More Hate for Fare Inspectors than for DPT?

SF Muni Fare Machine - Boot Error C/U
Photo by Flickr user numlok™

We’ve gotten more than a few posts and pieces of mail complaining about fare inspectors. There was the so-called shaved-head fare inspector from hell. There was another story of a rider dumping her purse in an attempt to locate her proof of payment to the same shaved-head fare inspector from hell.

And today, a post from Muni rider Diq, who really stuck it to the man seems to think he had a clever idea for how to piss off fare inspectors:

As I approached the crowd of officers and the teenager, a clever idea came to my mind. I still had to get rid of October Fast Pass, and I already had my November pass. So I took out my October pass and just flicked it at the officer as I walked by without stopping. It didn’t hit him. It just flipped up in the air and zipped toward the ground.

Genius, that.

What we’re wondering is this: Why do fare-paying, Fast Pass-holding riders have such disdain for fare inspectors? You’re legit, eh? In our experience, it takes a total of about 2-point-something seconds to show your proof of payment. If many of us have Fast Passes and aren’t boarding at the back door, why do people hate fare inspectors so much? Are they the new DPT? Why the fuss?

Just off the top of our head, here are some relevant news stories:

Muni finds almost 10 percent cheat fares (SFGate)
Fare evaders cost Muni $19 million a year (Examiner)
Muni’s mid-year $45 million deficit (Streetsblog SF)

Now, we’re not necessarily here to argue how to fix Muni’s budget deficit. We’re simply pointing out that there is one, and that perhaps it’s only fitting that the agency would want to crack down on scofflaws when said scofflaws cost the system (and by extension, us) at least $19 million in missed fares.

Help us out here: Why do you hate fare inspectors?


  • Why do I hate fare inspectors? They have a bad reputation; one person can ruin the entire program. In this case, many did: Inspector 32 photo incident, videotaping on metro w/multiple inspectors violating first amendment rights, documented cases by city auditors of inspectors tackling people and tasks that are supposed to be for police officers, etc.

    • “Ruin the entire program”?

      They passed out what, 900 citations yesterday? What exactly was “ruined”? Sounds like a raging success to me.

      • 400. But yes, great one-day haul. I wonder how today is going.

        • Alex

          How is 400 (or even 900) a great haul? You’re talking less than 1/30 of the ridership on the N or L lines… and an even smaller fraction of the systemwide ridership. It works out to, what, FOUR citations per city employee involved? That’s a rousing failure. Instead of these occasional high profile events, they ought to have real SFPD officers riding the routes at random (as they’re contractually obligated to).

  • Akit: I don’t doubt what I think you’re saying here, but can you provide any links?

    Also, can you clarify what you mean by “violating first amendment rights”?

    And I wonder whether incidents like the ones you point to here are what cause riders like Diq to think they need to piss off fare inspectors. I’m still struggling to understand this.

  • Since I’m the one who wrote the cheerleadery post about fare inspectors on the 47 (haven’t seen one on there again since that happened, by the way), I think it’s only fair that I continue the cheerleading.

    People who hate the fare inspectors are probably more likely to skip the fare. Makes sense. Law-breakers big and small hate cops because they make their job harder.


    People who can afford a one-time lesson ticket, but are upset that they received it anyway. It’s the same with DPT. It fucking sucks to get a ticket and you do end up hating the meter maid for a bit. But seriously, you’re SOL, and no one actually cares if you’re pissed. Better luck next time, deal with it like a grown-up.


    People hate the perceived police state, and how people hate to see law-enforcers asking people for things. Anything. “Fuck tha Police” was a popular song for a reason.

    Incidentally, the Captcha for this comment was “snubs passengers.” Ha.

  • I am gleeful when I see fare inspectors. Quit freeloading, jerks.

    Further, when I become mayor of SF (which will never happen), I am
    setting aside money to bus all the school kids separately so they don’t have to ride
    Muni. No more crowding my commute bus with your obnoxious youthfulness and vigor.

  • I felt basically the same when the SFPD was ticketing cyclists who ran red lights a few weeks back.

    • Chris

      Cyclists running red lights is different than fare violators. Running red lights as a vehicle is dangerous not only to yourself, but to others on the road as well. If bicycles want to be treated with respect on the roads and be treated like any other vehicle, they need to obey the laws of the roads as if they were a vehicle.

