Muni’s primary goal is to speed up operations; the agency estimates that buses were spending half their time at a standstill while they were boarding passengers or stuck in traffic. But while the new policy is expected to reduce boarding time, the risk is that customers will enter through the back door without paying. Nate Berg writes:
Many other transit agencies will likely be paying attention. As the first agency in the nation to implement all-door boarding, Muni is taking something of a risk. Most other U.S. agencies have avoided similar policies for fear of losing already tenuous revenue.
In fact, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority recently moved away from all-door boarding on its light rail system to combat fare evasion. Muni has 45 fare inspectors on the job and estimates that 75% of its fare revenues is prepaid. In November the fare evasion rate was 3.5%, down from 8.5% the previous February. Link to full story in The Atlantic Cities.
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