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Fare evasion down for Muni

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The rate of people illegally catching free rides on Muni is decreasing, according to a report from the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency.

A new enforcement strategy to catch scofflaws has resulted in more citations being issued while decreasing the rate of fare evasion, according Lea Militello, commander of the police department’s Muni operations.

“People who were never asked for their proof of payment are now being asked for their proof of payment,” Militello told the Board of Supervisors Public Safety Committee on Thursday.

Fare evasion has long plagued the Muni system. The agency reported in February 2011 there was an 8.5 percent fare evasion rate, which costs the agency $19 million a year.

Militello reported there was a 3.5 percent fare evasion rate in November when 191,582 Muni riders were asked to show proof of payment. Inspectors found 6,722 were attempting to ride the system for free. In November, 3,928 citations were issued, compared to 1,567 during the same month in 2010. There were also 2,821 warnings issued in November.

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There are 36 transit fare inspectors who check for proof of payment system wide. The old enforcement strategy was to target specific lines, but now the agency has a systemwide approach.

jsabatini@sfexaminer.com

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