For years, it's been the most disproportionate punishment in Portland. Hop on a MAX train without a $2.50 ticket and TriMet will levy a $175 fine on the first offense.
But that draconian rule could soon end.
On Dec. 17, TriMet proposed changes to its policy on fare evasion. Starting as early as July 1, a new fee structure would charge first-time offenders $75 or four hours of community service. Another proposal would waive citations for low-income, elderly and disabled riders, as long as they load a fare card with at least $10.
Why the change?
The Oregon Legislature passed a law last spring that allows the transit agency to deal with fare-evasion cases without sending people to court. It's part of a national movement to stop criminalizing poverty.
Maria Hernandez of
OPAL Environmental Justice Oregon, who helped craft the reform, says credit should go to TriMet riders.
"TriMet felt the pressure to agree," she says, "and joined our effort to reduce fines and penalties and address the true root cause of fare evasion: economic instability."
TriMet's board of directors could approve this common-sense reform Feb. 28.
2. TriMet Could Soon Stop Charging Life-Ruining Fines 3. You Can Now Smoke Weed While Listening to Live Classical Music 4. Oregon's Unemployment Rate is Incredibly Low 5. Your Favorite Sports Team is Only a Short Walk Away 6. The Blazers Star in Some Weird-Ass Commercials 7. W e Now Have a Mountain Bike Park in the City 8. 24 hours after Chamber Music Northwest Burned Down, the Last Concert in the Series Went on as Planned 9. Portland is the Playground of Japanese Architect Kengo Kuma 10. You Can Soon Stream Local Music at the Library 11. Oregon Just Became the First State to Defelonize Hard Drugs 12. East Portland is Getting an Aerial Tree Walk 13. We're the World Capital of Canned Wine 14. Portland is a Hotbed of Small Bookstores 15. Unlike any Other City, We Have Multiple Niche Comedy Festivals 16. Our Developers Are Privatizing Socialism 17. The Nation's Best Airport Keeps Getting Even Better 18. We're Home to the World's First Sneaker Design School 19. Portland Scored the World's First Dog Tap Room 20. Weed Prices are Falling From Cheap to Damn Near Free, and We Haven't Yet Found the Bottom 21. Our Local Mini-Mart Chain Makes Snickers Give You Free Candy Bars 22. The View From the MAX Orange Line is One of the Most Striking and Beautiful Paintings in the City 23. We Are Still No. 1 in Semifactual Superlatives 24. We Make Biking So Accessible 25. You Can Crowdfund Anything Here 26. We Find So Many Ways to be Anti-Trump 27. Our Malls Are Becoming Cultural Embassies 28. Our Humane Society Rescues Pets From All Over the Country 29. Winter This Year is a Pussycat 30. No One Mourns Closures Like We Do