Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Latest Trimet PR stunt-HB2777

I'm sorry I don't see this as anything but a PR stunt because it basically doesn't change anything for the fare evaders. My guess is that most of the people that are fare evading are from the lowest economic strata of our society. I don't think most of these people give a shit weather its in the courts or in the Trimet system.

If Trimet really wanted to do something productive they would lower the fare evasion fine to something reasonable, like $50 and make sure a low income pass is available to low income riders. Right now a fare evader can go to court and have the citation lowered by 1/2.

It was pointed out to me by that with this new law Trimet will get to keep 100% of the fare evasion fines!  Maybe its all about the money! Most everything is in da land of da free!

Furthermore Trimet will need to expand its administrative staff. Adding more bureaucracy to the already out of control bureaucracy can't be a good thing. And this does not replace the current system, it just adds another level to the existing structure. The courts still get these cases if Trimet doesn't get what it wants out of these hapless poor people who didn't feed the monster according to regulations.

HB 2777 reinforces TriMet’s commitment to bring equity to fare/code enforcement (typical PR bullshit)
Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed House Bill 2777 last week, clearing the way for TriMet to pursue new options that give individuals the opportunity to correct their behavior when cited for violations of the TriMet Code, including fare evasion. HB 2777 grants transit districts the authority to offer a new, administrative option for resolving citations.
Currently, citations, including fare evasion, must be resolved through the courts. They can leave a permanent mark on a violator’s record that could affect their ability to get a job, rent property or serve in the military. (I was under the impression that all fare evasion citations were administrative in nature and had no criminal connotations) That can be a severe penalty for not buying a $2.50 fare. HB 2777 provides a framework to make the system more equitable and bring the punishment in line with the offense.(I don't see this at all since the fines remain exactly the same)
“This law is about proportionality,” said Sen. Michael Dembrow (D) of Portland, one of the bill’s chief sponsors. “It gives TriMet new, less punitive tools to enforce fare evasion and other code violations.”
(there is ZERO less punitive tools here, the fine remains the same, its all bullshit)
However, riders should not see this as a change to TriMet’s rules. Fares remain required on all TriMet vehicles and those who choose not to pay or repeatedly evade fare will be held accountable. Also, we continue working to increase fare enforcement on the transit system. (again, no real change in the puntivive nature of the offense)
How we got here
TriMet began a thorough review of the fare enforcement process in 2016. We collaborated with Portland State University and other organizations to learn how our enforcement process affects the community. We wanted to understand the underlying causes of fare evasion and what we could do to improve our enforcement efforts.
Portland State issued a report in December that found no evidence of systemic racial bias in TriMet’s fare enforcement, (this if false, they found a systematic bias against blacks when it came to impeding public transportation)  but it recommended a closer look at factors like health and economics as precursors to fare evasion, (of course there has been no studies examining the economic status of the population of fare evaders)  especially for chronic offenders. It also called for a review of enforcement policies to ensure fairness.(bullshit)
Fairness in accountability
HB 2777 gives TriMet the authority to offer alternatives for some who violate TriMet’s Code. Under the law, TriMet can provide violators up to 90-days to engage in an administrative process that could reduce the fine or allow community service to resolve the citation. (this is exactly what current fare evaders are offered with in the court system) If resolved during this period, TriMet would not submit the citation to the court, which means the violation would not become part of a person’s court record.(again its not a criminal violation currently)  When the 90-day window closes, TriMet could still pursue unresolved violations through the court system. (so we are right back where we started if people don't "cooperate" with Trimet)
“TriMet strives to be a model in the equitable application of its rules and response to violations,”(Jesus Christ what bullshit) said TriMet Director of Diversity and Transit Equity John Gardner. “Our aim is to get people to pay their fare, not unnecessarily funnel them into the judicial system.”
“We continually see data that shows that when people are given the chance to rectify their mistakes in a manner that acknowledges their humanity that they are much less likely to reoffend,” ( I can't believe the depth of this bullshit)  said Rep. Chris Gorsek (D) of Troutdale, who advocated for the legislation. “That’s what this bill does; it brings some compassion back into the process.” (where exactly is the compassion? The fine remains the same)
What’s next?
TriMet’s Board of Directors will have to enact an ordinance to authorize the administrative options permitted by HB 2777. In the months ahead, TriMet will work with community partners to determine who qualifies, how to adjust fines, and which community service options to offer. We hope to have the administrative options in place when the new law takes effect on January 1, 2018.

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