SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — The historic San Francisco cable-car system may make a move to modernize their payment methods, going cashless after a pair operators were caught pocketing cash from riders.
The $30 million dollar business has been running for 140 years. Recently, the SFMTA conducted an investigation into missing funds and found
Two cable car conductors who have been charged with stealing fare money.
“Two people were thieves. They were stealing money that rightfully belonged to the agency,” said Director of the SFMTA John Haley.
A week ago, 61-year-old conductor Albert Williams was arrested for allegedly stealing cash fares.
When police searched his home they found $32,000 in cash and a packed suitcase.
Wednesday night, a second operator – 55-year-old David Reyes — was arrested for the same crime.
Police say the two accused men would take the cash fare offered by riders, but not give riders a receipt. No receipt meant there was no record of payment, so that money went right into their pockets.
“If you get caught, you are subject to be terminated or suspended for a year, so you lost that altogether,” said one cable car operator who talked to KPIX 5. “And you think about your pension, you think about your family and the people that you’d hurt, it’s not worth it in the long run.”
In this case, it’ll earn the two men in question a felony.
The SFMTA is looking at the possibility of doing away with the cash-fare option.
When asked why it has taken so long to consider eliminating the option, Haley replied, “I think the cable car is 150 years old; its steeped in tradition.”
The SFMTA said they did not know how long the two conductors have been pocketing fares from passengers. Officials said the two suspects arrested are the only conductors who were under investigation and that they are upset over the arrests because they cast cable car operators in a bad light.