Video from the Orange Line media event on stopping fare evasion

And here’s the video from yesterday’s media event on the Orange Line to promote new efforts to thwart fare evasion along the busway. Here’s the news release.

9 replies

  1. The Orange Line is crowded and buses are unreliable and come at erratic times. I don’t like using it anymore. We really need a light rail line to the west valley now.

  2. Turnstiles at the busiest stations and making the boarding actually level (just add like 6 more inches of concrete please!) would be two good things to do in order to improve the Orange Line.

  3. The problem I have are severalfold.

    So what if you’re issued a citation? Unlike driving a car, no one is required to have state issued ID or a drivers license to ride Metro. Anyone can say “my name is John/Jane Doe and I live in 123 Fake Street in Anytown, USA.” If cops can’t figure out who you are or where you live, how are they going to collect the fines? Who ends up paying in the long run? That’s right, taxpayers.

    Or, how about the case with confused tourists from abroad? Let’s say a tourist from China is fined for not TAP-ing on Metro. What is LASD going to do? Fly out to China, extradite him, spend millions in taxpayer dollars in legal fees at taxpayers’ expense just to collect few hundred dollars in fines? Sure, whatever.

    And anyone, even those that know they are guilty, can take the chance to contest their ticket in court, and bet on the chance that the cop who issued the citation won’t even bother to show up in court. If the cop doesn’t show up, the judge throws away the ticket.

    The process is so full of holes like Swiss Cheese I doubt Metro is recuperating their costs in fare enforcement. To me, all they seem to be doing are wasting millions of dollars in taxpayer money to hire expensive LASD deputies to do ticket checks with very little value in return.

  4. Let me start by saying I absolutely love both Metro and MetroLink. After not taking public transportation ever in my life, I quickly fell in love with it after my work started offering an incentive plan to employees to use it and now lots of us do it. However, I’m somewhat frustrated with the Orange Line “enforcement.” I was at the Canoga Station early in the morning on the last big inspection and people were getting nailed left and right. On the bus I was on, at least half of the passengers were pulled off at about 8:00 in the morning.

    Something strange happened in the evening. At the Chatsworth station, the Sheriffs only gave “verbal warnings” to passengers. No written citations. No record of fare violation. It was even worse at the Canoga station at about 7:15 pm when the sole Sheriff there told everyone to keep walking because he didn’t have any electronic device to validate fare. It seems to me that the Sheriffs wanted to artificially show an improvement in fare evasion by meeting some number then stop checking.

    I’ll be honest. I feel like I’m cheating Metro because I have a monthly pass on MetroLink so I can use the Orange and Red line as much as I want and I completely abuse that privilege. But I also pay $200+ per month for this privilege and it’s not fair that other people don’t pay for the Metro system they use. Metro has bills to pay also and everyone should pay their share so Metro can keep their vehicles clean and safe. Shame on the Sheriffs department for making it look like they are actually enforcing the rules. Some of them are great, but there are plenty that are simply too lazy to write a citation.

    Support public transportation, save the planet and save some money. Ride public transportation!!

  5. 22% of the passengers were NOT “Fare Evaders” in the first check. But repeat a lie enough times and it becomes the truth.

    Are people who gave money to Metro but then did not have that balance or pass transferred immediately to their TAP card by Xerox really “Fare Evaders”?

    Are people whose automatic monthly pass renewals routinely get messed up by Xerox considered “Fare Evaders”?

    Are people who buy a TAP card from a machine but do not know that the card is not validated by the machine upon dispensing “Fare Evaders”?

    Didn’t most of the “22%” hand money over to Metro, and might have genuinely thought they had paid given the normal practices of any other system in North America?

    Steve, will you please get and publish the numbers and the math that was used to justify these percentages here on The Source?

    And will you please tell us when was the last time Michael Claus or Paul Krekorian purchased their own fare media, by themselves, to travel on Metro?

    Or might that make this recent self-serving patting-on-the-back look extremely petty?

  6. Steve,
    Let me restate my question from January 15th
    http://thesource.metro.net/2014/01/15/two-metro-board-members-introduce-motion-asking-for-orange-line-to-possibly-be-gated-to-reduce-fare-evasion/comment-page-1/#comment-142177
    :

    “Where is LASD and Metro getting these percentages from? What are the actual numbers behind them? Looking at the bar graphs from the staff report, I see approximately 865 people with no card and approximately 725 people with empty tap cards caught in the span of 11 hours and 30 minutes…over the two days out of a total of about 17,275 customers checked.

    Everyone else had handed over money to Metro or another of the TAP participant agencies, but may have been confused as to how to correctly demonstrate that they had paid.

    That’s a fare evasion rate of about 9% overall.”

    My math:
    865+725= 1590
    1590 ÷ 17275 = 9.204%

    • Hi Erik;

      Your numbers don’t appear to match the totals of adding the columns for each day in each graph. For example, add total of left column in fare evasion graph and then divide that by number of green checks on that day and I think you get the numbers they get. That appears to be their methodology.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  7. The Orange Line itself has over 600,000 boardings per month. Officers can’t handle this many passengers. And we can’t keep adding more officers either due to budgetary constraints. There’s a limit to the number of fare checks that human fare checkers can do and law enforcement officers themselves are human.

    There has to be a better and more efficient solution to this. How much money are we to keep wasting on using fare enforcement using expensive law enforcement officers when the system keeps growing and more passengers will continue to use Metro?

  8. Fare evasion is not about how big or small the percentages are. I don’t care if the fare evasion rate is 1%, that’s still 1% too many.

    The majority of the folks who want Metro to demand actions against fare evasion is “I don’t like the idea that people are getting away scot-free while I pay for it honestly and I end up having to subsidizing these low-life scumbags who think they are entitled to ride for free.”

    I agree that the punishment should be harder for those who get caught riding for free. If no amount of fine, faregates, or fare checks are going to stem this, we ought to look at an immediate misdemeanor charge placed onto their police record for stealing from taxpayers.

    Tell these cheaters that an immediate misdemeanor charge to their police record, one that will prevent them from getting good jobs for years to come will be worth it to skimp on $1.50.