Student trys to take the Muni

A true story

One student asked me after class if I could help with his Muni problem…

Recently the student wanted to go downtown. He got on the M streetcar at Stonestown. He didn’t have a clipper card wanted to pay the $2 fare with the driver.

He entered the first car with the streetcar driver. The pay box(where you insert money) was broken, there was a sticker over the pay slot “Out of Order”. Money could not be inserted in the pay box.

Student asked the driver how can he pay $2 for the fare. The driver said he is OK. If the inspector comes, he’ll tell the inspector the pay box is broken and cannot accept money. The driver did not give the student a paper transfer.

Student got off at Civic Center. Upstairs there were inspectors who checked every passenger for a ticket before letting them out of the station. They stopped the student, said you don’t have a fare, must pay a citation. Student explained what happened. The inspector said they have to give him a citation, but can contest it later.

Student sent written request for dismissing the citation, was denied.

Went to SFMTA, first had to pay the $150 fine then could speak to a MUNI officer. Told him same story of broken pay box, MUNI officer said doesn’t believe him.

Next step is to pay $40 for a court hearing. The judge can deny the citation, end of the road. Or dismiss the citation, then gets a complete refund of all $150 + $40 paid so far.

After the MUNI officer denied the cancellation of the citation, someone in the MUNI office said ‘you should have taken a photo of the Out of Order label over the pay box’.
Student didn’t think about it.

  1. Should the student demand the M streetcar driver be present to confirm the pay box was broken?
  2. Should the student request service logs that show repairs were needed on the M streetcar pay box?

It is sad a student is going thru this, not of his own fault. Any advice is accepted.