare evasion a criminal offense
    4. Put an SFPD officer at each station to catch people jumping the gates
    5. ???
    6. Profit!!!

  • mayonnaiseslacks

    Hmm, something about your comment seems off. After a simple Google search of the term “turnstile,” a website called turnstiles.com that specializes in the manufacture and repair of turnstiles, not to mention at least five pages of multiple other turnstile specialists.
    Also, doesn’t the NYC subway system still employ regular turnstiles. Seems to me, if a decades old system ain’t broke, don’t spend millions of dollars on a new flawed system to “fix it.”

  • mayonnaiseslacks

    Hmm, something about your comment seems off. After a simple Google search of the term “turnstile,” a website called turnstiles.com that specializes in the manufacture and repair of turnstiles, not to mention at least five pages of multiple other turnstile specialists.
    Also, doesn’t the NYC subway system still employ regular turnstiles. Seems to me, if a decades old system ain’t broke, don’t spend millions of dollars on a new flawed system to “fix it.”

  • Akit

    It’s not about the turnstiles, it’s because of aging issues.

    NYC bought turnstiles about a decade ago and they work fine because the manufacturer is a well renowned company and can maintain them.

    Muni’s gates are just way too old. They jam too much and has too many moving parts. Plus, with Clipper replacing all paper passes, Muni needs to add more gates to their system, but they can’t use the adapter kits available from the manufacturer to install them to the coin/pass entry gates, they could only do it on exit gates.

    Think about it this way, BART’s original gates was in service for around 25 years, and they kept breaking down as well. Their ticketing machines was really getting bad, to the point where station agents had to unjam them dozens of times a day. BART decided to get new gates and they work well.

  • Akit

    It’s not about the turnstiles, it’s because of aging issues.

    NYC bought turnstiles about a decade ago and they work fine because the manufacturer is a well renowned company and can maintain them.

    Muni’s gates are just way too old. They jam too much and has too many moving parts. Plus, with Clipper replacing all paper passes, Muni needs to add more gates to their system, but they can’t use the adapter kits available from the manufacturer to install them to the coin/pass entry gates, they could only do it on exit gates.

    Think about it this way, BART’s original gates was in service for around 25 years, and they kept breaking down as well. Their ticketing machines was really getting bad, to the point where station agents had to unjam them dozens of times a day. BART decided to get new gates and they work well.

  • areallyniceguy

    This is the funniest damn news story I have heard in months. Thank you, SFMTA.

  • areallyniceguy

    This is the funniest damn news story I have heard in months. Thank you, SFMTA.

  • SFArtist

    Is this “Akit” person paid by MUNI?

    The Clipper Card sucks; the “Proof of Payment” system makes money for the ticket collectors and penalizes ordinary riders. The gestapo they employ are total idiots. Cubic (CUB) is a defense contractor who likely contributed to Newsom’s campaign.

    The idea of ending paper fast passes is going to be a huge debacle!

    Can we send that overpaid blowhard Nate Ford back to Atlanta now?

  • SFArtist

    Is this “Akit” person paid by MUNI?

    The Clipper Card sucks; the “Proof of Payment” system makes money for the ticket collectors and penalizes ordinary riders. The gestapo they employ are total idiots. Cubic (CUB) is a defense contractor who likely contributed to Newsom’s campaign.

    The idea of ending paper fast passes is going to be a huge debacle!

    Can we send that overpaid blowhard Nate Ford back to Atlanta now?

  • Akit

    The answer is no. You should read my blog.

  • Akit

    The answer is no. You should read my blog.

  • Nicole

    The old gates are WAY old. They have to be replaced, with something. Those old gates were manufactured by Duncan. I’m told it was the same Duncan that gave us the yoyo.

    Sure, there are flaws to virtually any method of fare collection. I believe that the tag-in/tag-out arrangement that BART uses is better than MUNI, but their fares are variable, where MUNI is fixed. In that regard, tagging-out would cause unnecessary delays exiting.