  • Erik

    Someone should make some official-looking “WARNING: SFPD undercover fare enforcement sting in progress” flyers to hang up regularly. Or Muni should.

  • Kelsey

    I agree with Tara. If you hate the fare inspectors so much, you must have done/are doing something wrong.

    • Alex

      Actually, no. My problems with pop cops are thus:

      – I see them far more often at Powell than at Civic Center. This furthers the idea that they’re merely cherry picking the easy targets (tourists)
      – I see them milling around West Portal all the time when there are problems on the L. Instead of talking on their cell phones, perhaps they ought to go out and be useful?
      – 9 out of 10 do NOT check my TransLink card.

      So, yeah, as far as I’m concerned most are getting paid money and not really doing much for the MTA. Not paying your fare bothers me a whole lot less — farebox collection is generally a pretty small portion of the MTA’s income. Perhaps the MTA ought to start charging people with handicapped placards to park on the street if they’re so concerned about lost revenue…

  • Richard Bullock

    Pay your fare and keep your mouth shut! I love seeing them, keep the fare evading scum bags in check!!!

  • Nick

    The woman with the short blonde hair who is always really nice (she says “Cheers!” to everyone) is legit. She makes up for any of the bad fare inspectors (with whom I have never had an encounter).

    • Yo Nick, that’s the Shave headed Muni Inspector from Hell that everyone likes to rant about. Im with you. Ive seen her and a couple of others quite a bit and I think she’s pretty consistent and honestly nice. Ive even seen her with some douchebags who clearly didn’t have it, were clearly lying through their teeth with their lame elaborate story, and clearly also lied about not having their ID. She wasnt buying it either and I watched her put the pressure on. She didnt step on the douchebag’s rights against Search and Seizure but she did ask the person to at least make an effort to find their wallet. They emptied their purse just like in one of the rants (minus the “made me” do it part) and lo and behold….the now very angry douchebag magically had their wallet and ID. I think Tara is also right….the people who are pissed at the Fare Inspectors are the ones who got a citation or whose friends got one. Pure bias. Most of the rants admit so somewhere in the rant. My answer is simple pay up and shut up.

  • Brandon

    They operate on the premise that you are “Guilty until you prove you are innocent” and thanks just plain wrong. Maybe MUNi should focus on safety, timeliness and efficient service?

  • “They operate on the premise that you are ‘Guilty until you prove you are innocent'”

    So do countless other train operators, not to mention sports & concert venues, and anyone else who checks tickets.

    “Maybe MUNi should focus on safety, timeliness and efficient service?”

    Which that extra 10% in fare revenue might help with.

    • Asking for your proof of payment isn’t the same as writing you a ticket before you prove you paid. That would be assuming you’re guilty until you prove otherwise.

      Agreed with Troy that the safety, timeliness and efficiency are all things affected by people cramming into the back doors like it’s Black Friday downtown. Less general me-first (and if you are roguish enough to jump fare, you probably don’t give two shits about the comfort of other people on the bus).

  • I’m always glad to see the fare inspectors. If I have to pay, why shouldn’t everyone else? And if it dissuades some people from riding, fine by me. More seats and more room for the rest of us.

  • I don’t like them because I feel targeted. Most times I get on the N judah they hop on and ask for my POP. I am disabled. THe disability is the result of a brain tumor removal. About 4 years ago, I was getting on the N Judah with a guide person, and I left my ticket in the style because I did not see it. My guide person went ahead in front of me. My brain is simply broken. I paid for the ticket, didn’t see it in the style and forgot about it. It’s amazing what you can forget about when you can’t see. Fare inspectors got on. My guide person explained what was happening and at that moment I realized my error. I tried to explain the problem to a fare inspector trainee. I initiated the conversation. His trainer was saying all the time, “Do not write her a ticket.” The trainee did anyway. It was humiliating and degrading. They kicked me off the train. It was a real low point, hard to recover from something personal like that and how law enforcement officials felt the necessity to site me essentially for my disability. I went to court. The judge left the sentence as guilty but reduced the fee to zero dollars. My vision has since improved dramatically. I do ride the N Judah by myself to see my neurologist at UCSF. The fare inspectors get on almost every time I’m on the N Judah. They always make a B line for me and ask for POP. I have no respect for them or their system. I have always paid and gotten nothing but hassle and degradation in return.

