Transit riders who still haven't gotten their May Fast Pass can breathe easier. Due to complaints from the immigrant community, Muni is halting its saturation stings of buses for fare evaders, SF Weekly has learned from Immigrant Rights Commission chair Angus McCarthy. The Municipal Transportation Agency is set to announce the moratorium later today or tomorrow.
McCarthy says he's heard of potentially four or five cases of riders caught for fare evasion, then arrested on other charges, and then reported to immigration authorities. In one case, a phone technician on his way to work on the bus was stopped by officers, who grew suspicious because the man was carrying many phones. They found he had no proof of payment and no ID, McCarthy says. The technician was arrested and then reported to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, McCarthy says. His attorney couldn't be reached for comment Wednesday afternoon.
“In fairness to Director [Nat] Ford, he did sit down with us and got a we got a moratorium on the enforcement for now,” McCarthy said, adding the meeting was last Wednesday. “We get it that people have to pay their fares and there's a lot of jumpers. The issue is the saturation [stings] with unintended consequences.”