SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) - BART riders caught without proof of payment will soon be getting slapped with citations and fines.
KRON4's Maureen Kelly went out with the team of fare inspectors attempting to crack down on those slipping into the transportation system without paying their fair share.
Those stopped by fare evaders are asked to hand over their tickets or Clipper Cards so they can be swiped by handheld devices that can tell if the rider used it to enter the gates.
The new proof of payment policy went into effect Jan. 1 as a way to deter fare evasion, which is a problem that costs BART an estimated $15 million to $25 million a year.
On Thursday, one man declined to hand over his ticket and ran away.
He got away, which is fine since the team is still issuing warnings on Thursday, but it will be the last day that warnings are issued
Going forward, tickets will be issued to those caught jumping the gates.
BART police say that the presence of these fare inspectors will cut down on fare scofflaws as well as improve overall public safety on the transportation system.
“You can make the assumption that people who commit crime on BART did not pay to get in, so yes, if we legally deter people from entering the system illegally, then we're also deterring people from committing other crimes,” Deputy Chief Lance Haight said.
One rider isn't sure this is a good thing or not.
“It does feel invasive, and I think it's important for people to be able to get around on public transportation, and I think a lot of people maybe can't afford it. That's why they're jumping gates. So, little conflicted. I guess I understand why they're doing it,” rider Erini Blakey said.
The fine for not being able to prove payments is $75 for adults and $55 for kids.
Those who can't or won't pay can always work it off by performing community service.
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