Trimess

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Interesting debate between, Erik, Cwherewetakeu, and myself on fare evasion policies at oregonlive

I fully support Erik Halsteads map for fare evasion citations which is here:


How would that work when you have an out-of-town visitor from, say, Chicago, visiting Portland for a week, gets hit with a ticket because they forgot their phone charger and the phone died? How is that person going to be able to defend themselves against a $175 ticket - by having to buy another trip to Portland?

The simplest solution is for TriMet to actually be CUSTOMER FOCUSED. First offense - be allowed to buy a fare at the next available location, or receive a $10 "penalty fare" citation (the citation also serves as an all-day pass). Second offense (within a rolling 12 months), same. Third offense (within a rolling 12 months) - be charged with Theft of Services. That way everyone is guaranteed two strikes before hit with a large fine.


To which  Cwherewetakeu replies


It would seem that simple SP, but not so. You "get cranky" about bus service and the buses in general getting the shaft, then when you're getting in 3-5 new buses in a week and things are turning around in the direction you've been wanting, you find a new direction to moap about. Are you EVER happy about anything?

You and Al both complain about how these inspectors (or Gestapos as Al likes to put it) like to put it to the little guy. Not true (like ANY job..there are always exceptions). Yea, I'll agree that $175 for a fine IS a bit excessive, but I'll only come down half way on that and lower it to $85-90 bucks.

Here's why: Out of that $ 175, IF it's not their first offense and the ticket doesn't get lowered, TriMet gets about $50 of it. Contrary to the "facts" being spewed by commenters, they don't get rich off it. The city and county get the rest. If the ticket gets lowered (such as the case on "TriMet Tuesdays"), then TriMet can very well only see $5-10 bucks or nothing at all. (or community service...same thing...nada)

I've watched many of these guys who cite the fare evaders. ON AVERAGE (not every day) out of every 10 people stopped; 7 are prior offenders with MORE than 1 prior offense (so they havn't learned their lesson), 2 are genuinely first time offenders that have reasonably legit excuses so they play the odds--to cite or not to cite, and the one remaining...they are the one that had the problem with the ticket machine. (The particular inspector I was with took down the phone number of the person being cited-said if they go to the machine and it is broken, they will call the passenger up and tell them to tear up the ticket. If it's working (any one of the machines accepting CASH and card on either platform)..the cite stands.

I don't agree with the "three strikes and your out" or the $10-20 fine thing. That makes absolutely NO incentive whatsoever to pay a fare, worry about getting caught or have hesitation if they think they should risk it. The passenger SHOULD think when they are debating about riding without a fare that if I get caught it's gonna hurt me in the pocketbook. They should know they are taking the risk. You don't charge a shoplifter who steals a pair of jeans just the price of the jeans if they are caught. You charge them $250-500 plus the possibility of jail time so they think twice about doing it. 


To which I reply

 
 Usually I agree with most everything that chwherittakesu writes, however not this time.
However you do agree that the fine is excessive, so you do have some understanding of the plight of the vast majority of citizens out here.
The way things are set up now is a clear example of government 'predation' pure and simple. The fine does not fit the crime, there is no possible way to justify it either. It's completely wrong and immoral.

The reason I call inspectors Gestapo , I actually don't use that term any longer I call them TRISTAPO is because they use the exact same techniques as the Gestapo used in Germany. Boarding trains and checking papers randomly without probable cause. The inspectors make the assumption that everyone is a fare evader and everyone that is inspected is expected to give up their rights and comply. That is fascism, you have no rights in the face of random inspections.

Let me take this one step further, I assume you have been working at Trimet at least 15 years so you are fully aware that for 10 years prior to Herr Mcfarlane showing up there was a large fareless square and minimal investment made to enforcement. Trimet did not make the necessary obligations to secure their transit system but decided 'walk on' was somehow preferable.

Then Mcfarlane shows up and decides that everything needs to change, except the securment of the stations. If Trimet was serious about fares rather than intruding on peoples lives they would have secured the stations, heavens knows they spend multimillions on everything else.

Mcfarlane then raises the fares to the level of highest in the country for short trips and hires dozens of white shirted Tristapo  to plague riders. Add to that TVM's that don't work and what you have is one of the most abusive transit systems in the world. Ridership has plummeted under Mcfarlanes iron fisted rule.

You comment that 'trimet doesn't get rich off the fines'. What you forget to understand is that Trimet is a cog in the thing called 'government machinery'. The fine is used to pay for other governmental operations. You hear Trimet big shots always referring to their 'partners'. Well those 'partners' are other governmental units and you may be aware that there are constant 'intergovernmental agreements' between them. In other words, THEY SUPPORT EACH OTHER.

