Freaking Muni Fare Evaders

As I was exiting the rear door of the bus on my way home, 3 or 4 people got on the bus through the back door. There’s big signs saying that you’re not allowed to do that so I looked into it.

Yup, fare evading is crazy rampant. This article says:

A study conducted in 2004 and 2005 by the Municipal Transportation Agency and released last year found that between 54 and 73 percent of riders at three subway stations didn’t pay a fare or show a pass.

WHAT? Roughly 60% of riders are freeloaders?!?!?!?! You are kidding, right?

Oh my. Read this from January 2009:

In the past two years, Muni has more than doubled its staff of fare inspectors, to 49

The investigation helped kick-start reforms to Muni’s fare enforcement, which helped the agency collect $35,000 in fare-evasion tickets from July through September [2008 I believe]

That sounds good until you do the math. A first time offender pays a $50 fine. Liberally assuming that every one of the fare evaders was a first time offender, and that a pathetic 50% of ticketed people actually pay, that means Muni issued 35,000 / $50 / 50% = 1400 tickets in 90 days.

Therefore, there are 49 inspectors that issued 1400 tickets in 90 days.

The entire Muni inspection team  issued 1400/90 = 15.6 tickets per day for 90 days.

15.6 tickets / 49 inspectors = The average inspector issued 0.32 tickets a day over 3 months.

You have GOT to be kidding. On my way home tonight, in 30 minutes, I saw more than 10 people walking in the back door of  a Muni street car and then the #14 bus. Apparently if I were a Muni inspector and I ticketed those folks, I would have just done my job for an entire fricking month.

This is wrong.

I am outraged.



  1. friscolex says:

    Haha, good luck on this crusade. I’ve been taking MUNI for about 18 years and have seen my FARE share (pun soooo intended) of general debauchery. I’ve always held that if MUNI actually collected the fares that were due, then the budget issues (and taking away my 26 Valencia!) would be less pressing…

    That said, I always get on through the back door if a) I have a valid transfer or Fast Pass and b) the bus is crowded and c) people refuse to move back even though there’s tons of space in the back. I’ve been on so many buses that were just packed with people and then weaseled my way back to take a seat. I generally make some attempt to wave my transfer or Fast Pass to the driver, but if it’s pointless, I might keep it in my pocket and appear as a fare evader.

  2. lee says:

    Thanks friscolex for the comment. I admit that I’m not a regular rider. It might be that regular riders know “Oh, you can ignore that ‘do not enter through the rear door’ sign as long as you have your pass/transfer with you.” Thanks.

    Though I see a lot of stories that say Muni fare evasion is crazy rampant Google for it.

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