SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – A couple in their 60s, headed home from the Valentine’s Day Tony Bennett show at City Hall, was kicked off a San Francisco Muni bus even though they had paid the fare.

The fare inspector threatened to call the police on Bill Keyworth and his wife Mary Lou because they hopped on a 49 Van Ness bus on Tuesday using senior citizen Clipper cards, but weren’t carrying any identification proving they were eligible for the 65-and-older discount.

The fare inspector who got on a few stops later scanned both of their Clipper cards, then noticed Mary Lou was not carrying a purse. Mr. Keyworth said that’s when the trouble started.

“She looks 66, like she is,” he recounted with a self-conscious laugh.

But rules are rules. Keyworth said the inspector insisted they either get off the bus or tell their story to a police officer. The couple decided to disembark rather than get arrested, but the situation did not end there.

The senior scofflaws waited for 20 minutes while the fare inspector, still holding their Clipper cards, called for a supervisor. During this time, the supervisor communicated nothing to the Keyworths.

In the end, they got their Clipper cards back without receiving either a citation or an explanation. And they got on another bus, their transfers still valid, and rode home ruffled but otherwise without incident.

As part of an interview with the San Francisco Examiner, a spokesman for the San Francisco Metropolitan Transportation Agency, which oversees Muni, said the fare inspector acted correctly. Senior citizens are required to carry identification and fare inspectors routinely ask veteran bus riders like the Keyworths whether they have a driver’s license.

The fine for not carrying ID and paying a discount Muni fare is $100.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Comments (29)
  1. Edy says:

    Can you say power tripper

  2. Edy says:

    Can you say “power tripper?”

  3. cwf says:

    What a ridiculous policy ! Sounds like elder abuse to me!

    1. Terry Allen says:

      He is probably one that still bad mouths Jane Fonda…even though she must be close to 75 by now.

  4. BM says:

    Hmm, they will not ask to show paper if they legal aliens or not, but if you are senior you must show the ID? NAZI city.

  5. mb says:

    Good for MUNI for actually enforcing their policies. If you don’t want to carry and show an ID to prove you’re a senior citizen, then pay the regular $2 fare and it won’t be a problem. I see way too many people try to scam the system every day by using youth/senior clipper cards when they are unlikely to qualify for them, not to mention all the people that board through the back door and don’t pay at all.

  6. nadrellim says:

    Get used to it…this will be the obama way if he get another term. It’ll happen everywhere. Look at the 4 year old in North Carolina that got hassled by the lunch police. Our liberities are slowly being taken away.

  7. JaneQPublic says:

    This is ELDER ABUSE pure & simple. I suggest these seniors contact Laegal Assistance to the Elderly, the Grey Panthers, AARP and any other senior advocacy group about this. It IS OUTRAGEOUS! MUNI thugs!

  8. MTM says:

    They should sic that inspector on illegal disabled placards where it could do some good.

  9. SFhater says:

    Smart Growth in action.. Puni can suk it

  10. JaneQPublic says:

    PS Here’s a HOT FLASH for MUNI – NO ONE in the USA is REQUIRED to have a driver’s license UNLESS they are driving a vehicle. The MUNI Inspector was flat-out in the WRONG for demanding these people have or show one. Moreover, by holding their Clipper card ‘hostage’ and threatening these folks with arrest, this inspector may have stepped over the legal line into false arrest.

  11. JaneQPublic says:

    Correction: make that false imprisonment (as opposed to false arrest.)

    1. Dale N says:

      As part of an interview with the San Francisco Examiner, a spokesman for the San Francisco Metropolitan Transportation Agency, which oversees Muni, said the fare inspector acted correctly. Senior citizens are required to carry identification and fare inspectors routinely ask veteran bus riders like the Keyworths whether they have a driver’s license.

      guess you didnt bother to read the article before spouting opinions huh..

      1. JaneQPublic says:

        Yep, read it. Not impressed. ‘Required to have ID’ does NOT mean ANY senior (or anyone else) should be asked for a driver’s license. There is NO LAW which demands a pedestrian must have one. There ARE other forms of ID. The THUG INSPECTOR should have known that…Get it?

        By the way – senior citizens may NOT be required to carry ID. Perhaps you have the USA confused with aparthied South Africa during to era of the ‘pass laws’…..