    • Your situation sounds tragic but not evil. I think the fact that the trainer was telling the Fare Inspector not to do it indicates that you were believable to a veteran. Hopefully, the trainer’s opinion at the end of the day either resulted in the Fare Inspector who cited you in getting fired or getting retrained. If not, hopefully they became a veteran themself who would never do that again. I honestly don’t believe the Fare Inspector was evil minded toward someone who stated they have a brain injury. I also think the Fare Inspectors have serious pressure on them to issue citations rather than give warnings given all the press in the newspapers, TV news, and blogs like this. Maybe the new guy felt the same at that time. Please dont take it personally… as hard as it is to do so.

  • Michael MUNIbeam

    As a transplanted Chicagoan, I am pretty taken aback by how easy it is to get on MUNI without paying. The CTA makes it pretty hard to cheat and does a much better job of striking the fear of god in you–without fare inspectors. At the heart of the mess is the fact that the “flashing a piece of paper” method is pretty antiquated. Fare inspectors don’t make me feel comfortable. I can’t say I “like” them, but I obviously endorse a system that ensures fare collection and thus helps encourage sustainable transit.

  • Whit

    I’m a fast pass holder and I totally embrace the fare inspectors as long as they actual do their job and nothing but their job.

  • Lach

    Most fare inspectors are professional and respectful even when passengers are grumpy (or worse). I would rather meet ANY fare inspector than be on an N Judah with the self-important driver who thinks it’s his job to hold the doors closed to teach passengers a lesson about something or other. I sure miss the “Muni loves you” guy.

  • I have no problem with fare inspectors; my problem (as is the case with most everyone else who has commented so far) is with people who don’t pay their fair share. I laughed at the crossed out “stuck it to the man” above because yesterday, I was thinking that exact same thing. Some students were talking on campus about riding Muni for free, and they kept complaining about “they just want your money” (uh…duh–so they can like, pay for the costs of running the buses and trains) and “they suck”–all this “they,” but when I butted into the conversation to say that the service would run much better if people didn’t steal rides, the students couldn’t really explain who the “they” is that was such a focus of their animosity. I mean, you can’t suck it to the man if you don’t even know who the man is. Muni is hardly “the man.”

    That said, I do wish the fare inspectors would be on the trains rather than the platforms. They can really slow things down when they are checking for POP at Powell station. If you’re coming from SF State, you’ve probably put your wallet back in your backpack. Can be a pain to fish it out again when you are in a hurry and just want to get through the exit turnstiles.

    Wish I had been a fare inspector for Halloween.

    • Daishin

      Sorry to inform you, but Muni IS the man! It is a lousy system run by the MTA, the unions and SF government. It’s not as if you and I run Muni. If we did, it would be a hell of a better system.

  • I am bothered by the fare inspectors who block the exits of the station. I favor the inspectors that get on the bus or train to check fares. As for my POP when I’m already captive. Don’t stop me when I’m running for my next connection.

  • Athena

    I don’t dislike fare inspection per se, but I do dislike how easy it is for an honest person to make a simple mistake that results in a big headache. I switched from purchasing monthly Caltrain passes to purchasing weekly passes and forgot to validate the weekly pass one day, which resulted in a trip to a courtroom and then multiple letters and trips back to the courtroom to get the paperwork I needed for a certification for my work. The fine was reduced then, but now if the same thing happens on MUNI I imagine the fine will be huge. MUNI, like Caltrain, allows boarding without flashing a pass, so it is easy to make this kind of mistake when switching away from a monthly pass.

    I feel a little more secure now that I have FasTrak and am in the habit of swiping every time I get on. Some of the fare inspectors haven’t really figured out FasTrak yet. The last time I was checked, the fare inspector collected the FasTrak cards from a few different people and made no effort to keep track of which card belonged to whom. Since the FasTrak system seems a bit buggy still, I am always a tad bit concerned that a machine malfunction will lead to another courtroom headache.

  • Well, well. This story of a physical altercation between a ticket-buyer and a fare inspector could really bolster the haters’ case. ABC 7 has the story.

