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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on April 13, 2012 11:12 AM. The previous post in this blog was Dwight vs. Ellen takes an ugly turn. The next post in this blog is On moving the Blazers to Seattle. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Friday, April 13, 2012

Tri-Met riders herded to trouble

A reader, who works with the gal who was hassled by police for letting a MAX train pass her by on a station platform, writes:

Who does Trimet hate more than commuters? Timbers supporters! City of Portland, I ask you this: Why have a Free Zone that ends 1 stop before Jeld Wen Field? Do you have any idea how many supporters (soccer term for fan) use the MAX to get to matches? Oh wait, you do, because you harassed us and handed out $175 tickets like candy at last Saturday's match against Chivas!...

My fiancé and I live by the train station, which is inside the current Free Zone. (Don’t get me started on Trimet eliminating the Free Zone, that rant will come.) I work across from Pioneer Courthouse Square, which is inside the Free Zone. The ONLY time either of us EVER go outside the Free Zone is when we are lucky enough to possess tickets to a Timbers match, which takes place ONE STOP outside the Free Zone. So back to my tale… we are both pumped for the match, wearing our matching jerseys as the train pulls up to the Jeld Wen stop. We are the first ones off! Immediately we notice that a string of gates is set up on the sidewalk herding supporters like cattle, we’ve never seen anything like this before. I thought to myself, "Hmm, that must be for some VIP people or something." We move along until we find a bigger opening to make our move towards the field.

Once we’ve passed through the gates, an upset Trimet Officer #1459 aggressively questions my fiancé for his ID, which he did not have on him (I was carrying both our ID’s). He says he doesn’t have it. Immediately Trimet Officer #1459 threatens to call the police! At first, neither of us understand why we were being threatened and harassed, until the Trimet Officer continues to question us belligerently for fare and ID’s. Aha! So the gates were a ploy to catch people not paying… Ok, so I give Trimet Officer #1459 my ID and ask politely that he write me the citation (being the nice law abiding citizen I am- afraid that if we took off and ran this crazy guy would call the cops on us). Whatever, I just want to move on and get out of what seems to be a quickly escalating situation. Not good enough, he continues to antagonize my fiancé in a very hostile way until I hand over his ID as well.

By this time you can tell #1459 is on a freaking power trip and turns away from us to go deal with another poor soul who was trapped by the gates. Really? You just took both our ID’s, write the f’ing ticket and move on! Oh no, #1459 is hell bent on punishing beyond just the $175 fine. I calmly (because at this point those that know me know I’m a raging bull inside) ask #1459 for his name. He responds, "It’ll be on your citation!" I look at #1459 and say to him, "Sir, you cannot even look me in the eyes and tell me your first name while you have my ID with my name and address?" Two other Trimet officers are standing by, so I ask them for their names, nothing but blank glares (turns out these dopes are supervisors!). Wow, is this really the kind of customer service Trimet prides themselves in? By this point my anger and frustration is released and I’m bawling as #1459 takes his sweet ass time writing TWO citations! One for each of us! $350 just for going ONE STOP beyond the Free Zone! If I would’ve known we would be persecuted like criminals, I would’ve walked from the last stop! All my fiancé and I can do is hug each other and wait for this nightmare to end!

But wait! By some miracle, another Trimet employee comes out of nowhere and gets in #1459’s face, snatches the second ticket from his hand and yells, "Let those kids go!" At this we take off running as I yell behind me through tears, "THANK YOU!"

Timbers lost that night. We still got one citation; my fiancé will be going to court and pleading "Not Guilty" but at least we still have our dignity (which #1459 does not)!!!

Ah, the joys of not having turnstiles. It's so Portlandia -- downright Blumenauerific.

Comments (35)

I'm curious what authority Trimet has to put barricades on public sidewalks....

And I thought only bus riders were treated like trash ...

Once you realize that TriMet is a health insurance and retirement scheme, and not a transit agency, you'll will understand why TriMet hates it customers.

TriMet loses money on every rider -- every rider takes money out of benefits and pensions.

This post cracked me up so wonderfully!

A Timbers fan with entitlement issues mad that they were caught with their hand in the cookie jar. You willfully rode past the free zone and Tri-Met cited you for it. Have fun with the not guilty hearing, I am sure sympathy will be on display and reason will prevail.

I hope that Tri-Met and Little Lord Paulson divert a percentage of Timbers-related citations to pay for the stadium they robbed from the Beavers. Oh wait, they are in budget crisis mode but can still build toy trains and rubber stamp legacy projects.

Close your eyes long enough and when you open them, Portland might just be Europe, minus the history and original thought.

If you live downtown surely you know the boundaries of the Free Rail Zone. And should people who only ride one stop past the free zone get a pass and people who ride two or more stops past the free zone get cited? While it seems the Tri Met employee was a little out of line, there were probably hundreds of people streaming off that train? You know you were in the wrong so I have little sympathy for you.

