SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – Officials with San Francisco’s Metropolitan Transportation Commission have imposed a tougher stance on Muni fare evaders, and the new enforcement strategy seems to be working well for the transit agency.

This month, Muni is reporting a nearly 80% increase in the number of citations that have been issued to suspected fare evaders since November 2011. Muni’s fare evasion rate last month was estimated at 4.7%, down 50% from 2009.

The boost in citations has been made possible, in part, because security chief Lea Militello has ordered several dozen of her fare inspectors to fan out on all Muni lines, instead of focusing on just those with a history of problems.

“By having (inspectors) everywhere in our system it takes the notion…that we’re picking on people, it takes it out of the equation, because we’re really everywhere,” she reasoned.

KCBS’ Chris Filippi Reports:

Critics maintain that the crackdown may be unfairly targeting minorities and immigrants – something Militello said simply isn’t so.

“Our fare inspectors boarded the N-Judah and there were a couple of emergency room doctors on that train that hadn’t paid their fare,” Militello recounted. “And they both got citations.”

“That shows you,” she continued, “it’s not just…one demographic versus another. It’s really across the board.”

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