And in regards to this comment:
""They should know they are taking the risk. You don't charge a shoplifter who steals a pair of jeans just the price of the jeans if they are caught. You charge them $250-500 plus the possibility of jail time so they think twice about doing it.''

But then you make this comment: 
"""I've watched many of these guys who cite the fare evaders. ON AVERAGE (not every day) out of every 10 people stopped; 7 are prior offenders with MORE than 1 prior offense (so they havn't learned their lesson),"""

You've just proved yourself wrong, THE FARE CITATIONS DON'T EVEN WORK AS A DETERRENT TO REPEAT OFFENDERS! REPEAT OFFENDERS OBVIOUSLY ARE NOT WORRIED AT ALL ABOUT THE STUPID FARE EVASION RULES BECAUSE THERE IS NO REAL PENALTY FOR IGNORING THEM. So they go to jail for a night, they obviously don't fear that much, they probably brag about i
t

TriMet to fare app users: Dead battery? Good luck with that | OregonLive.comt. 

15 comments:

The Chauffeur said...

Simple solution: if you aren't from the tri county area including Clark county, you get a warning. Otherwise they get a citation. More than one offense in a rolling 12 months, they get arrested for theft of services

Al M said...

Disagree, everyone deserves a couple of freebies before being hit with that outrageous fine.
This is a publicly tax funded service don't forget, not a private enterprise.

Unknown said...

Guys, you know this is a revenue stream, so the company that spends like its no tomorrow, can't keep a dime to its name, bond sending to WallStreet, pension fund looting, non-essential employee hiring at too-much salery with awesome benefits and retirement.....etc,etc, umm; what were you guys talking about again???
HB
HB

Jason McHuff said...

The problem is that people will abuse warnings if they know that's all that they'll get and won't pay until they have to.

And if a person doesn't get checked for many months, that's a lot of missed revenue.

Also, a high amount of repeat offenders shows there's no need for guaranteed warnings.

Ticket machine problems are a different issue.

Lastly, what TriMet/the app could do is use the phone's serial, IMEI or SIM card numbers, which are labeled on the phone and unique and attached to the device.

Al M said...

As I said Trimet COULD HAVE secured the stations but they chose to sick a bunch of TRISTAPO on its customers instead

Jason McHuff said...

How so, when many stations are not separated from the surrounding environment, and when there's no way to automatically check fares?

Al M said...

What do you mean how so? you install
Security Gates and have some sort of scanner enabled entry way, its done at most world class transit agencies

Al M said...

Like A REAL transit district

Max said...

Right... and that's exactly what TriMet is working on for the stations that are separated (Milwaukie will pilot fare gates). But Jason's point is - how exactly do you put a gate at the SW 4th Ave MAX station, which is a public sidewalk. Even if you blocked off the sidewalk, someone could still cross the street (into the trackway) and be inside the fare zone without passing through the gate.

Of course, even if the MAX was fully grade separated with fare gates, you and Erik would still be complaining about the cost. So seems like you're damned if you do, and damned if you don't.

Max said...

BTW: In this very thread you're complaining about how TriMet is too tight on fare enforcement; yet now you're lobbying for even stricter fare enforcement by having gates.

So which is it, Al? Do you want to complain about fare enforcement being too strict, or not strict enough?

Al M said...

MAX I am arguing for an end to Tristapo tactics and the installation of real security in the form of entry at all max stations

Al M said...

Of course, even if the MAX was fully grade separated with fare gates, you and Erik would still be complaining about the cost. So seems like you're damned if you do, and damned if you don't.
---->No Max I would not be complaining about the cost. Trimess throws millions around on all sorts of questionable crap, securing the stations is the only way to go if you want security.

MY theory is this is more about the police state than about fares. Having the police randomly 'search' all riders assuming that they are guilty until they prove themselves innocent is GESTAPO tatics and I am against search and seizure without probably cause.

If these dopes that run Trimet had built the thing correctly at the time most of these problems would be moot

Jason McHuff said...

What do you think about, say, building inspections that require you to prove that your building is safe? I know an unsafe building can be much more serious, but it's the same concept.

Al M said...

What the hell are you talking about and what does it have to do with this post?

Erik H. said...

Of course, even if the MAX was fully grade separated with fare gates, you and Erik would still be complaining about the cost. So seems like you're damned if you do, and damned if you don't.

Funny how Max Campos is so fucking stupid that he is now accusing me of saying things I never said. He apparently is so fucked up insanely stuck on me, that he can't for the life of him get his head out of his ass and open up his brain.

Get a freaking life, dude. If you have to mention my name, maybe you need to get laid or something. By a girl, preferably.