  • crow_soup

    I only dislike the inspectors in Italy as they are the only one’s who have almost caught me, even tho it was my “1st time” I swear…they failed too tho. I’ve been riding MUNI since 1993, full time…to work and back and everywhere else in town and my only question is: if the budget is so fucked now, would it be as fucked if MUNI had been enforcing fare jumpers since back in the day? Probably not…too little, too late and checking for POP from Castro to the Embarcadero during the weekday early a.m. commute (6am – 8am) is just wasted payroll time, they should be working busses instead…that said, I love MUNI, couldn’t live w/out it and I love my fast pass too…

  • loren

    i really don’t mind the fare inspectors when they’re actually doing their jobs, and when they aren’t so ridiculously redundant. every time i see inspectors these days, it’s usually a flock of them together… around 8-12 of them at least, and then one of two things happens:
    1. i get asked for my PoP 8-12 frickin’ times in a row (only exaggerating slightly), or
    2. more than half of them are standing back and not doing anything, or talking on cellphones, etc.
    i don’t know why they seem to be traveling in such unnecessarily large groups these days, it seems like a big waste. when i first moved to the city over 5 years ago, there would be 4 of them together at most, and they were generally efficient and professional. now it seems like more of a wasteful clusterf*ck. maybe it’s just the lines i ride, i don’t know.

  • Daishin

    Well thanks for giving me another opportunity to complain about fare inspectors. It’s my favorite Muni Diaries topic. Here’s why I feel they are an affront to the citizens of San Francisco. MUNI is an inefficient, over-crowded, poorly managed and dirty transit system. The only people I see associated with MUNI on a daily basis are drivers, station attendants and fare inspectors. We need the drivers even though they’re not very good. The same with the attendants in the booths. But the fare inspectors remind me every day that what they do is a total waste of MUNI’s budget and that the wages paid to them could be going to improve service and clean up the system. I have attended and spoken at MTA Board Meetings and never, and I mean, NEVER has any Board Member acknowledged that MUNI is the white elephant sitting in the middle of the room. See no evil. Hear no evil. Speak no evil. Fare inspectors are the ultimate insult in this transit game. And BTW, I buy a Fast Pass every month. In addition I speak to the fare inspectors frequently and ask them to quit their jobs and stop wasting the taxpayers money.

  • Ian

    I see fare inspector. I smile. Pull wallet out of pocket. Flash fast pass. All over in a few seconds. Screw fare evaders. I board via the backdoor as often as I board via the front.

  • Diq

    I hate them for many reasons, but here’s the biggest reason: Muni itself.

    Passengers have to deal with dirty busses, late busses, rude drivers all while having prices jacked up and service reduced. Why are being forced to pay more for half-assed service, and then feel like we’re in a police state by having to show our fast pass EVERY DAY!? I would gladly show my fast pass everytime if Muni ever did something for me (i.e., clean the graffiti off the busses, get there on time, and pull into the damn bus stop area [if it’s free} so I don’t have to walk into traffic).

    And then there’s the homeless! The homeless are on the busses ALL THE TIME!? Why can’t Muni do something about keeping them off? New York found a way. DC found a way. It can’t be that difficult.

    And can Muni ever bring any updates to the lines that need it? Quit giving all the nice busses to the tourists! Get rid of those filthy buses from the 70s that constantly break down on the major lines and give the people of San Francisco a nice ride for once. You can’t tell me that Muni hasn’t had any money for upgrades in the last 30 years.

    And the fare checkers need to ease up already! I once went from Church to Powell. Fare checkers boarded and checked for passes. I showed my pass. But then at Civic Center, 3 more got on. They didn’t check because the previous officers told them it was all clear. When I finally get out at Powell, 2 more officers are waiting upstairs to check for passes. I flipped out and yelled at them. 7 officers on one ride is too much!! It feels like we’re being punished!

    And I have a big problem with that article in the Chronicle that said 10% of passengers aren’t paying their fare. IT’S ONLY 10%! That still means 90% of passengers are gladly paying their $2 to ride. That’s pretty good! I find it very difficult to believe that a 10% evasion of fares is really breaking the bank for Muni. There has to be other ways Muni is mismanaging its money.

