State law clears way for Metro's new Transit Court

Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill into law, AB 426 (by Assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal), that clarifies existing state law and allows Metro to go ahead and establish its own Transit Court. The Court is for Metro patrons cited for violating the agency’s Code of Conduct, including rules against fare evasion.

At present, Metro customers who want to appeal citations must go to Superior Court, an onerous process for customers and the courts alike. Once Metro’s Transit Court is established — it will be at Metro headquarters next to L.A. Union Station — appeals will instead go there. The court is scheduled to begin later this year. Please keep in mind that most citations will not require a court appearance.

Here’s a recent Metro staff report that provides some background on Transit Court and information about a new contract to the private firm ACS to process citations. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department will continue to patrol Metro’s bus and rail lines and enforce the Code of Conduct.

4 replies

  1. I was with a friend when he lost his paper ticket and got another type of ticket from the LAPD (who used to security for subway lines back then). He told me of the experience of having to, essentially, be arraigned, and then given a subsequent date to appear in court. What a monumental WASTE of time and inefficiency (not tax dollars well spent) for what should’ve been a rather straight forward, simple matter to address.

    He had wast 2 ENTIRE days just to have a lawyer from the City Attorney quickly meet with him (to get the story and reviewing his case to learn it was his first EVER such citation) just prior his case to be heard right outside the courtroom to tell him that he (City Attorney’s office) would not be pressing charges and he could go home. A nice, ending, but in a VERY inefficient way.

    If this new court speeds things-up for such offenses and brings quick resolutions (in a single day would be nice), then it will be great and it will certainly take pressure of our already burdened Superior Courts here in LA County who must tend to some far more serious matters. Great the Gov signed it into law.

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  2. What is the point of having a “transit court” that is administrative, when “Code of Conduct” rules (like FARE EVASION!) are rarely enforced by drivers???

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  3. Us transit operators don’t enforce it because at the end of the day we want to go home to our families. There are passengers that will take aggressive action because we don’t “Let them ride.” I know I’m not arguing over bus fare, if you don’t want to pay then hey that’s on you. There is a sign at the front of the bus that tells you the consequences of not paying fare so that’s not something we really need to enforce.

    But there are actually some people who don’t have money and its like the boy who cried wolf. So many passengers say that they don’t have money or lost their wallet or whatever other excuses they have, when it comes to those that actually need to ride due to not having any money us operators think that they’re lying because we hear it from others daily.

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  4. Bobby, that must’ve been a long time ago, the LASD (Sheriff’s Dept.) patrols the lines.

    I received a ticket from a deputy for not having my ticket when he came by to check. I had been riding consistently for over 2 years. The court process to fight my ticket was quite simple, I sent by mail my argument against the ticket. The court dismissed it.

    Not sure why a private entity needs to be hired to handle and another government entity needs to be created, unless Metro isn’t able to collect it’s violation money like LA City.

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