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.