Muni may change fines for juveniles who don’t give up seats to elderly and disabled
Hey kids: You should always give up your seat to the elderly and disabled, but Muni doesn’t want the fines to bankrupt your entire allowance either. According to a KTVU report, currently you could be fined if you don’t give up your seat to the elderly and disabled on Muni—this is a federal law. But for people under age 18, it could also be a criminal offense, which means it can double the cost you’ll need to pay because of court fees. KTVU reported that the fee could be as much as $300 for juveniles.
KTVU talked to Paul Rose, spokesperson for the SFMTA, who said that the original citations had been that way until 2008, and that it was not up to Muni at the time:
“When we moved forward with administering adult citations for transit, the San Francisco juvenile system asked that we keep it this way,” says Rose. Muni says the fines for both adults and youth start at the same price. But when you add the court cost to the youth citations that’s where the cost more than doubles.
“When we move forward with decriminalizing these citations it allows for a smaller price because you do not have to go through the court system. So we wanted to make sure there was parity for adults and youth violations,” says Rose.
On Tuesday, the SFMTA board voted to decriminalize these offenses for people under 18, which means their fines will now be about half of what adult offenders might pay. The Board of Supervisors still has to approve this decision.
Regardless, it’s still illegal (and rude) not to give up your seat. So don’t be a transit jerk!
Photo by joe_moore