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23 It was also of interest to learn the severity of the fare · The penalty escalates to a gross misdemeanor with evasion offense for each operator. The agencies were asked involvement by transit police. whether the penalty for a first-time offense is considered · If the violator defaults on payment of the fine, the fare civil (i.e., the offense is not made part of a criminal record) evasion becomes a criminal offense. or criminal. The most severe penalty imposed for fare eva- · Theft of service is filed. sion is a misdemeanor, when the offense can be made part · Options include community service hours. of a criminal record and confinement could be part of the · Options include civil assessment, collection agency, punishment. An infraction is of lesser severity and normally and Department of Motor Vehicles lien. requires only payment of a fine, similar to a parking citation. · In Canada, it can become a criminal offense. The majority of the 29 operators consider the first fare eva- The revenue resulting from payment of fines is not sion offense to be less than a criminal penalty, and nearly 60% expected to make up for the fare revenue loss due to eva- treat the offense with an administrative penalty (i.e., a fine): sion. It was found that for 57.6% of the operators, no fine revenue is received. However, six operators receive 100% n % of the revenue because they have an in-house adjudication process. Another six operators receive between 50% and Civil...an administrative action 17 58.6 89% of the total fine revenue. Because of Texas state law, DART and the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris Criminal...it is an infraction 8 27.6 County (Houston Metro) benefit from having an admin- istrative process that offers evaders 30 days to decide Criminal...it is a misdemeanor 4 13.8 whether to choose an "administrative option." With this option, the operator handles the adjudication process and the evader pays $75 to the operator. More on this Texas For the same seven types of offenses discussed above state law is included in the chapter four case study review with regard to whether there are differing penalties, the sur- of DART. vey sought to find out whether the severity of the penalty changes by offense type. What was learned was that there are no differences in how severity is treated among the seven PROOF-OF-PAYMENT FARE COLLECTION OPERATIONS types of offenses with any of the operators. Other than enforcement, two particular operational aspects Related to the civil versus criminal aspects was how repeat of PoP were of interest in the survey: ways the operators offenders are treated. The operators have various nonfinancial inform customers of the need for possessing proof of valid ways of dealing with repeat offenders, as shown in Table 21. fare payment and ways the operators deal with special events Seven of the 29 respondents (24.1%) indicated that they have and crush loads. no specific nonfinancial actions available. For the 22 opera- tors that use nonfinancial actions for repeat offenders, there are Off-Board and On-Vehicle Ways of Informing Patrons of no dominant common actions: Summons to appear in court Proof-of-Payment Required are used by 37.9% (11 of 29) of the operators; the offense is escalated to a misdemeanor (34.5%, 10); and the individual is One way to assist in fare enforcement is the designation of excluded from the system for some period of time (34.5%, 10). station platform areas as "paid zones." In such zones, all people on the platform are subject to receiving a citation if TABLE 21 they do not have proof of fare payment in their possession. ACTIONS FOR REPEAT OFFENDERS As shown in Table 22, the survey found that 70% of the 30 Action n % respondents have designated all or part of their station plat- form areas as paid zones. Escalates to a misdemeanor 10 34.5 Summons to appear in court 11 37.9 Excluded from using the system for some period of time 10 34.5 TABLE 22 Other 6 20.7 OFF-BOARD PLATFORM AREAS AT STATIONS/STOPS CONSIDERED "PAID ZONES" None 7 24.1 "Paid zone" n % Total responding agencies 29 Yes, all include "paid zones" 12 40 Multiple responses allowed; percentages do not add to 100%. Yes, but not all include "paid zones" 9 30 No 9 30 Related to nonfinancial actions enforced against repeat Total responding agencies 30 100 offenders, respondents offered these comments:
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24 Table 23 shows that of the 21 operators with paid zones Markings noted in Table 22, 18 employ various means to help inform individuals as they arrive on the platform area, mainly sign- · "Proof of payment required beyond this point," ing (17, or 81% of the 21). Other techniques used are mark- · Lines on platform, ings, barriers, and turnstiles. · Plastic adhesive markings on the platform, and · Floor tile stripe as entering zone. TABLE 23 METHODS TO INFORM PATRONS OF THE PAID ZONES The survey also pursued practices with regard to on- vehicle information pertaining to the need for proof of valid Method n % payment. Of the 30 operators, 83.3% (25) have signs on their Signing 17 81.0 vehicles alerting passengers to the need for PoP. Markings 4 19.0 Barriers (e.g., fencing, walls) 3 14.3 Special Events and Crush Loads Turnstiles 2 9.5 The survey inquired as to the procedures used for special Total responding agencies 21 events when peak crowding occurs over a short period of Multiple responses allowed; percentages do not add to 100%. time. As shown in Table 24, 64% of the 25 respondents indicated that they use ticket sales personnel handling cash PoP operators use a variety of sign messages alerting custom- transactions. The other two primary means of handling spe- ers to the need for PoP. Examples from various operators are cial events crowds are use of temporary barriers (52%) and shown in Figure 6, and a sampling of the signs and markings temporary kiosks or ticket booths (44%). reported by survey respondents as "other" includes the following: Signage TABLE 24 PROCEDURES FOR SPECIAL EVENTS · Signage in all underground stations indicate "Must Procedure n % Have Valid Proof of Payment Beyond This Point," Use of portable ticket issuing machine 2 8 · The agency has signage at every bus shelter stop, Temporary kiosk/ticket booth 11 44 · "Proof of Payment required beyond this point," Temporary queuing barriers 13 52 · Signage as entering "Paid Fare Zone" and on platforms, · Signs saying "Now entering Proof-of-Payment Area," Temporary turnstiles 2 8 · Metal signs in the paid area and TVM markings, Use of ticket sales personnel handling cash 16 64 · Small signs with "Paid Fare Zone" and citing the rel- Allow free rides 2 8 evant laws, Other 9 36 · Signs at beginning and end of platforms, Total responding agencies 25 · "Paid fare required beyond this point," and Multiple responses allowed; percentages do not add to 100%. · Signs mark fare paid areas (but only in subway stations). FIGURE 6 Examples of sign messages informing patrons of paid zones.