Reader Michael wrote in inquiring about a comment I made to the Examiner that appeared in this morning’s paper:
I’m not sure if the Examiner quoted you correctly when they wrote:
“‘If you board the N-Judah on 48th [Avenue] and get off before downtown, there is no one checking your ticket,’ said Greg Dewar, who runs the blog The N-Judah Chronicles.”
The statement attributed to you is not correct. Although it is true that MUNI fare inspectors only work the MUNI rail lines; it is not true that they only do so downtown.
I live in the Outer Sunset (43rd Ave.) roughly equidistant from the N and L lines and ride them both regularly…although I tend to favor the N because it is less crowded and runs much more frequently than the L. On both lines, I have encountered fare inspectors well away from downtown.
On the N, I have faced them at 19th/Judah, UCSF, and Church/Duboce. On the L, I have encountered them at 31st/Taraval and 19th/Taraval.
I think when I was speaking to the reporter (while trying to do some work on the computer at the same time) I don’t know that I made it clear I was referring to the second train in a two-train N as being where one can board without paying. I don’t for a moment think this was an intentional mistake on the part of the reporter – rather I just didn’t pick the precise wording with regards to that issue and the mistake would be mine.
One thing I discussed with the reporter that probably didn’t fit into this particular story was the fact that once upon a time, on busy bus and MUNI lines, MUNI paid people to collect money and load people on and off the bus at the back doors of said buses and trains, to move things along and collect money they’re owed.
However, I think there is a case to be made that having some more fare inspectors on some of the more notorious bus lines is not a bad idea – I think the 71 Haight easily qualifies as one of the biggest fare-evadin’ bus lines in the system. Your thoughts? Post ’em in the comments.