A recent study to be presented to the Municipal Transportation Agency (Muni) governing board Tuesday, echoes what many Muni regulars long have griped about: Fare cheating is commonplace. In fact, the study estimates approximately 10 percent of riders do not pay a fare on the system that includes the famous trolley cars, a light rail system, and the agency's bus system.
Transit cheating occurs on crowded buses and near-empty ones. In many cases, riders board illegally through the back door; in others they ask the drivers for a "courtesy ride" or refuse to pay.
Transit operators, according to the report, give these free rides based on fear of assault. Other riders simply board on the back door of a bus, or fail to pay a fare on the trolley line.