Fare evaders on Muni

calbarter's picture

Just wanted to be one of the first to try out the new muni forum.

Everytime I ride Muni, it seems that there are fare evaders at every major stop. It makes my muni pass seem worthless to see so many people (often more than those who flash their passes/pay at the front of the bus) get on the back. Oftentimes, the driver does nothing to stop this action nor the harassment of passengers by people screaming at the passengers inside to open the back doors.

Although this is a site particularly for Bart, Muni's fare evasion problem is on a much larger scale. Any possible solutions for both/either system?

I emailed Muni customer service once about hiring people (even high-schoolers) to stand at major stops and prevent people from getting on the back of the bus. And to no surprise, I got....nothing.

MUNI does make BART look good, that's for sure

I do not live in SF but a lot of the time it appears that the only people that pay the fair are those that are non-locals ( no offense to any fair paying SF locals that may be reading this ).

On the Lower Height and Mission area, I have seen buses fill up completely from the back door, I am guessing that then 6% of the people on that bus had a pass or paid their fair.

The only way for this mass fair evasion to to exist is if the people whom do this know they will never get caught or cited.

Do fair inspector only ride some lines only or have predictable riding patterns people know about?

calbarter's picture

fare inspectors don't ride the buses; they only ride the streetcars and even then, the inspections are sporadic at best.

The *only* time I have run into a fare inspector was once on the T line heading toward the ball park ( there was no ball game that day) around 10am with mostly commuters on the car.

Lucky for me I have a valid transfer on me as I do not normally get one when I use TransLink.

I asked the fare inspector about this and he shrugged his shoulders and said he did not know "what does cards are" (in reference to my TransLink card).

calbarter's picture

You bring up a good point with Translink. Without a valid transfer after using Translink, how will fare inspectors know whether you've paid or not?

if they swipe it on the TransLink scanner it will beep "valid transfer" or already scanned. I do not see this as a efficient method to check but at least it will work.

(of course if I didn't swipe my card they would be doing it for me :-)

seven's picture

I often get on the back of the 28 bus, not because I'm unwilling to pay, but rather because the bus is so full it is physically impossible to enter the front (people in front of the yellow line and into the front stairwell).

On an unrelated note, my Muni driver today refused to take my token. He let me on, but didn't want to bother with payment or giving me a transfer. That was on the 48 line. I won't report it because I only report the stuff I don't like. :-)

Vincent's picture

Muni should do what they do in Argentina (even though it would cost BILLIONS, they would make the money back in ten years): enclose all bus stops in cages, so that you can only get into the cage (and thus onto the bus) by paying your fare.

Or just do like they do in Israel, and put bars on the backdoor that only open to let people off (see image: https://secure2.convio.net/ifcj/images/content/pagebuilder/24786.jpg).

seven's picture

Last night, I saw a brave rider actually tell a person not to board the back of the bus. This was on the 48 line at West Portal. The fare-evader guy yelled out a loud "f**k you", that the entire bus and the driver heard.

The driver did nothing. Other passengers moved away from the guy.

What gives people such a feeling of entitlement? Sometimes I wish Muni fare would be raised to $3.00, just so people would start taking it more seriously.

Mikokat's picture

Nah, that'll probably make more people evade fare.

Mikokat's picture

I remember when I rode the 38 Geary Bus when I was 8 years old (I'm 15 now). We stopped in Chinatown area and some old woman tried to enter through the back door. She tries to open it but it doesn't work so she yells at me (I'm standing right by the back door) to step down so she can milk a free ride. I didn't step down and she ended up waiting for the next bus.