Saturday, September 18, 2010

Another SF Muni whoops

The secret is out: All it takes is a wave of the hand to open [San Francisco] Muni's new subway station fare gates to enter the Metro system without paying.

The gates are designed to open automatically with a motion sensor when a person exits. That same sensor can be activated by someone entering the system. All the scofflaw rider has to do is reach over the gate and wave a hand, bypassing the need to open it with a prepaid fare card.

The flaw, first reported by KRON-TV, is certain to add to Muni's already throbbing headache of illegal fare evasion.

Muni spokesman Paul Rose said Friday that the agency's tech wizards had known about the problem with the new gates but that there's no easy fix. The new $30 million fare gate system, which is part of Muni's transition to the regional Clipper fare card program, is expected to be installed at all the Muni Metro stations next month.
--Rachel Gordon, SFGate, on incompetence

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