If I would’ve known we would be persecuted like criminals, I would’ve walked from the last stop! All my fiancé and I can do is hug each other and wait for this nightmare to end!

And for the first time in years, I have sympathy for Trimet.

Who does Trimet hate more than commuters? Timbers supporters! City of Portland, I ask you this: Why have a Free Zone that ends 1 stop before Jeld Wen Field? Do you have any idea how many supporters (soccer term for fan) use the MAX to get to matches?

My guess is Trimet has put up the barricades because of entitled Timbers fans like you feeling you don't have to pay for "one stop."
That stadium has been there a long time, as well as the free zone. Baseball fans went there too. Im no fan of Trimet and their "fare nazis", but you have no excuse on this one.

As my older brother used to say in situations like this:

"Shut your waah!"

You skipped the fare and got busted. Next!

What a dramatic spin! You cheated the system and got caught. Move on.

It's very poor "planning" to have Civic Stadium (or whatever it's called) outside fareless square (or whatever it's called. I'm sure the City wants fans (or whatever they're called) to use "transit" to get to the games instead of driving. So, include the stadium in fareless square or extend it for games.

I sympathize with this woman. Right or wrong, nobody buys tickets to go one stop past fareless square. Getting a ticket shouldn't be a surprise, but the police officer's anger is unnecessary, and symptomatic of greater institutional problems at TriMet.

"My free stuff is no good. Give me better free stuff..."

How 'bout we just scrap fare-less zones altogether and everyone pay the actual full cost on each ride.

Looks like the ranter failed to get the sympathetic treatment she expected from those of us that have ALWAYS objected to the cost, inconvenience, heavy handedness and big brother aspect of "OUR" local transit agency.

When she and her "FREE ZONE" sponging boyfriend PAY for 100% of the construction costs, operating expenses, overhead salaries, overgenerous union payroll, and lose the rights to THEIR Property as well as contribute to the TIMBERS takeover of "MULTNOMAH STADIUM", ...MAYBE THEN I might have a tiny bit of sympathy.

Until then, "WELCOME TO OUR WORLD".

While the writer is way over dramatic about this issue, it is stupid planning to have the stadium stop just outside the fareless boundary. They should have just ignored the power tripping Tri-Met dolt and kept walking and just blended into the crowd. If we're going to waste police time on this, this city is truly screwed.

I say predatory, taking advantage of the situation.

Wow. Okay here's the deal:

1) yes it is stupid the way the free rail zone is setup. That is worth complaining about with Tri-Met, I agree that it should be moved to the last stop before the tunnel or abolished altogether.

2) you knew/have known about the stupid limit for the free rail zone.

3) knowing this, you still broke the rules and were caught. Next time walk it or pay like the rest of us. Just like speeders on the road who complain to the police when stopped for speeding.

4) they are not police, they are fare inspectors, aka rent a cops. they cannot detain you. Next time, do not provide ID and walk away, by the time the police arrive you'll likely be long gone. The police usually have better things to do than chase fare jumpers. If the police do stop you, be prepared to explain yourself and know the law.

5) yes, they go on power trips. Answer? see above.

6) why tie up the courts when you know you're guilty? The judge will likely get pissed off and make you pay the entire fine. Just pay the fine, take the life lesson and move on with your lives.

Unbelievable. You are too lazy to walk ONE stop - one stop that isn't very far away at that. Get off your high horse and pay your own way.

Actually, there is a bit of a walk from the 10th street stop to PGE park.

But you can spit from PGE Park to Vera's MAC stop and another spit to Bud Clark's Goose Hollow stop.

How 'bout we just scrap fare-less zones altogether and everyone pay the actual full cost on each ride.

The cost they charge, or the full cost to operate? I remember a while back when Trimet's own numbers said it costs $11 per trip, per rider, to operate MAX. They charge $2, and the rest is subsidized by the taxpayers.

What seems to have bothered the poster is not the ticket as much as the punishment aspect. If the fare inspectors wanted to catch people in their cattle gate, then the strategy should be to write as many tickets as you can. Catch and scold is indeed an unprofessional act of bullying. It must not be allowed.

Boo fricken' hoo.

The Timbers have already gotten handout, handout, handout. The city bends its rear end over backwards for the Timbers.

You're bitchin' over paying a TriMet fare? Get over yourself. Pay the stupid fare. TriMet doesn't exist to cater to your every whim and need. I have to pay a fare even if I hop just one stop. I have to pay a fare every time. Fareless Square existed long before the Timbers did, and it was never a problem before. (Frankly, I'll be happy when it goes away forever - TriMet should have never kept the "Free Rail Zone".)

Stop complaining. You're being harassed because you're breaking the rules.