    And don’t even get me started on Muni being the cause of so many accidents, some of which are fatal. They want to make me feel like I’m always on the brink of being punished when so many drivers are practically doing so with their eyes closed?

    The fare checkers are just an extra rub against the passengers. They’re going to give me crappy service and then MAKE SURE I PAY FOR IT?! It’s like they’re saying, “We’re serving you horse shit, you’re gonna like it, and you won’t complain about it either!”

    I hope the fare checkers all get run over by a bus.

    • Erik

      Having to show your pass twice on the same trip is an unconscionable insult. You would have been justified in stabbing the last inspector FYI.

      • Erik,

        Didn’t you read what Diq said? It’s NOT about having to show your pass. It’s about having to do anything that supports MUNI other than pay for a poor transit system. I think people who love the fare inspectors aren’t paying attention to the issues below the surface.

    • frank

      There is a lot of free-floating anger in San Francisco. Some people just never got over being a disgruntled teenager.

      Grow up.

    • “The fare checkers are just an extra rub against the passengers. They’re going to give me crappy service and then MAKE SURE I PAY FOR IT?! It’s like they’re saying, “We’re serving you horse shit, you’re gonna like it, and you won’t complain about it either!””


      I couldn’t have said it any better myself. The fare inspectors represent all the things that are wrong with MUNI plus a punitive aspect that just galls me. For me it’s almost as if we have to bribe the City to give us crappy service. Fire all the fare inspectors ASAP!

  • Noah

    “Why do fare-paying, Fast Pass-holding riders have such disdain for fare inspectors?”

    Do you really not know the answer to this question. It’s not that people have disdain for the fare inspectors. It’s that they want to complain about Muni. When there are no fair inspectors, people complain about others getting on and not paying. When there are fair inspectors, the same people complain about the fare inspectors doing their job.

    • I have no issue about fare evaders. I imagine some fare evaders do it because why should they have to pay for such shitty service and a poor transit system? I simply don’t care if people avoid paying. I think it’s phony issue to distract us from the real issue which is the mess that is MUNI. If you want to educate yourself about MUNI’s policies, I suggest you go to MTA Board Meetings. They are the most convoluted, bizarre, byzantine management discussion you can imagine. They don’t discuss the real issue about MUNI, but only the most simple obvious mundane logistic problem: eg. like where to put bus stops or what routes to change. They never talk about policy!

      • Wow Daishin, you are all over this topic….and Ive got to respond to you again. You have no issue with fare evaders?? You go on and on about the poor service as the root of your pain and the Fare Inspectors as just that extra twist in your britches.

        Me?? I have a real problem with people stealing almost 20 million dollars a year out of the Muni budget by fare evading. Sarah is right and Muni is not ‘the man’….when you think you’re sticking it to the man you are actually sticking it to the little guy. The system would run a whole lot better with 20 million dollars. This is no chump change; I dont care how large the overall budget is. Mass transit may be for the people but who really rides? Us. Mass transit is for us. We are the real people. You jerks fare evading or constantly hating on the system or its workers are ruining it for the rest of us.

        The original question I think was asked to bring constructive criticism not one more opportunity for you to vent. Get over it Daishin and stop scaring me with your hope of running the system and instead come up with real and concrete suggestions for improvement.

        • Daishin

          Muni_lover, I take your challenge. How to improve MUNI? The very first and most important thing is to put a proposition on the next ballot to force the SFMTA to re-negotiate all contracts with the existing MUNI unions (drivers, mechanics, station attendants, fare inspectors, janitors), drawing down wages and creating a merit pay system like any other efficient business. This would save at least $200,000.00 a year perhaps more. The mayor and the Board of Supervisors are unwilling to even begin this process because they are pawns of the unions. The second major change would be to replace the existing MUNI station entrances in the subway system to keep people from physically jumping over barriers similar to NYC. The third major change would be issuing fare deduction passes to MUNI patrons which is a faster and more accurate payment system. I could go on and on. Is that more helpful?

          • Daishin, I actually agree with you in that the unions probably have too much power. But you realize what a joke you’re laying out here? Shave $200K off a $129 million deficit, and you’re left with … $128,800,000. I’m stuck on that point, and it makes my brain hurt too much to begin pondering your others.

