On the stepped-up Proof-of-Payment game

Photo from Plug1

You might have noticed (we have, on buses, trains, and Twitter) a few more Muni fare inspectors lately. A few more, or, in some cases, 10 more.

It’s happening. Muni is finally getting very serious about ensuring that all riders pay and/or show proof of payment.

The following just arrived in our inbox from the tireless Plug1:

as i off-boarded my T Train this morning at EMB/Folsom, i was greeted by no less than 10 SFMTA Fare Inspectors, accompanied by 4 officers from the SFPD. it was definitely a very thorough operation, almost like a dragnet or DUI checkpoint. everyone was checked and several tickets we administered. naturally, i fired off a few shots with my iPhone. i also met Robert Wolfgang, who is the (new) Security & Transit Fare Inspection Manager. we talked about Fare Evasion, Fare Inspector #32, and how Judson True might in fact be the hardest working man at Muni. Mr. Wolfgang seemed fairly serious about enforcing Proof of Payment, acknowledging that far too many people evade paying fares daily, some even running off when confronted by a Fare Inspector.







Muni doesn’t really need us to remind you to pay your fair fare or show your transfer or Fast Pass. Do the right thing, and it might just save us from future fare increases like we suffered earlier this month.


  • I thought they only worked full time Thursday-Sunday

  • Cool. It’s about time Muni cracks down on fare evaders.
    I’d like to see them at 16th and Mission more often, and at Geary and Fillmore in the afternoons.

  • plug1

    i am a former Fare Evader, ill admit it.

    but after meeting Judson True and promising him i would stop (and with the encouragement of Jeff/Eugenia) — i can proudly say i have not evaded fares for almost 90 days. and to be honest, its so much better relaxing on my commute, rather than always ducking and dodging those damn Fare Inspectors!

  • sure, i’ve done it, too. in germany and the czech republic, as well as here in SF. then i grew up, and realized that if everyone behaved like i did, the system would be bankrupt. little did i know, all it took was some acting like i did, coupled with a recession and incompetent legislature …

    ah, i digress. pay your fare, folks. 🙂

    • Daishin

      The best thing for the system would for it to become bankrupt. Then the powers that be would actually DO something about our rotten transit system!

  • I used to skip paying fares in Berlin if I was only going one or two stops. I nearly got caught a couple times but someone else usually held up the fare inspector while they were getting a ticket.


  • Well, it sounds like everyone has turned over a new leaf and is now paying their fares. Good job all!

  • Chibbs

    At two bucks a crack, I understand why some would want to skip the fare and get a free ride, especially during these tough, recession/depression times.

    Ever since arriving in the City to live, I’ve never owned a car, and have exclusively relied on Muni for transportation. And since that time in 1977, I have never, ever, climbed aboard Muni without paying my fare, whether by cash or Fast Pass.

    Does this make me more angry at those who don’t pay? No — it’s just idiosyncratic.

    But it is rotten that when more of us have less money than before, we’re now being asked to part with more of that money to keep pace with what we had before. And when lost fares are a big culprit in the reasoning for fare increases for those of us who do pay, then — and only then — am I pissed off at those who want a free ride.

    And frankly, if I had a choice, I’d rather give my money to someone else.

  • I got a ticket 4 years ago for fare evasion. At the time, I was recovering from brain surgery (sounds like a joke) and had some significant vision loss. I paid my fare at the origin with my RTC card (disability discount card) but didn’t pick up the ticket because I didn’t see it. My guide person went in before me and forgot about my ticket voucher. The fare inspectors kicked me off the train. They humiliated me. I showed them all my disability cards and my guide person went ballistic. The senior officer kept telling the officer in training not to write the ticket but she did anyway. I went to court. The judge charged me guilty but reduced the fine to $0. Every time I get on the N Judah the inspectors get on with me. I may be paranoid, but I feel marked. It’s a pretty sick deal because I only board the N Judah to go to UCSF Parnassus to see my neurologist.

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