by Chris Jones

God Emperor of Muni, Nat Ford, has decided to get more aggressive about hunting down fare evaders in an attempt to bridge the enormous budget gap faced by the city's wheezing transit system. Apparently, he has even indicated that the MTA won't ask for any more American dollars from the multitude of sources that fund the beleaguered agency's many activities until the problem of fare evasion has been solved. To further that aim, the MTA has reportedly put together a crack team of white coated Muni inspectors who have been hopping on and off buses, trains, and cable cars, gathering more than 35,000 observations on how surly Muni drivers stare off into the distance, their top lips quivering in indignation and resentment, as passengers clamor on board and decide whether or not they're going to bother paying their fares.

The results of this survey?

"The loss of fare money can be blamed on intentional evasion, malfunctioning equipment, understaffing and confusing payment policies, Ford said."

Gee, Muni needed a whole team of clip board wielding trolly dancers to figure that one out? He prolly could have reached the same conclusion with a single ride on the 38-Geary. Regardless, expect Muni to start busting kneecaps on fare evaders beginning sometime this fall.