Sunday, February 21, 2016

Trimet continues waging its war against the poor

I don't know of any other US transit agency that is so unfriendly to its low income riders. The cell phone app forces low income to spend a minimum of $5 and now this new e-fare system, that nobody asked for, is being forced down riders throats.

Well guess what? Trimet supports the  "cashless society" meme. Of course it does. 

This e-fare system is blatant discrimination of low income riders, and the most outrageous part is Trimet is forcing everyone onto this system and is forcing them to BUY the card. Really dispicable but its par for the course from Trimet and the un-elected  technocrats that run the place

Trimet doesn't give a damn about riders. That ended when Fred Hansen became general manager and continues at a faster pace under Mcfarlane. The only thing this transit agency cares about is the developer class. 

Elliot Njus  did a story on this. The best comments are below 

Hop Fastpass?

Well at least TriMet's army of PR and marketing flacks have something to do.

TriMet likely paid some "think-tank" marketing outfit $500K to come up with that brilliant moniker there.  

@VoxDundee @akoni Meanwhile, their own PR team is probably goofing off on the internet and watching porn because there isn't enough work to do.

It's a little mindless that all PNW transit agencies can't settle on one electronic type fare payment system so as to minimize development costs and have a high degree of interchangeability.  TriMet is unnecessarily re-inventing the wheel here and adding more gimcrackery.



Can't build an empire of underlings by sharing overhead, Vox.

And when your compensation is based on how many bodies and departments report to you, that is mission # 1.
TriMet should try and emulate the Oyster Card used by London transit - it can be loaded at machines located at most major stops. Maybe they could even buy that system, since it has been proven to work in a much larger and more complex transit system.
Somehow, I suspect that TriMet will take "the road less traveled" and buy a system that hasn't ever been used anywhere...or they'll take a page out of the Parking Authority's book and award the contract to the company that offers the largest bribe.
No, I don't have a lot of faith in our local bureaucrats.

The way to make more money is to tick off your customers by allowing them less choices, per Tri-Met's bible.
I used to take a bus every day to work.  Half the time got a ride home from driving co-workers going my way.  (Didn't choose to trust my co-workers to get me to work on time.) Tickets were easier than always having the right cash, and cheaper than buying a pass because I only went in one zone.
Handling cash, tickets, passes, electronic fare - all have handling fees. 
Oh heck, I don't care.  Retired, I don't need Tri-Met until they take my license away.  Then I'll use Uber.  But when I was working, I loved their one-zone tickets for my 5 mile trip.  And the ability to pay cash if I forgot to have a spare ticket or two in my wallet.  But then the honchos aren't really connected to the myriad of working stiffs that use their service, and provide them a rather healthy income.

we spend 10cent a dollar to collect lets spend several million dollars on a system that will out of date in a matter of years.....

Hey O-Live, where's your TM story on all the bus shelters being torn down & replaced with small metal benches that offer zero protection from the soggy winter? The shelters being hauled away are in good working order and cost $$ to remove. Why? Who approved that bone-headed decision? Another insult to people that rely on your spotty service. 

What happens when the screen goes blank on the bus, does everyone ride free, or is the bus taken out  of service and everyone is even later than usual..........

@yohocoma It's all about what's convenient for Tr-Met, not the public.

Their implementation won't be nearly as user-friendly. And the day TriMet actually does allow refunds on unused portions of the cards, the day the first refund is actually issued, is the day I vote for Trump.

"TriMet isn't planning to ban cash fares entirely, a move transit advocates say would hurt those who depend on TriMet the most. "

"But the agency — like many others around the country — will consider steps in the coming years that would penalize cash users, in this case hoping to stiff-arm them into adopting Hop Fastpass."

So, THERE'S the iron fist inside the velvet glove. We're all being herded not so subtly after all.

I'm not going to pass judgements on your comments. However:
* Why does TriMet have to charge $3 for a card?
* Why can't the system be designed to allow multiple active fares on a single card?
* As most people are using passes or tickets anyway, why the $5 required minimum? Passes are more than $5. Anyone using tickets regularly probably purchases 10-packs. The $5 minimum is an artificial standard that, once again, penalizes the non-regular rider.


@M A @AL M IT ONLY cost $30 million to implement

how long will it take for the cost of collecting fares to reach $30 million with the current system.
If you can't see the forest through the trees I can't help you. This is all part of the march towards a cashless society .
The masters always start with the weakest among us

@Captain Quint

You have been assimilated...

@Captain Quint
" tender, for all transactions public and private..."
You can pry the dead presidents from my cold, dead fingers. Until then, I heart my johnnycash!

One more way to kick out poor people out of town. Portland is getting disgusting!
"Trimet wages war on the Poor." There, fixed the title for ya.

@RobotGirl You're talking about an agency whose "customer service" line is open 8-5 weekdays.  Not during most of the AM rush hour, not in the throes of the evening rush hour, and not on weekends (guessing holidays for that matter too, but their site doesn't say that).

So, someone who doesn't have a smart phone has to pay more.  If they need a transfer they pay double and triple if they need two transfers.   More again if they stop at the store on their way home from their primary trip.Sound's like a good deal for trymet and a bad deal for poor passengers.

And that's the other abomination. That $3 charge

They know they're building a system that will create a hardship for a class of people and yet they're still doing it. "But the agency . . . will consider steps in the coming years that will penalize cash users . . ." Utter disrespect for one's fellow human being when you know the neediest are going to be using cash. I thought it was supposed to be illegal to discriminate.
I know it's wet in Oregon, but how often does a wet bill jam a fare box? What are their "hidden costs" going to be when people start vandalizing those fare posts? The post at the east end of the eastbound Goose Hollow MAX station is inconveniently placed smack dab in the middle of the sidewalk where it impedes foot traffic. Brilliant placement.
Yet again TriMet looking to reduce costs on the backs of riders. Fix your reliability FIRST. Once the reliability goes up, more people will be willing to look at TriMet as a genuine alternative to their transportation needs. But they've never followed that principle and they're not about to start.

1 day ago

Bull. MAX is the gold standard here (wow, never thought I'd use those words together) because fares are pre-paid before boarding the vehicle. So there are no loading delays related to fares. And MAX is woefully off-schedule on a regular basis.

Some of the loading delays you mention are offset by other circumstances. For example, a bus that routinely pulls up to a stop next to a red light isn't going to get going any faster; it still needs to wait for the light to proceed. It varies per driver as well -- some will proceed while the rider is handling the fare box; others won't.

I won't say loading times won't be impacted at all, but without data on how much time it actually adds I doubt the impact is going to be significant. For my experience, I use a pass. I rarely see a commuter boarding a bus using cash. I see it happen, but it's rare. And in looking back at the article, 13% use cash. That's just under 3 riders for every 20. That's not much.

TriMet has a reliability problem unrelated to cash. They needed to work on it, not build unnecessary electronic fare systems

Sounds like another system designed to baffle old Maude & Verl attempting to ride a bus.
About the only "fare box" TriMet seriously keeps its beady eye on is the payroll tax box.
Very trendy stuff - all the rage -probably function about as well as their signalling network on the Steel Bridge.  

Maybe for those of us who can't afford smart phones the benefits chould be loaded onto Oregon Trail cards...or Honored Citizen cards...or just let us swipe our debit cards on the bus...unless someone gets a kickback from the companies implementing the system, in which case obviously we need to spend money on it and not on more buses for East County.

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