For a long time, bus fare in the city was $1.00. Then, in 2003, they raised it by another $.25. Since they’ve raised the fares, however, we’re pretty darn sure that the times we’ve actually thrown in the full fare could be counted on both hands. In fact, we’re pretty sure that the only times we’ve given the full amount was not at the urging of the driver but out of some sort of sense of civil responsibility to Do the Right Thing. And those feelings don’t come to us that often. We are also pretty sure that we’re not the only one’s to have not paid the full fare.
The problem is that bus drivers never enforce the full-fare. For all the times we’ve ridden the bus, which is often, we’ve never ever heard them say anything. We’ve even stood there to wait for the driver to say something to us about the extra quarter before handing over the transfer pass and they never did. We’d just throw in the buck, get our transfer and walk on down the line. And then we’d watch pretty much everyone else do the same thing. Please note, this isn’t to bash the MUNI drivers who have a pretty tough job to do and the last thing they want is to antagonize a notoriously surly and oftentimes crazy and/or violent (have you ridden the 71 at night?) bus riders.
Which raises another question. Considering how lax the enforcement of the $0.25 is, will bus drivers start enforcing the rate increase or will they still continue to not say a word? Because if all this is to help make up for budget shortfalls, the non-collecting of full bus fares is not going to help. Which will lead to more fare increases. And more non-collection of fares. Which will lead to more fare increases and so on and so forth.
Is it just us or has anyone else noticed the same thing?
Image courtesy of SFGate.