This looks like the bad old days when Mayor Frank Jordan got hated upon for hiking fares and wiping out transfers. In just a matter of months, the fares were back to normal and transfers flowed freely once again.
But what caught my eye this morning while eating my breakfast at home: The Muni Fare Inspectors we all dislike.
In this CBS5/KPIX video, Phil Matier reports that Muni currently has a 46 member fare inspector force and wanted to hire an additional 47 more. After Muni did some deal making with the Board of Supervisors, Muni is now permitted to only hire 14 people.
So let me get this right, you are keeping the 46 people already hired and only cut back on hiring more people? Where does the keyword BUDGET come into mind for Muni? Muni should be doing a HIRING FREEZE on fare inspectors, not hiring more (regardless if it is a reduced number).
Even with 46 full-time fare inspectors right now, what a joke! They don't ride the buses, and all they do is monitor the metro system. 90% of their force are watching over the 9 subway stations and some of the outdoor platform stations. The remaining are typically at AT&T Park after the baseball games.
If Muni is deciding to cut bus lines that will impact the poor and the disabled, why the hell would you keep hiring more fare inspectors and retain your current staff?
Here's a short list of wasteful things our tax dollars spend on fare inspectors:
- I've seen four fare inspectors gang-up on a family of Japanese tourists at Powell Station.
- I've seen six inspectors at one metro platform.
- Working in pairs when really one person is just needed to issue the ticket.
- Fare inspectors just chit chatting on a metro platform.
- Fare inspectors like employee #32 threatening a photographer.
- Playing with their cell phones.
- Getting AT&T ballgame fans checked before boarding the platform, and getting checked AGAIN when leaving Embarcadero station. Once is fine enough.
Let's do some simple math:
- In one of my earlier postings, I calculated that an average each fare inspector writes in tickets is $9,844.64 in one year. Their annual salary is at least $30,000+ and does not include benefits. Actually, I was incorrect about their salary, they actually make between $52,000 and $64,000.
- If Muni cut half of its force and hired low wage college students to be non-ticket writing inspectors, the average for ticket writing fare inspectors would likely double, making each dollar Muni spends on fare enforcement worthwhile.