Law takes fare evasion out of courts

A new state law signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Thursday will allow the city and county of San Francisco to handle minor transit violations such as fare evasion as parking tickets, adjudicating them through administrative review instead of the court system.

The bill, introduced by state Sen. Carole Migden, D-San Francisco, aims to streamline the enforcement of fare evasion citations. It is also intended to free up court dockets to handle more serious offenses, according to Migden’s office.

Muni costs $1.50 per ride, which includes a three-hour transfer. Fare evasion can result in a citation for several hundred dollars.

“This will go a long way towards discouraging people from abusing our city’s transit services and capture escaping revenue that will lift the quality of service for San Francisco’s public transit passengers,” Migden said in a written statement Thursday.

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