Thursday, April 24, 2014
Trimet: Doing the Wrong Thing (again)
I realize this may not be the place, But I feel I have little other choice but to put TriMet on Blast. Anyone who still insists that this is the "best" public transit agency in America either owns stock with them, are paid to propagate such LIES, or are simply lying to themselves!
How [else] can I address an issue concerning TriMet?
On Tuesday March 25th 2013 I attempted to purchase a 7-day pass from a ticket machine at Pioneer Square. I was paying with cash. But the machine suddenly canceled the transaction without giving me my money back. It did NOT give me my pass, either. I had no choice but to ride home illegally on an expired pass that night (we all know how much TriMet despises fare cheats).
I contacted TriMet the following day and told them what happened. Several days later they sent me a letter telling me that a "reconciliation" had been performed on that machine, but they claimed there was no excess currency and thus, would not reimburse me. I called their CS again and it turns out they had gotten the date wrong. I gave them the correct date on which the incident had occurred and was told I would be contacted. I was not. After waiting patiently for more than a week, I called them back again. I was told the same thing and that I would not be reimbursed my $26, nor given a pass.
The so-called "customer service" rep. I spoke to on the phone "suggested" that next time, I should just buy passes at a grocery store (thus, admitting that their own machines are no damned good). But as a TriMet employee, this person surely ought to have known that 7-day passes can NO-LONGER be bought at stores - they USE to sell them. However, TriMet pulled all those passes from stores when they had their extreme fare increases, screwed up several bus lines, and slashed service overall in Sept. 2012. I never did understand what the "cost-saving" purpose was behind dis-continuing the store-bought passes, but it's forced me to buy passes from machines at MAX stations - which I live no-where near within walking distance of. And as EVERYONE who uses public transit in Portland/Metro ought to know, those ticket machines malfunction much too often - even after TriMet stepped up its fare enforcement/extortion.
After going through the proper channels with Trimet, I'm not sure what else I can do, if anything. I've contacted OPAL/BRU just to seek advice, but so far they have not responded to my email.
If a fare inspector (or armed police) catch someone riding the MAX without proper or expired fare of $2.50, they are cited, sometimes arrested, with a court date and likely fines of $200 or more. So it is not acceptable that TriMet would STEAL $26 from a citizen, which is a significant amount of money for a lot of people!