The Fare-Evasion Crackdown: Is it working?

muni transfer machine / honeycomb wall
Photo by Flickr user emilychang

Is riding for free the second-oldest profession? Sometimes, it sure seems so. I’ll admit, I dabbled in it a bit as a kid. But something happened along the way, when I decided to stop acting for the sake of action.

In any case, SF Weekly checks in with MTA’s crackdown on fare-cheats, and, according to Judson True, netting around 100 offenders per day is a sign of success.


  • Diq

    I hate the Muni fare checkers. They don’t take on everyone. I’ve actually seen a fare checker walk up to someone who simply shrugged his shoulders when asked for his pass or ticket. The cop didn’t do anything! Meanwhile, I had to pay $170 just 3 days after moving here because I didn’t know about the ticket waiting for me at the end of the turnstile.

    Yes… I said $170. The fine when I got it was only $50, but then they tack on court costs and other fees… and that’s for paying it through the mail!

    I honestly hate fare checkers more than I hate Satan. I hope all the fare checkers get killed by a bus or a LRV.

  • Whoa! I’d say those count as “extenuating circumstances.” Was there any protest system built into the process? If not, there should be. Exceptions should always be allowed for in instances like this.

    I’d direct your frustration at the agency, or its mitigators, if it has any. The fare checkers, while by no means perfect, are really just doing their job, enforcing fare-payment or proof thereof.

  • Whit

    I wish they’d monitor the 30/45 stops on 3rd and 4th at Market. Tons of people still cram on to the backs of the bus and don’t pay.

  • I wish the fare checkers would check fares on the trains, rather than block the gates as I’m trying to leave the station so as not to be late for my company’s shuttle, which is always on time.

  • Mike

    The situation with fare evasion in SF is just ridiculous. I rode mass transit every day in Los Angeles for almost 20 years before moving here two years ago and in that 20 years I saw maybe five people try to board by the back of the bus. People here are just trained that it is acceptable.

  • Daishin Sunseri

    My issue about fare inspectors is that they don’t really do anything to solve the massive problems with MUNI. They are a band aid on the problems plus they are a reminder to me that BIG Brother in the form of The City government is there to keep an eye on me. And some of the fare inspectors, mostly the tough female types, love to play “big bad cops” and harress citizens. If I run into one of these so-called inspectors, I remind them that their job is a waste of city resources, and that they should be hired to improve MUNI not try to intimidate people. Also to me the inspectors are becoming the face of MUNI which is also terrible for public relations. We have a punitive system in MUNI, so why add more punitive measures to an already lousy transportation authority. Fire the fare inspectors now! They’re just more police intrusion in our lives.

  • Jonie Lu

    I hate MUNI! I recentlty started to use MUNI because commutting to SF sucked since I was coming from the East Bay. Nevertheless, I was accussed by the stupid black female cop for fare-evasion. I paid and misplaced my ticket. Stupid cop ticketed me twice…and then threatened to give me a third. I hate the police but they should focus on more important part of their jobs instead of petty things such as policing MUNI fares!

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