Transit Cheats Plague San Francisco's MUNI

Ever wonder how many people hop on those cable-cars in San Fran without paying the fare? Well, it turns out that transit cheats cost MUNI, San Francisco's transit agency, an estimated, $19 million a year.
October 21, 2009, 6am PDT | Michael Rodriguez | @transpoplanner
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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.

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Published on Monday, October 19, 2009 in The San Francisco Chronicle
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