San Francisco may change the way you pay for cable car tickets

San Francisco may be changing the way passengers pay for cable car tickets.

Transit officials say they may eliminate the age-old method of buying the $7 tickets on board, and paying in cash.

This idea is gaining momentum after police arrested two veteran cable car conductors on charges of pocketing fares.

Police won't say how much money they believe was taken or for how long.

But it was long enough to anger officials at the San Francisco Municipal Transit Agency, which operates the cable cars.

"We're all pretty angry about this and will do what's necessary to make sure something like this does not happen again," said John Haley, transit director for the SFMTA.

Inside a San Francisco courtroom Thursday the district attorney charged conductor David Reyes with embezzlement and misappropriating public funds.

He did not enter a plea.

Last week  conductor Albert Williams pleaded not guilty to similar charges.

Authorities say they found $32-thousand in cash in Williams' home. They won't say if any of it is money from cable car fares.

"It is embarrassing. This is why we have to get out of the cash business. You will have individuals who won't know how to handle it properly," said SF Mayor Ed Lee.

The transit agency is considering going to a cash-less system.

Officials say Instead of buying tickets on board, perhaps passengers can purchase them in advance.

"What would be required would be things like ticket machines in key locations as well as networks where people could check into a hotel and get a ticket," said Haley.

That seemed fine with many tourists.

"It would be a safe way to pay instead of cash. That way you would know where the money was going," said Richard Zapata, a tourist from South Carolina.

"It s really better to pay here (on board) said another tourist.

If the cable cars did go to a cash-less system, the SFMTA says it could happen within a year.

The cable cars bring in more than $30 million a year.
 

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