Muni to Policemen: Step Up!

Supervisor asks for update on program to make sure cops ride the buses and trains

While police officers on foot and on bike have been a bit more visible since vocal community policing proponent George Gascon became San Francisco's new Police Chief, seeing them riding the bus or train is another matter.

In June, the San Francisco Police Department and Municipal Transportation Agency started the "Bus Inspection Program," where officers are required to make two transit trips per shift, with cops on bike and on foot asked to do four.

The officers are supposed to use a TransLink card to check on and off the bus so that the SFPD and MTA can accurately track their compliance.

With a number of recent high-profile cases of violence on board busses and complaints about fare evasion, however, Supervisor Bevan Dufty (who's planning to run for mayor) is asking the the SFPD and MTA to update the public on their progress.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that officers may not be following through -- during budget discussions earlier this year, the SFPD charges the MTA for security services, but transit advocates noted that actually seeing an officer on board a bus or train is rare.

"The only time I ever saw uniformed officers on MUNI in 2.5 years of daily commuting was ... once - a pair of two officers standing in the T," noted a commenter on Streetsblog San Francisco.

Photo by Flickr user moppet65535.

Jackson West has also only ever seen an officer on board Muni once, ever.

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