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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on July 19, 2011 6:10 PM. The previous post in this blog was Dismal enough for ya?. The next post in this blog is Radioactive cow numbers keep climbing in Japan beef scandal. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

How Tri-Met does things

You can't make this stuff up. Portland's transit agency is the laughingstock of the fare-dodging public, and it's needed many, many more fare inspectors for years now. So what does it do? Hire six new supervisors. Gee, Neil, how many actual fare inspectors could you get for the cost of six supervisors? Nine?

Comments (21)

Why doesn't TriMet just give up and let everybody ride free all the time? It would probably be cheaper that the $100K a year they pay these Bozos.

How many 'fare inspectors' do they have now?

...and I'm not talking 'Transit Police' officers, I mean _fare_inspectors_.

The problem with these promised increases in fair inspection, whatever their extent, is that the inspectors always seem to "crack down" on your typical responsible middle-class commuter that couldn't purchase a ticket from any of Tri-Mets many broken ticket machines. I remember the last big outcry a few years ago that garnered some media attention where the fare inspectors were slapping ticketless riders with $95 citations for "fare evasion" around the Sunset and Beaverton transit centers, probably the areas with the highest percentage of middle-class commuters and the lowest percentage of gang activity, drug trafficking and other criminal activity. You'll never find them doing that kind of enforcement anywhere on the eastside where both fair evasion and violent crime are probably highest. I know this because about a year earlier the Oregonian quoted a Gresham police officer as saying that he would not venture onto MAX after dark even despite being armed all the time (would provide the link but the article has since been removed by the big 0). No way in hell would an unarmed fare inspector put their life on the line to enforce fares in areas like Rockwood and 82nd and Burnside that probably have the highest fare evasion in the whole MAX system.

I remember a frequent MAX patron setting up a website back then that allowed people to post pictures and locations of broken ticket machines. Since then I haven't heard Trimet disclose any official resolution to the problem, neither policy changes for patrons unable to purchase a ticket nor actually fixing all the broken machines. Supposedly you're still supposed to board without a ticket and try and purchase one at the next stop (if possible), but apparently there is no guarantee from Trimet that you won't get slapped with a citation if you're unlucky enough to encounter an inspector while attempting to ride to the next stop to purchase a ticket. And the inspectors, being in hard-ass "crack-down" mode won't care to hear your excuses for not being able to purchase a ticket. It's not their problem after all and you could have always just forked out the money for a monthly pass anyways. All the while you're just trying to get to work on time.

Is it any wonder that transit ridership is plummeting around here? When your boss doesn't care to hear your excuses about being late for work why put the reliability of your commute in the hands of Trimet?

Buses don't have this problem. Rail systems with turnstiles don't have this problem.

As with most everything in the Portland Metro area, TriMet is broken!

Q: How many Portlandians does it take to screw themselves into oblivion?

The City's official mascot should be a lemming, and for the correct representative reasons: institutionalized fakery and defrauding the public on a massive scale.

TriMet's real problem is that it has become so obsessed with public opinion rather than it's core mission. Just look at it's social media - instead of educating riders about service impacts or changes, it's all about "look how we're sustainable" or "art on the next light rail line!". Nothing of real useful value to someone who's looking for current info (as I stood waiting at a bus stop this afternoon, with one bus failing to make its run and the following bus was a crush load and passed us up, so TriMet was kind enough to lengthen my commute by 20 minutes today.)

The real story isn't that TriMet's hiring more transit supervisors. It's that it has to promote the story. Why? Why not lay off all of the P.R. hacks that TriMet has (who get paid in excess of $100K a pop) and just quietly increase fare enforcement? What is the real value of this nonsense?

But, TriMet is loved by Metro and the City of Portland. TriMet can do no wrong in the eyes of those agencies along with the Federal Transit Administration. TriMet could probably kill 500 riders and still do no wrong and have all the money in the world to build light rail lines, pay for art, involve itself in development, install streetlighting on bike paths, build bike corrals and apartment complexes (excuse me, PSU dormitories), parks, Streetcar lines, roofs, sidewalks...did I miss anything?

The Supervisors refered to in the story and fare inspectors are the same thing at Tri-Met. The term supervisor is a little misleading as they are also the fare inspectors. I think they also serve as field supervisors as well.

They ought to hire some people to do nothing but inspect fares, for their whole career, forever.

TriMet is a financial trainwreck; and maybe if Uncle Sam quits lavishing it with grants, the financial trainwreck won't be quite as big as otherwise. Right now TriMet is building a new bridge across the Willamette, and its all based on the hope of getting other governments to throw it some cash for its "caution-to-the-wind" expenditure. The last TriMet GM, Hansen, knew the jig was getting close to being up; and jumped shipped.

judge trimet on this promise by the numbers when enough have been gathered. my prediction is a bunch more people buy tickets for a few days and we hear little more about it. look for inspectors at jeldwen field, 42nd avenue, overlook park, etc soon but expect no permanent presence.

the other night i rode the max to the zoo station and rode the train and elevator with five transit cops at the end of their shift. the other civilian with us told me after they exited that he had no fare and was sweating bullets but trying to act casual the whole time.

my employer covers a monthly pass (god bless 'em) so i am covered.

Tickets are $175. Maybe they are just planning to boost revenue.

They are scrambling to preserve and secure funding.
This is part of a temporary posturing of responsible management to deceive the holders of purse strings.
Everything TriMet does is a conniving maneuver to cover up failure, fabricate legitimacy and push forward their suicidal agenda.

Once upon a time, Huntington had a good thing going ......until the subsidies became a burden, ultimately dried up and the system collapsed.

I ride Max fairly regularly, both to work and to evening events. I've never seen an inspector after a Winterhawks or Blazers game, either at the Rose Garden, or at Eastside stops. Nor have I seen an inspector going to or from work in probably close to a year. Gee, with six new supervisors/inspectors, maybe it'll be just six months between inspections.

Install some turnstiles, and ensure that the ticket machines work. I mean, dang. It's not hard.

It should be the fare inspectors job to check for valid fares not the transit police.every other big city including San Diego has regular fare inspections including every other train and why can't trimet do the same?

Just read a story on the O website about this and the eastside streetcar. We're now getting 5 cars instead of 6, for the same money of course but according to the manufacturer we're really getting 'more' not 'less'. Seriously, she said that. Someone explain to me how 5 cars, not 6 is somehow more.

Ride the rails almost every day and haven't seen an inspector for about a year.

It seems like the same attitude of protecting our borders- all aboard!

I ride the Green line MAX to work in the morning. I've seen inspectors exactly once so far this year (2011), and they gave out 3 tickets while I was paying attention; I think they got off at Gateway. Usually on that train there are a lot of high school students, a lot of commuters (to downtown, dressed like office workers), and a few people who don't fit into either of those categories.

But just walking to the train, either most people have monthly passes or very few people bother to pay--almost nobody stops to either buy or validate a ticket.

If you guys dont like tri met then dont ride it.


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