Portland’s having more and more trouble with fare evaders, so they’re renovating stations and checking tickets at the entrance to certain stops.
With design 75 percent complete, the $600,000 renovations would reshape where and how riders pay for tickets.
New fencing will enclose fare-paid zones at 82nd Avenue and at the westbound Gresham Central platform. Ticket-vending machines will be moved outside the fencing, and 42-inch openings will serve as checkpoints. Authorities will be stationed there 10 to 12 hours a day to check entrants, Banta said. No specific date has been set for the test program to begin.
“It’s an easier way to check for fares,” he said.
TriMet’s decision to enclose the platforms comes as the agency draws criticism for faulty ticket machines and a system that infrequently punishes those who don’t pay. With soaring fuel costs, increased ticket prices and record numbers of transit users, TriMet and agencies nationwide are increasingly addressing fare-evasion problems.
New York City this month raised fines for ticketless subway riders for the first time since 1984. San Francisco is studying how much money its system loses to free riders. And transit officials in Los Angeles County have approved installation of nearly 400 gates at subway and light-rail systems to curtail an estimated $5.5 million lost annually from skipped fares.
Being a native East-coaster, turnstiles seem like second nature to me, but Schiendelman assures me they’re just not cost effective out here. I’m not sure that’s the case, since a staffer monitoring the turnstiles is also potentially a security guard, which is a nice thing to have for many reasons.
Regardless, I hope Sound Transit is observing these developments closely, as it certainly isn’t too late to institute a more strictly enforced fare system. One of the bigger problems, however, would be how to electronically handle those crappy paper transfers.
Via Portland Transport.