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Thursday, August 28, 2014

I think Joseph Rose made an error

I could be interpreting things wrong, and if not I'm going to assume good faith and that it was a result of him being human, but I believe the Oregonian communing/transportation columnist based a section of a column on a mistake.

His August 28th, 2014 article TriMet's $175 fine for being 'a nice guy' (and other lessons from summer reruns) contains the following passage:
Q: I buy a monthly TriMet pass from the vending machine and just need it to commute to work. So, when the last couple of days of the month fall on a weekend, I give it away to a stranger. Since I won't be using it, I figure I might as well be a nice and give it to some who can. If a fare inspector saw me doing that at a MAX station, could I get a ticket?

A: I commend your charitableness.

But TriMet code says fares are non-transferable, meaning it's a violation to hand off your ticket to someone else. So, in this case, being a mensch could conceivably result in you getting hit with a $175 ticket or an exclusion of up to 90 days.
However reading the actual code, specifically Chapter 19 and part 19.25(E), states that:
Transfers are not transferable to another person.
The code also states that LIFT passes are "non-transferable" but in no place says that passes for regular service my not be given to and used by another person.  And part 19.25(H), implies that the prohibition only applies to 2-hour fares.

The only potential issues would be if the person was inspected upon getting off a train and had already given away their pass, if they gave it away on a platform that requires fare payment before entry, or if a code enforcer miss-applies the rules.

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