And Stefan - while the Fare Inspectors (Transit Supervisors) cannot arrest you, they can call a cop and arrest you. Be glad that Portland isn't like Hillsboro - Hillsboro got so fed up with TriMet's unwillingness to do anything, that they dropped out of Transit Police and just put their cops on the trains. The last several times I've been to Hillsboro, all trains were stopped at Hawthorne Farm, the Hillsboro Police (usually a good five or six officers) would go through the train and the train didn't move until they were done...and those without fares were absolutely cited (or arrested for trespass and/or theft of services). It's about time fare evaders are stood up and held accountable for their theft from the public.

Wait, so the e-mailer bought tickets to the Timbers $25ish bucks but was to cheap to pay a two dollar fare?

Get over it. There are signs all over the place SPECIFICALLY SAYING that you need fare to get to Jeld-Wen field. I'm happy you cheats got caught.

Scroll down to the post by "J.M." Badge 1459 shows up again here:
http://www.blueoregon.com/2008/06/trimet-fare-inc/


His job is not without some peril, however I do wonder if scolding somehow was a part of this:

http://www.oregonlive.com/washingtoncounty/index.ssf/2009/07/portland_man_arrested_in_assau.html

Now that the Free Rail Zone is going away, perhaps TriMet and Portland can spend some of that sweet-sweet construction sugar on barriers, gates, and turnstiles for every MAX and Streetcar stop.

If you merely want everyone to pay their rail fare, then that's the only thing that makes any sense. If OTOH you want to catch people out and fine them, then just leave things as they are.

I don't sympathize with fare jumpers, but I don't think it's okay to put up temporary barriers on the public street and harangue people in this fashion.

Legalities aside, I'll wager that this sort of special enforcement operation costs more than it makes. Mostly a political show of force.

Bet you missed this scene in that nauseating animated Portland Future Vision video, or whatever it was called.

Jon: Full cost to operate.

Erik H.

Yes, I know they can call the cops. So can you or I. They are rent a cops that have no ability to detain you in anyway, period. If you want to hang around and wait for the cops, go for it. I'm not telling you to run, I'm saying simply walk away. If they detain you, then you can tell them that they are illegally detaining you and if they don't release you that you will call the police and press charges. Note: This only works for stops that are public sidewalks/paths. The stops that are on private property are another matter and while they still cannot detain you, you will get a trespassing citation at the very least.

I'm having a hard time having any sympathy for this person.

I rode Max last Saturday night from the Rose Garden transit center to SW 3rd Avenue so I could meet a friend for dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings prior to the Winterhawks game at the Memorial Coliseum (BTW, if the free rail zone disappears, so do I from downtown for such a trip).

Several times on the way, the driver got on the PA system and told all of the riders that they needed a fare if they were going to Jeld-Wen for the Timbers game. The driver also announced that, lo and behold, the ticket machines at the last stop in the free rail zone at The Galleria weren't working and those without proof of payment were going to have to get off at Pioneer Courthouse Square to get paid-up.

Also, while we were eating, we noticed many buses running along the rail line marked "Jeld Wen Field". I wonder if those folks had to pay and if they got roped into the same cattle-herding like area.

YOUR FIRST MISTAKE: ASSUMING THE ROLE OF COMPLIANT SERF IN THE REALM OF TRIMET.

EVER WONDER WHY ROSE CITY TRANSIT WENT OUT OF BUSINESS?


You have to love this line: "If I would've known we would be persecuted like criminals, I would’ve walked from the last stop!"

Now what happens to the 2nd ticket? Badge 1459 has to account for it, no? It appears it was already written. If I were the judge I'd ask the riders to give me a good reason why I shouldn't pin it back on rider #2. (I'd still give 'em a break, but I'd love to hear a better answer than the above.)

Pretty clear here what the rules are. http://trimet.org/pdfs/code/TriMet_Code_Chapter_29.pdf


I don't know if TriMet's musical chairs fare policies will ever produce something that works.

But I do wonder why they are so committed to spending all of our billions trying to herd more people on trains when it will only increase ridership & mode share by a couple percent.

This explains much.

http://www.pjtv.com/?cmd=mpg&mpid=105&load=6836

It also explains why so many communities around the region are finally telling them NO MORE.

This will all be a moot point when TriMet's new money-saving policies go into effect and fareless square ceases to exist. If this is any indication of the entitlement people feel about the process, we'll be able to mark the day FS ends by the bitching, moaning and wailing that will arise like a vocal tidal wave from the throats of inner city patrons.

Whynot just enjoy a nice and healthy walk from downtown too the stadium? A few miles probably couldn't hurt and then you wouldn't have to deal with the tri-met people anyways...

markmason:

Yeah the 2nd ticket part is even more hilarious.

"You're going to write BOTH of us tickets for not paying?! How unfair!"

I think the map on the train tells where the fareless rail zone ends, for those who can't figure it out before getting on.


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