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Appeal pal The Tenderloin Geographic Society posted the above photo of a faux-official (should that be fauxficial? Pls advise) sign that says, in three languages:

Throw That Ticket Away
Muni Can’t Make Fare Cheats Pay

Interesting! Contacted by email, the Society gave us some more details:

That puzzling sign was at Church and 14th, taped onto the bus kiosk….it seemed kosher but for that fold in the middle, which means it was not the large-format signage you might usually see–definitely a well-done homemade job.

But, is that prankster’s sentiment correct? We’re glad you asked! After all, in March 2010, staffer Chris Roberts wrote a story for this very site headlined “Throw That Ticket Away; Muni Can’t Make Fare Cheats Pay.” Which is either coincidental or somewhat flattering!

As we reported back then, “those $75 tickets don’t carry any criminal penalties or other ways to ‘incentivize’ folks to mail in their hard-earned money, said James Dougherty, Muni’s safety chief…Unlike with traffic tickets, those who don’t pay don’t end up in court or with an extra fee tacked onto, say, their vehicle registration or anything else.”

Roberts reported in March that “Muni officials openly admit they’d like to get more fare evaders to pay their tickets, but have a hard time when they ‘have read that they can get away with riding for free,’ Dougherty said. ‘We’re trying to take that impression away.'”

Of course, that impression might be a bit harder to remove if these signs crop up all over the place. To be clear, the Appeal doesn’t have a thing to do with them, OK? But if you’re the artist responsible, we’d love to hear from you! I promise, your secret’s safe with us.

The TGS says that they “(h)aven’t seen another one, but I’m keeping a sharp eye out.”

How about you? Have you seen these signs anywhere around town? If so, let us know, OK?

the author

Eve Batey is the editor and publisher of the San Francisco Appeal. She used to be the San Francisco Chronicle's Deputy Managing Editor for Online, and started at the Chronicle as their blogging and interactive editor. Before that, she was a co-founding writer and the lead editor of SFist. She's been in the city since 1997, presently living in the Outer Sunset with her husband, cat, and dog. You can reach Eve at eve@sfappeal.com.

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  • Greg Dewar

    Anyone who posts these is advocating stealing from the Muni owner/riders. I hope they catch whoever did this and busts them for something. I know it’s cool for some dipshit 20-nothing who moved here from Dullsville who is still mad at mommy and daddy for taking away their Stryper albums to be some sort of self styled urban Hugo Chavez, but forgery and stealing from Muni owner/riders is a pissant move.

    Muni should go after their tax refunds the way that they do for tickets.

  • Greg Dewar

    Anyone who posts these is advocating stealing from the Muni owner/riders. I hope they catch whoever did this and busts them for something. I know it’s cool for some dipshit 20-nothing who moved here from Dullsville who is still mad at mommy and daddy for taking away their Stryper albums to be some sort of self styled urban Hugo Chavez, but forgery and stealing from Muni owner/riders is a pissant move.

    Muni should go after their tax refunds the way that they do for tickets.

  • Akit

    Does anyone notice the Muni logo is upside down on that poster?

  • Akit

    Does anyone notice the Muni logo is upside down on that poster?

  • Chris Roberts

    This is nice; my very own portrait down by Banksy would be nicer.

  • Chris Roberts

    This is nice; my very own portrait down by Banksy would be nicer.

  • Eve Batey

    We need to make this happen! If he has time for The Simpsons, surely he can make time for you.

  • Eve Batey

    We need to make this happen! If he has time for The Simpsons, surely he can make time for you.

  • robotsongs

    Seriously. WTF is up with people? We have this incredible resource that so many other areas in the US absolutely don’t have, and you want to starve it so it doesn’t exist? Grow up you fucktards– MUNI may not be perfect, but it’s a shared resource that benefits each and every one of you. Your Freshman Year Critical Thinking class is not a springboard for your little social revolution to live like a social hobo. That Trustafarian shit is OK when you’re living off Mommy and Daddy’s dime, but not IRL. Grow the fuck up and take part in society’s shared resource.

    Don’t try to “bring down The Man,” because in this case, YOU are The Man, maaaaan.

