Muni offenders no longer need to go to court

February 2, 2008 1:22:04 PM PST
Adult commuters who commit misconduct or fare evasion offenses on the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency's Municipal Railway will no longer be issued criminal citations starting Monday, the agency announced.

Transit citations will continue to be issued to adults, but citations will no longer require processing by the San Francisco Superior Court.

"By taking transit citations out of the courts for adult offenders, we are able to provide a faster, more convenient and less intimidating process for paying or protesting these citations," said Nathaniel Ford, the agency's chief executive officer, in a prepared statement.

Ford said, like settling a parking ticket, customers may use the Customer Service Center at 11 S. Van Ness Ave. for transit citations. According to the agency, the process of having the court administer transit citations was confusing for the agency's customers and employees.

State Sen. Carole Migden, D-San Francisco, introduced SB 1749, which was approved in January 2007, to amend the state code. In September 2007, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors approved amendments to the San Francisco Traffic Code.

Those under age 18 who receive a transit citation will still be required to process the citation through the Superior Court. According to the agency, the juvenile justice system cites abuses such as fare evasion as getaway crimes and attempts to intervene early to prevent a pattern of delinquency.