The Washington State Capitol
The Washington State Capitol by aidaneus

Ben originally reported on House Bill 2111, which would enable Sound Transit fare inspectors to issue citations immediately to fare evaders when they are caught, instead of having to mail the citations. The bill was amended on the floor of the House and passed out of the House unanimously on February 13, as Engrossed Substitute House Bill 2111.

ESHB 2111 got a hearing in the Senate Transportation Committee on February 24 and was amended to allow the citation to not include information on the perpetrator’s personal vehicle (which would seem a common-sense improvement, when one is being ticketed for riding a train without paying).

Amazingly, a representative from the Municipal and District Court Judges Association objected to the idea of Sound Transit not including this information, as it would make the citation non-uniform with other traffic citations in the state. In particular, it would allow Sound Transit to print a smaller form than the standard one. The irony here is that it was a district court administrator who had requested Sound Transit to find a way to not have to mail out citations in the first place, since the district courts handle that expense. Indeed, the Administrative Office of the Court has been denying Sound Transit’s requests to print a smaller form that doesn’t include the perpetrator’s personal vehicle information since 2012, and has been bureaucratically unhelpful in how they would do a better form.

On Wednesday, the committee members gave the concern a collective facepalm and voted to pass the bill out of committee, with the amendment, and just one No vote.

The bill next has to get out of the Senate Rules Committee, and get voted on by the full Senate by next Friday, March 7. Members of the Rules Committee are listed here. If you wish to contact your state senator, you can look her/him up here.

3 Replies to “ESHB 2111 advances out of Senate Transportation Committee”

  1. … and again, I still wonder about Metro FEO on RapidRide (and possibly future Streetcar enforcement). I had a conversation with several Metro FEOs who said they used to issue citations on the spot on the A Line but don’t now. I see them at the base for hours entering information into their computers. Does Metro, as a county agency, already have this authority? If so, why don’t they use it and make RapidRide fare enforcement more efficient. If not, why not?

    I’d prefer Metro continue to hire FEOs as they move forward with the “F” line and use savings to extend fare enforcement further into the evening. Telling people that they can board any door “6am-7pm” but only the front door after 7 leads to plenty of confusion, even at 3-6pm when I’m driving.

    1. See RCW 35.58.580 & RCW 35.58.585 (Thanks, aw!) for the sections that would need to be amended to give Metro the same authority as this bill gives to Sound Transit.

      Once ST gets the authority and field tests their new equipment, I expect Metro and Community Transit to push a bill(s) next year. The nonsensical opposition of the MDCJA should disappear once the precedent is set, and it proves to be a big cost saver for the district courts.

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