PORTLAND, Ore.–You walk up to the MAX station and tap your Hop card on the card reader. When the train comes, you step on board to get to work, school or wherever it is you need to go. At the same time, you see others hopping on board without tapping, without stopping at the ticket machine. You wonder, “Are they paying for the ride?” If you’re paying your fair share, shouldn’t they? Right about that time, wouldn’t it be nice to see a Fare Inspector get on the train?

TriMet is increasing the ranks of our fare enforcement teams with the addition of nine new Fare Inspectors. They join three other dedicated Fare Inspectors. Other staff conduct fare enforcement assignments on a rotating basis but perform other duties as well, such as coordinating extra transit service after a Blazers game or responding to a passenger having a medical issue. For these 12 Fare Inspectors though, enforcing TriMet’s Code of Conduct for riding, including the requirement to have proof of valid fare, will be their primary job.

The nine new Fare Inspectors begin their field training on Monday, Oct. 21, so riders should expect to see them out on the system and expect to have their fare checked. During this phase of training, you may see large groups working together. Once fully trained though, our Fare Inspectors will break into teams of two to do random fare inspections on trains and buses, and at stations and transit centers.

Fare Inspectors will be joined by contract Customer Safety Officers. These Officers will assist riders and Inspectors during fare checks. The teams will be assigned to geographical regions in our service area so they can get to know daily riders better and the riders can get to know them. These fare enforcement teams will also provide a valuable security presence on the system, people who riders can go to for help. We’ll be evaluating the new approach for fare enforcement and possibly look at bringing in more dedicated Fare Inspectors in the future.

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