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Release date: 8/10/10

*** Press Release ***

After reviewing procedures, Agency has realigned fare enforcement, launched marketing campaign and designed more robust training program

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), which oversees the surface transportation network in San Francisco including the Municipal Railway (Muni), today announced that it has begun to deploy new, enhanced fare enforcement on the Muni Metro system (J Church, K Ingleside, L Taraval, M Ocean View, N Judah, T Third lines) as of Monday and on Muni bus routes starting August 12.

The Agency is resuming the concentrated aspect of its duel approach to fare enforcement after having conducted an in depth review of the Transit Fare Inspector (TFI) deployment plan, launching a marketing campaign on fare evasion, creating a more robust training program and incorporating further public education into the deployment plan.

“Muni fare inspection is in place in order to promote fare compliance and for no other reason,” said Nathaniel P. Ford Sr., SFMTA Executive Director/CEO. “We’d much rather have our customers pay the $2 fare than issue citations. We believe these efforts will encourage all riders to pay their fair share and help them understand our fare policies.”

The new deployment and other changes to the TFI program are based on the SFMTA’s work with the Immigrant Rights Commission (IRC) and the Office of Civic Engagement and Immigrant Affairs as well as discussions with the SFMTA Board of Directors.

“We would like to commend Director Ford and his staff for being receptive to our suggestions and to listening to the voices of our community members,” said Angus McCarthy, IRC Chairman. “This is a great step in forging a stronger and mutually respectful relationship with the community.”

Starting Monday, the new enhanced fare enforcement deployment means that in addition to the regular two-person teams that have continued to enforce fare policy on Muni, teams of four to five TFIs and one or two police officers will be deployed for shifts approximately 90 minutes long throughout the Muni system. The new enhanced fare enforcement deployment will be more frequent and more flexible, providing enhanced fare enforcement at more locations and greater coverage systemwide.

In addition to creating a new deployment plan, the SFMTA has developed new TFI training procedures that include specific scenarios, a general marketing campaign and a plan to phase-in the deployment on buses. On Muni buses August 7 through 12, TFIs are issuing fare reminders instead of citations. The enhanced fare enforcement deployment is in place and the TFIs are following regular procedures to gain compliance. If a citation is called for during this time, however, the TFI simply issues the Muni customer a brochure reminding them of Muni’s POP policy instead of a citation. Effective Aug. 12 citations will be issued on Muni bus routes as well as Metro lines.

The SFMTA and the IRC worked together to determine how best to mitigate community concerns that had been raised before the Commission and before the SFMTA Board relating to misperceptions surrounding SFMTA POP saturations. These concerns were based on incidents where Muni TFIs were mistaken for “law enforcement officials,” i.e., Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents or San Francisco police officers.

The concentrated enforcement efforts began in July 2009 to support the existing two-person fare enforcement deployment. After a study by the SFMTA Finance Department, Muni’s POP program was reformed to take advantage of the detailed statistical information about fare evasion on Muni. The current restructuring of the TFI deployment will further enhance fare enforcement on Muni.

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