        • Daishin

          I mispoke, as George Bush used to say so frequently. Please add a couple of 00s to the amount I suggested above for the MUNI employees to be docked. Actually if it were possible, I’d like to see them work for nothing for a few years to make up for the terrible service we’ve received over the last 20 years. But I imagine that would set a bad example for future little MUNI workers.

        • muni_lover

          Daishin, you have some concrete suggestions and I’m pleasantly surprised as you usually have only empty rhetoric. While I agree that the contracts should be renegotiated for merit based pay, I dont see that happening for fare inspectors. The only way I see a merit based system applied to them is by measuring the number of citations they write a day; it wouldnt be the number of people they check or whatever. Unfortunately for your suggestion, we have a pesky little thing called the Constitution which protects us from police officers issuing a quota of citations. Give a fare inspector a merit based pay scale dependant on the number of citations and you get the wild west with fare inspectors dealing out citations like card shark dealers. The other two suggestions you must have gotten from the meetings you attended because they both have been ok’d for a while now; one is called Translink and they are moving there quickly over the past few years….the other is the new gates they’ve already reported that they’re switching over to. NIce try though. I appreciate your trying to be more concrete as this is exactly what this forum really deserves.

          My CAPTCHA is Therefore repulse

      • As someone who sat through meeting after meeting after meeting of various boards and city councils, trust me, where to put bus stops and what routes to change counts as policy. What do you want them to talk about, Daishin?

    • methinks you are onto something, Noah *puffs pipe*

  • clancy cavnar

    Fare evasion by getting on the back door is a recent problem. In the past, people did transfer scams, such as selling the late night books or glueing the top part of the old transfer to the right-colored bottom. I hardly see these transfer scams anymore since those who want to ride free now hop on the back. I am in favor of fare inspectors and wish to volunteer as an undercover inspector. My fantasies of hopping up in an officious manner and escorting cheats off the bus would come true. I think i might need a taser though. maybe that’s why they travel in groups, confrontations can get ugly.

    • whir

      When I board at the back of the bus I don’t bother flashing my Fast Pass to the driver, so it might look like I’m cheating the fare, but I’m not. More people who board the bus at the back = lower “dwell times” where a bus is waiting at the curb = a faster Muni system altogether.

  • Vanessa

    I have no issues with fare inspectors that actually do their job of checking fares but what I’ve seen again and again is fare inspectors letting their friends (cousins? that’s what they called them) on the bus for free, hanging out in packs of 4-6 doing nothing. I’m not surprised they do a bad job because just like many muni employees especially the drivers, they don’t seem to have a basic understanding that for most jobs, you actually have to do work to get a paycheck.

  • Brian

    Guys, it’s not that hard. Pay it or face it. just like click it or ticket means buckle your seatbelt or you get a ticket. Seriously, if I were muni, shut down the entire system for 1 day or more because of the fare evaders and see if the passengers will get pissed at those who don’t pay. Or if I were the driver, turn off the engine and say pay it or stay here.

  • Daishin

    I think blaming fare evaders for a poor transit system is missing the point altogether. Who is responsible for MUNI? SFMTA that’s who. If you want to point fingers at anyone, it should be them.

  • Tony

    I think here’s a good thread to point out all the hate for fare evaders. “Screw fare evaders” “taser the fare evaders” oh and the fare inspector with the blond crewcut has accepted a new job at Santa Rita Women’s Prison as the assistant warden. I love me my KKKs.

    • Well, thanks for pointing me to this post, Tony, and giving me a chance to re-read its comments. I do not find a single instance of venom toward fare evaders. Quite the opposite; all I see is one side spewing its utter contempt for fare inspectors. You know, the ones whose job it is to enforce the rules. I say come up with your own society, your own rules, somewhere else. Then have fun dealing with those who disobey only out of spite, not some real inability to play along.

  • No one gives up one’s 4th or 5th amendment right when they board a city bus or train.
    If a fare inspector see’s an infraction committed (an offense that warrants a ticket) by all means they are within the law or statute to ask for proof of payment or just write the ticket.

    If the infraction was not seen, I am not obliged to speak to them or show any ID or proof of payment and the fare inspector would be detaining me illegally if he or she pressed the issue.
    These are the rules peace officers must adhere to. Are fare inspectors above them? Surely not.

