The SFMTA and the commuters of San Francisco don’t often agree about changes in the transit system.
The fairly-new back-door boarding policy, however, proved to be different.
Implementation of this plan to allow passengers with valid transfers or Clipper Cards to board by any door began in July and, as usual, garnered many complaints. August was the worst month with a total of 67 complaints.
Since that tumultuous month, complaints are dropping at a steady clip and the new policy has proven to be effective. In December and January, only 35 complaints were issued.
A recent report shows something even better: faster boarding. Buses stops are an average of 4 seconds shorter, with more people respecting the policy and actually paying fare.
Of course, the SFMTA added 11 new fare inspectors to its payroll, causing a 26 percent increase in conducted fare inspections.
Citations may be up an astonishing 86 percent, but fare evasion still managed to drop 24 percent. Complaints about fare evasion, though, are up 14 percent — and climbing.
Finicky Muni drivers refusing to open the door took up the majority of complaints, according to the report. Drivers have since got with the program, and complaints are falling.
An analysis of fares collected for all-door boarding has not yet been completed. Another report assessing this change is set to arrive in six months.