Spin, spin, and more spin.
“62 crimes against Trimet employees, including 47 incidents of assault and intimidation and 11 thefts as reported in the article.” 2016.
On our side of the issue we know that there were 55 assaults in 2016 that we could find. That’s just the assaults against transit workers, what are the 4 incidents of crime against transit worker?
“The agency in 2015 reported a disturbing increase in attacks on Trimet employees, which mirrored the experience of transit agencies in other parts of the country in recent years. Since then, it's told drivers to stop acting as fare enforcers and has installed physical barriers to separate drivers from passengers on some buses.”
When we allow a narrowing of the problem to simply “fares” is misleading. The point is that “there isn’t a presence in the system” while expansion is the sole focus of the district. What defines a fare dispute? A potential rider is aware of what it takes to ride public transportation, there is no disputing that fact. We are not fare enforcer, (as a co-worker said) we are fare inspectors along with informing. As this year unfolds we continually bombarded by a narrative that pacifies transit workers into believing that a lack of a presence in the system is replicable by talk, 3 or 4 barriers out of 600 (or so) buses, or blaming transit workers for doing their jobs is acceptable.
“Other groups, including the transit workers union and the transit advocacy group Bus Riders Unite, have opposed increasing the police presence while acknowledging that something must be done to improve security.”
We are ATU 757, not the transit workers union; we have a name. Bus Riders Unite or OPAL are collaborated with ATU in representing transit workers and riders who operate or take public transportation. This statement is misleading from a regular members standpoint, we want a presence in the system the same way it was before the reduction in unionized workers that provided that presence. An actual fare inspector division, years ago there were 60+ (or so) not the 4 (or so) there is now. Possibly reactivating the Rider Advocate group of citizens which patrolled some of the more difficult bus lines. What the deceptive nature of this statement is that the district wants to outsource the fare enforcement division, while ATU 757 oppose any outsourcing. While this is a contract dispute, transit workers are left to bare an increase of assaults 62% over last year (July) now.
Be vigilant be safe and always communicate