  • robotsongs

    Seriously. WTF is up with people? We have this incredible resource that so many other areas in the US absolutely don’t have, and you want to starve it so it doesn’t exist? Grow up you fucktards– MUNI may not be perfect, but it’s a shared resource that benefits each and every one of you. Your Freshman Year Critical Thinking class is not a springboard for your little social revolution to live like a social hobo. That Trustafarian shit is OK when you’re living off Mommy and Daddy’s dime, but not IRL. Grow the fuck up and take part in society’s shared resource.

    Don’t try to “bring down The Man,” because in this case, YOU are The Man, maaaaan.

  • salsaman

    How is fare evasion not a form of theft under the law?! I’m shocked that there is no obligation on the part of the ticketed person to pay the fine. The original article doesn’t really explain how this is the case. At the very least, it should be considered an unpaid bill and reflect negatively on a person’s credit.

  • salsaman

    How is fare evasion not a form of theft under the law?! I’m shocked that there is no obligation on the part of the ticketed person to pay the fine. The original article doesn’t really explain how this is the case. At the very least, it should be considered an unpaid bill and reflect negatively on a person’s credit.

  • areallyniceguy

    I love the word ” fauxficial”!

  • areallyniceguy

    I love the word ” fauxficial”!

  • Josh

    What the Proof of Payment staffers will do, is follow someone who refuses to show their pass, and they attempt to call the police to make a citizen’s arrest. People should stay polite with this staff, even though they are aggressively rude and overtly threatening in what they’ll say. They tend to go for the intimidation route, which tells me they haven’t been trained in violence diffusion while interacting with the public, which means they’re a lawsuit waiting to happen.

    They ought to be in the Muni Underground, asking people to space themselves correctly so the trams aren’t over their federal passenger limits & they should be able to call Muni dispatch for more trams if there aren’t enough, to deal with commuter overcrowding.

    They ought to be getting on trams and busses where there is overcrowding, to ask people to observe the rules to avoid over crowding, alert passengers to the busses behind which aren’t over crowded. They should carry Muni maps, to assist tourists. All this to say, since they’re not going to make back enough in fines to pay their salaries, they might as well make themselves helpful, to make Muni efficient, and pleasant.

    Why is it, that the Muni drivers aren’t using the plethora of overhead announcements they have recorded? I’ve heard it when they’re being tested and they have a lot more useful announcements than they ever use!

  • Josh

    What the Proof of Payment staffers will do, is follow someone who refuses to show their pass, and they attempt to call the police to make a citizen’s arrest. People should stay polite with this staff, even though they are aggressively rude and overtly threatening in what they’ll say. They tend to go for the intimidation route, which tells me they haven’t been trained in violence diffusion while interacting with the public, which means they’re a lawsuit waiting to happen.

    They ought to be in the Muni Underground, asking people to space themselves correctly so the trams aren’t over their federal passenger limits & they should be able to call Muni dispatch for more trams if there aren’t enough, to deal with commuter overcrowding.

    They ought to be getting on trams and busses where there is overcrowding, to ask people to observe the rules to avoid over crowding, alert passengers to the busses behind which aren’t over crowded. They should carry Muni maps, to assist tourists. All this to say, since they’re not going to make back enough in fines to pay their salaries, they might as well make themselves helpful, to make Muni efficient, and pleasant.

    Why is it, that the Muni drivers aren’t using the plethora of overhead announcements they have recorded? I’ve heard it when they’re being tested and they have a lot more useful announcements than they ever use!

  • dantsea

    Thank you for displaying your OCD, now on to this part of your comment:

    “since they’re not going to make back enough in fines to pay their salaries”

    With all due respect, please take this part of your argument, roll it into a cylinder, and shove it up your ass. It’s old. It’s tired, it’s been deconstructed a million times and it’s not helpful.

    Thanks!

  • dantsea

    Thank you for displaying your OCD, now on to this part of your comment:

    “since they’re not going to make back enough in fines to pay their salaries”

    With all due respect, please take this part of your argument, roll it into a cylinder, and shove it up your ass. It’s old. It’s tired, it’s been deconstructed a million times and it’s not helpful.

    Thanks!