    In a perfect world, Fare Inspectors would be unnecessary, but as we all know too well, San Francisco (and MUNI) is far from perfect.

    I heard that the paper passes that so many people seem to love so much, were being counterfeited, right down to the hologram strip. That’s a lot of trouble to go through, just to ride public transit that’s over-crowded.

    Anything that MUNI can do to thwart freeloaders, is a good thing in my opinion. The sad truth of it is, that even if 100% of the riders paid their fare, MUNI could not make a profit. I don’t think you’ll find one public transit system that makes a profit; though I could be wrong.

    It is what it is, time will tell if the new gates help or hinder. So far, my experience with them is that they’re a little slow to open and close, otherwise, I’m okay with them.

  • Nicole

    The old gates are WAY old. They have to be replaced, with something. Those old gates were manufactured by Duncan. I’m told it was the same Duncan that gave us the yoyo.

    Sure, there are flaws to virtually any method of fare collection. I believe that the tag-in/tag-out arrangement that BART uses is better than MUNI, but their fares are variable, where MUNI is fixed. In that regard, tagging-out would cause unnecessary delays exiting.

    In a perfect world, Fare Inspectors would be unnecessary, but as we all know too well, San Francisco (and MUNI) is far from perfect.

    I heard that the paper passes that so many people seem to love so much, were being counterfeited, right down to the hologram strip. That’s a lot of trouble to go through, just to ride public transit that’s over-crowded.

    Anything that MUNI can do to thwart freeloaders, is a good thing in my opinion. The sad truth of it is, that even if 100% of the riders paid their fare, MUNI could not make a profit. I don’t think you’ll find one public transit system that makes a profit; though I could be wrong.

    It is what it is, time will tell if the new gates help or hinder. So far, my experience with them is that they’re a little slow to open and close, otherwise, I’m okay with them.

  • maroney

    To add (just a tiny bit) more perspective. The gate does open out when you wave your hand or fake pass or whatever, so it is quite easy for any observing enforcer to catch you on that. Not that anyone will: I was told recently that nobody pays to ride the bus and I’ve since just waved to the driver on most of my trips. On a political note, I think public transit should be free or almost-free and much more heavily subsidized (even a quarter of the amount our local, state and federal governments spend/spent on our national road system for public transit would mean/have meant public transit being the most efficient transport in SF).

  • maroney

    To add (just a tiny bit) more perspective. The gate does open out when you wave your hand or fake pass or whatever, so it is quite easy for any observing enforcer to catch you on that. Not that anyone will: I was told recently that nobody pays to ride the bus and I’ve since just waved to the driver on most of my trips. On a political note, I think public transit should be free or almost-free and much more heavily subsidized (even a quarter of the amount our local, state and federal governments spend/spent on our national road system for public transit would mean/have meant public transit being the most efficient transport in SF).

  • maroney

    To add (just a tiny bit) more perspective. The gate does open out when you wave your hand or fake pass or whatever, so it is quite easy for any observing enforcer to catch you on that. Not that anyone will: I was told recently that nobody pays to ride the bus and I’ve since just waved to the driver on most of my trips. On a political note, I think public transit should be free or almost-free and much more heavily subsidized (even a quarter of the amount our local, state and federal governments spend/spent on our national road system for public transit would mean/have meant public transit being the most efficient transport in SF).

  • maroney

    To add (just a tiny bit) more perspective. The gate does open out when you wave your hand or fake pass or whatever, so it is quite easy for any observing enforcer to catch you on that. Not that anyone will: I was told recently that nobody pays to ride the bus and I’ve since just waved to the driver on most of my trips. On a political note, I think public transit should be free or almost-free and much more heavily subsidized (even a quarter of the amount our local, state and federal governments spend/spent on our national road system for public transit would mean/have meant public transit being the most efficient transport in SF).