Monday, December 10, 2007

MAX Factor?

Today the Trib ran an article about the security concerns on Portland's Tri-met transit system. 

First, let me say that I have never personally witnessed any major issues of concern on Tri-met (other than the occasional loud people). 

However, ever since living in London a few years ago, I have wondered whether the answer to Portland's transit conundrum lies in TFL's system. For those of you who haven't been, TFL runs their fares almost completely electronically. They use a scanner system much like access cards in buildings to record entries and exits from the system. 

My thought is that perhaps a card system that had entry scanners on all MAX doors and bus front doors, and could be quickly verified by a handheld wireless scanner used by fare checkers, would massively increase the speed of fare checkers and allow them to cover ground quickly. That has to be coupled with zero-tolerance enforcement system wide. This means that after one ticket, an exclusion and an arrest for theft of service is appropriate!

In the meantime, how about some Tri-met and police joint stings. Pull a train into a station. Anyone on it without a valid fare is removed from the train and ticketed by the line of Tri-met checkers waiting for them. See how many warrant arrests you get from that. 

A few of these kinds of checks at random on the system would get attention real, real fast. 

1 comment:

Nathan Smith said...

I actually witness a TriMet dragnet at Sunset Transit Center one afternoon. They stopped the train and dragged all violators off and wrote them off. The officers involved where so zealous they checked me twice. :-)