Police, Muni join forces in fare-evasion operation

Police officers handed out more than 525 citations and arrested nine people in a crackdown Wednesday on Muni vehicles that also netted several passengers who had outstanding felony warrants.

About 100 officers and Muni inspectors were involved in Citywide Operation Safe Muni between 1 and 8:30 p.m., police Sgt. Lyn Tomioka said. About 525 people were cited for various offenses, including fare evasion, failure to provide proof of payment, and eating and drinking.

The stepped-up police enforcement is expected to continue on high-crime lines like the 14-Mission, 22-Fillmore and 38-Geary.

Six people were arrested on felony warrants and three others were arrested before being cited and released, Tomioka said. There was one report of a robbery, an arrest of a youth on suspicion of felony mischief and two adults arrested on narcotics charges.

One man cited for evading payment also had an outstanding warrant for urinating on a public bus. He was arrested, along with one adult who had a warrant for failing to register as a sex offender. There were also arrests for warrants of felony robbery, assault and narcotics.

The warrants came up when police checked the identification of Muni riders accused of skipping fares, said Tomioka, who called the operation a success. The Police Department is still deciding if there will be another citywide crackdown in the future.

“We are certainly going to discuss it,” Tomioka said. “Logistically, it was a lot of work, but it showed results.”

It was the first time police have concentrated on fare evaders citywide. In recent months, a similar operation was conducted in the Ingleside neighborhood.

Muni estimates that about 10 percent of riders are not paying. Crime numbers also indicate that while crime is down dramatically citywide, incidents remain steady on Muni vehicles.

Making passengers pay

The Police Department executed Citywide Operation Safe Muni on Wednesday, in conjunction with the transit agency, and saw major results.

100 Officers dedicated to Muni sweep
525 Citations for fare evasion, proof of payment, eating and drinking
6 Arrests for felony warrants
3 Arrests that resulted in citations, with violators released
$75 Cost of fare-evasion ticket

Source: Police Department

bbegin@sfexaminer.com

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