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Muni Fare Inspectors Are Back, And In Different Uniforms

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Image: SFMTA.org

One of the sweet upsides to our six-and-a-half-month shelter-in-place has been that Muni has sidelined its fare inspectors. But people, the free rides are coming to an end. The SFMTA announced in a blog post that Muni Transit Fare Inspectors are returning to duty, though with new and somewhat less cop-like uniforms.

In a blog post entitled “Fare Inspection Reimagined,” which sounds like the name of a TEDx Talk, the SFMTA says that fare inspectors have already returned to duty, but they haven’t actually been boarding buses to issue citations. Instead they’ve apparently been acting as “ambassadors,” which in Muni’s words means “providing Muni customers with service information, fare programs, kiosk location, physical distancing assistance and mask distribution when needed at stops and stations throughout the system.” 

Apparently in late October, they’ll start boarding buses again in their slick new uniforms that somehow San Francisco could afford despite a $1.4 billion budget deficit. But according to SFMTA, they won’t be issuing citations. Yet.

The SF Examiner has the news that they won’t start issuing citations until December 1. The Examiner also adds that there’s a new policy that “customers can get their first violation waived if they show they’ve enrolled in a free Muni program within 30 days of receiving the citation.”

Certainly we want to see Muni survive, and they do need that fare money. District 5 supervisor Dean Preston has proposed free Muni, but that would require an overhaul of SFMTA’s budget and policies that is not going to happen this year. You also have the issue that more fare inspectors on the buses will inevitably lead to less social distancing, because how can they check your fare from six feet away? Muni has a few months to figure all of this out, but if you’re a fare hopper, you have only two more months to figure out how you’re going to pay Muni fare again.

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Joe Kukura- Millionaire in Training

Joe Kukura- Millionaire in Training

Joe Kukura is a two-bit marketing writer who excels at the homoerotic double-entendre. He is training to run a full marathon completely drunk and high, and his work has appeared in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal on days when their editors made particularly curious decisions.

3 Comments

  1. Jenny
    September 30, 2020 at 8:34 pm — Reply

    If you’re a fare hopper, I’m using you as bait for breaking these stasi heads right on the fare kiosk.

  2. Cadence
    October 1, 2020 at 12:51 pm — Reply

    I think they should lower the fare to something fair? Like $1.50, or $2 max. Because many people’s wage hasn’t gone up, and also muni aren’t the most efficient and fast way to travel.

    I wish they would had out citation for not wearing make properly. Because getting over this pandemic is the biggest issue.

    Another funny thing I used to witness: A well dressed white couple
    in their 20-30s would always up hop on around Noe and never ever pay. They certainly could afford nice clothes though.

    I think MINI inspectors should give citations to everyone, and those with higher income should pay more based on their ability to pay.

  3. Nicole Gostnell
    October 15, 2020 at 2:07 pm — Reply

    Public transit should be free like it is in Portland and Seattle. But of course in San Francisso we must ensure as much opportunity for corruption as possible.

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