TriMet adding 9 fare inspectors, increasing checks

Multnomah County

TriMet is adding nine fare inspectors to the ranks

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — TriMet is increasing its fare enforcement efforts by adding more inspectors to its ranks.

Officials said nine new fare inspectors will join the three currently working in the system. This change will bring the number of fare inspectors to a number more in line with majors transit systems across the country.

TriMet said recent surveys found that one in five passengers ride without paying but as 16% of its budget comes from fares, officials want to rein that in.

“So we’re trying to reduce that, not only with presence on the system but dedicated fare enforcement and that is something our riders say is they’d like to see more presence on the system and for them they want equity — they want everybody to pay their fair share,” said Pat Williams, director of TriMet security.

Riders on a TriMet MAX Blue Line train (KOIN, file)

TriMet faced criticism last year for its fare enforcement methods. A woman claimed minorities and low-income populations were being unfairly targeted. A judge ruled their tactics were unconstitutional and TriMet modified its methods to satisfy the judge’s concerns.

TriMet has also since created a program to cut fares in half for low-income people.

“We have an honored citizen program that allows them to qualify for low fare rate also if you pay your fare or address your fare within 90 days it is not going to be sent through the court system — so that is something that is new and has been very well received,” Williams said.

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