    2. DoTheRightThing says:

      Muni just wants to see ID. What’s wrong with enforcing the rule and catching cheaters?

  12. Anonymous1 says:

    I’d like to see them ask someone who looks a little more intimidating than a 65 year old couple.

  13. Howard Epstein says:

    Once again the SFMTA proves that they are the avowed enemy of the productive taxpaying residents, businesses and vistors of San Francisco.

  14. Russell Bates says:

    A not very fair fare inspecror

  15. Bozo Rebebo says:

    Just a quick note here in agreement with the comments of several others here who’ve written words to the effect that the city of SF and its traffic/mass transit authorities are 1. Power-mad and 2. Not acting in a manner consistent with whats good for the people. In short, San Francisco’s parking authority, traffic cops, mass transit authority, and impound yards are greedily doing all they can to make life miserable for everyday citizens and visitors alike by harassment, over-the-top fees and practices, and a disdain for decency and common sense. And let me tell you, the arrogance of the police, traffic techs, and impound yard employees is legendary and I hope it won’t be too long until the good people of SF decided “enough!” and take back their city. Because the bottom line is that especially in these times, few families can afford to have their car towed to the tune of $500-$1000. And who among us is mean-spirited enough to kick senor citizens off a bus for not having ID?

  16. mike says:

    The inspector should have just gave them a fine and let them continue on their way. Getting kicked off isn’t standard.

    These other comments make it sound like it is wrong to enforce rules and to try and catch the cheaters. Maybe these are the same people that will break rules, but fight back when trying to be held accountable for it.

  17. Clarence R. Fischer says:

    Let’s try posting again, as the “censors” did not post my prior comment. The “RTC Clipper Card” show include a person’s birthdate, which means, if the fare inspector can perform “simple math” (which IS NOT required to get a job at MUNI), a reasonable person can subtract the current date from the person’s date of birth on a (Senior) Clipper card, and say “Gee . I think this “seasoned transit rider” is a “senior citizen”. No senior should be required to carry any other identification, due to “THUGS” who steal ID from seniors, and the hassels it takes to get a replacement ID from the State of California. You need to present ID to obtain a Senior Clipper Card ….. but you should not have to carry that ID with you when riding, since your age was already verified when you obtained the Senior Clipper Card. SOunds like another “flub” and reason for more seniors to attend “MTC” Meetings, since this is the agency which is shoving “Clipper” down the throats of all transit operators.

  18. Bill says:

    What the Muni spkesman didn’t say in response to this is the same policy applies to children on munii. They must have valid ID to pay reduced or no fare or are subject to the same penalties.

    1. JQP says:

      If that is true, MUNI is worse than I thought. Sounds like their ‘inspectors’ can’t tell a 65-year old from a five year old!

  19. Terry says:

    Just another reason while I refuse to visit and spend money in San Fran !

  20. Terry says:

    here is a thought – raise gasoline taxes and car registration fees sufficiently to pay for mass transit in California. Your says it want to be a leader in fighting CO2 and global warming. What better way than make all mass transit FREE and also starting building new rail systems to connect all major cities and towns along transportation corridors.
    This will save money on road construction and maintenance as more people leave cars for good or significantly reduce their use and you help save Planet Earth to boot !

  21. EViL_STeVe says:




  22. Mollie says:

    Anyone who has a discounted fare on Muni or Bart is required to have some sort of ID (something that shows a picture and birthdate) that qualifies them for the reduced fair. For students its a student ID or some ID showing they are under age 17. For seniors it is some sort of ID showing they are over 65. For disabled people it is a card identifying their disabilty.

    What the fair inspector did isn’t wrong in my book. He asked for valid ID as per stated Muni policy, it was the problem of the couple that they walked out of their house without any sort of identification (who does that anyhow? What did they do, just walk out of the house with their concert tickets and Clipper cards?). No it is not required that you walk around with identification, however if you want to use services that are for a specified age group, you need to be able to back up that you belong in that age group. Lots of people look young and try and take advantage of the youth discount and some people may looked old and try and take advantage of that one.

  23. says:

    Can we recall the fare inspectors like we did to Gray Davis.? Fire these SOBS!