Make sure your TAP card is valid, tech-equipped fare inspectors are checking!

Nokia Fare ValidatorLocal transit blog PlusMetro caught up with sheriffs patrolling the 7th Street Metro Center Station equipped with new Nokia cellphones that validate TAP cards – the same technology we mentioned in our TAP post last month.

Blogger Jung Gatoona witnessed a number of people receive citations as inspectors quickly checked whether their TAP cards were valid with the new cellphones.

A quick interview with a fare inspector revealed that the devices have been useful in weeding out fare evaders using invalid TAP cards, but the majority of evaders have nothing to show at all.

“Have you caught more people without the proper fare because of this device?”
“We’ve definitely caught more people, but compared to riders who have invalid cards, we still catch more of those who have nothing to show at all.”
“How well do these devices work, any problems?”
“It does take longer because sometimes we have to enter the card numbers on the back twice. When we enter it the first time, sometimes it doesn’t go through and we have to do it again. It still works though.”

Also, keep in mind that this Thursday is July 1st – the day Metro’s new fares finally go into effect.