PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Ordinance 396, which was approved by the TriMet Board on Wednesday, is making punishments for rule-breaking stricter.

The new ordinance, which will take effect Jan 13, 2023, amends the TriMet Code, and is part of what TriMet is calling “a larger strategy to increase security for riders and employees.”

Certain actions, such as attempted felonies and Class A misdemeanors, are already punishable by long-term bans.

The changes made in ordinance 396 expand on what kinds of actions will lead to a long-term ban — one that could last from six months all the way to a lifetime ban.

Under the new ordinance, most serious misdemeanors are now included in TriMet’s definition of “serious physical offense.” That includes all Class A misdemeanors as well as assault and second-degree bias crimes.

The ordinance also removes the distinctions between first and second offenses.

According to TriMet, since most actions that will result in a long-term ban end up being physical and serious, removing that distinction makes it easier for general managers to decide if a long-term ban is necessary for any given situation.

TriMet also shared that only one person has ever received a permanent ban in the five years since long-term bans were instituted.

The final change made by the new ordinance focuses on repeat offenders.

The new amendment says that anyone charged with three or more code violations is eligible for a ban of up to two years.

In a statement released by TriMet about the new ordinance, they shared that they are always looking for new ways to grow and adapt to any circumstances that might rise.

Ordinance 369 would be one more way for TriMet to exert further accountability measures to improve the customer experience and protect employees. We look for ways to adapt to circumstances affecting our transit system and continuously move toward improvement.