  • The reason why I (and so very many others) hate the muni fare inspectors is not because we’re avoiding paying the fare and that they’re stopping us from riding for free. Although I’m sure people like Tara would love to argue otherwise…

    The real reason why we hate fare inspectors is because, quite frankly, they’re a bunch of annoying, unqualified douchebag rent-a-cops who harass paying riders and interfere with our commute. I acknowledge the fact that fare evaders play a significant role in Muni’s budget defecit, however, I do not believe that putting fare inspectors on buses is ever going to stop them. For every fare inspector on duty, MUNI have to pay that inspector a salary. This means that if the Fare inspectors do not write enough citations to make up for their salary, Muni is still losing just as much if not more money. This also motivates the fare inspectors to cite people who aren’t even in the wrong, just to meet the quota. Me and many of my friends have been repeatedly harassed by fare inspectors, despite the fact that we’re paying riders. There’s been times where I’ve been pulled off the N judah train and forced to stand on the street for up to half an hour to be searched and checked by the police. On one occasion, me and my girlfriend were going to 7th and Market to board a Golden Gate Transit bus to Petaluma, and right before we got off the bus, a girl sitting next to us asked if we still needed our transfers. Since we were leaving the city, my girlfriend gave the girl her transfer just before exiting the bus. When we stepped off the bus, we were confronted by a gang of POP cops. They held us for about 20 minutes, scolded my girlfriend and issued her a citation that she couldn’t even pay. We missed our bus and had to wait for the next one, which took an hour, and arrived in Petaluma very late at night. My girlfriend was so stressed out about the ticket that she cried herself to sleep. If Muni wants to address their budget defecit, they need to fire the 8 people on the board of supervisors who aren’t even doing shit and are getting paid way more than the bus drivers. POP cops are a real menace to paying MUNI riders, and are helping discourage riders from riding MUNI in the first place. The POP cops harass people, break the law, and interfere with people getting on/off the bus and also transfering to other bus lines. Sometimes, when I see them on the over-crowded 38-geary during rush hour, harassing anyone and everyone they can, causing massive delays in the already fucked up bus schedule, I wish I could just knock their fucking teeth out. And if you think I’m wrong, screw you too! I’ve been a paying MUNI rider since the mid 1990s, and I deeply regret ever having spent a penny on muni. If I had saved all the money I spent on Muni, I’d probably own my own FLEET of POP-Cop-Free buses by now.

  • I also wanted to add that people don’t even have to evade paying the fare. You can get fast passes for free from the GA office. The whole fare evasion thing is really just the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. If you people seriously think that putting those annoying uniformed dickheads on our buses is going to stop the budget deficit, you’ve got a couple of loose screws in your head

  • These MUNI Fare Inspectors are glorified mall cops. Fire these jabronis ASAP!

  • Willis

    Been in city for 20 years. Mostly bike wherever i go,but on occasion take muni. Fare inspectors ok. But most times its quite disturbing to see mostly black fare inspectors who are citing other blacks as well as other minorities.

  • Britney

    They are ugly dicks that hate their life because they wish they were cops.

  • lasertag

    Fare inspector issued me a citation today April 2nd because I did not yet load the commuter check transit voucher onto my clipper card. The commuter check was valid and showed that I paid. Worthless employee who is unable to use common sense. Ugh

  • Rob

    Check me ON the bus dont think about checking my fare while im exiting the bus. Muni has its own issues with delays and now you want me to wait around to get inspected, wasting my valuble seconds to keep to my schedule when im a legit paying clipper card holder? Kiss my ass…these inspectors are over powered and highly aggresive which creates hostility between riders and inspecters. They surround “violators” (especially tourists that the city takes advantage of to get extra money) like they are high profile criminals. They dont have the power to arrest, yet they continue to use aggresion as their form of policing.
    Bus drivers alot of the times dont even open the front door to give riders the oppurtunity to pay because the front of the bus is so packed that they tell riders to get on the back and then here comes an inspecter giving such people a citation.
    There needs to be ALOT of changes but like most authority positions they also need to be supervised more carefully because these inspecters are way out of line most of the time. They dont bring a sense of community or safety to riders in my opinion.

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