In an attempt to cut down on confrontations, TriMet says its bus drivers should no longer deny fare evaders access to the bus. But the new guidance for drivers, including a clause allowing partial payment, is causing confusion among the agency’s own employees.
“Operators may not deny boarding to a fare evader,” said the new bus operator procedure document, which is dated Feb. 16. Upon accepting partial payment, drivers should “issue a printed ticket closest to the actual amount that a customer has made an effort to pay the fare.”
A TriMet spokeswoman, however, maintains that the partial payment clause is only intended for when riders become threatening — contrary to how drivers are interpreting it. The agency will still go after fare evaders. It just will require that drivers alert dispatch to send enforcement officers, she added.
“If somebody is not going to pay the full fare, bus drivers can still alert dispatch and report them for fare evasion,” said Roberta Alstadt, adding that it’s up to the driver whether to accept partial payment.
Read more at the Portland Tribune.
Thursday, March 16, 6:15 a.m. PST: This article has been updated to reflect changes in the Portland Tribune’s story.