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33 tions, and detect and deter crime. Officers are assigned to decisions can be made, the hearing process, and the appeal uniformed and plainclothes details. process; and give the bureau power to enforce civil penalties for violations of laws, rules, and regulations. Fare inspection is largely handled by Metro fare inspec- tors. These inspectors are employees within the Niagara Initially, some 25 years ago, the fine for fare evasion Frontier Transportation Metro System Rail Department. An was set at $20. Currently, the penalty is $50, which is less on-duty inspector checking for payment on a Metro Rail than the price of the $64 adult monthly pass. Although this platform is shown in Figure 10. Fare inspector positions are amount is generally low compared with other agencies, there open to all NFTA Metro employees and are represented by is a progressive nature to the penalty that will occur if not Local 1342 of the Amalgamated Transit Union. paid within a certain period of time, for example, NFTA Metro provides this description of the job for a · If paid within 11 and 39 days, $100 --If it is not paid in Metro fare inspector: part or a hearing is not requested within 10 days, then the penalty will increase to $100. The job involves checking and enforcement activities relative to the self-service fare collection system. It · If paid between 40 and 70 days, $180 --If no action is consists of checking patrons for valid evidence of fare taken within an additional 30 days, then the penalty payment, issuing citations to violators, assisting the will reach $180. public in understanding fare payment procedures and · If paid between 71 and 101 days, $280 --Another 30 Metro service, observing for and reporting of unsafe and irregular conditions, exercising sound judgment relative days of nonpayment or a request for a hearing will raise to all aspects of assigned duties, and the protecting of the penalty to the maximum of $280. Company property. (14 ) The Niagara Transit Adjudication Bureau is the adju- There are five FTE Metro fare inspectors. They do not dication unit for summonses issued to individuals alleged have police powers and are considered to be "transit ambas- to have violated New York Codes, Rules and Regulations sadors" as part of NFTA's Customer Appreciation Program. Title 21 Miscellaneous, Chapter XXIII Niagara Frontier They are authorized to issue oral warnings instead of cita- Transportation Authority. Section 1151.21 "Fare Evasion" tions to fare evaders in certain situations. Metro fare inspec- (16 ) describes what constitutes a fare evasion offense. Sec- tors routinely perform "blitzes" in combination with NFTA tion 1151.22 "Attempted Fare Evasion" (17 ) shares identical police officers, and these blitzes form the basis for keeping wording but applies to "a person who shall enter upon the track of the agency's fare evasion trend. paid zone" instead of rail transit vehicle. Fare Compliance and Inspection Fare evasion is a civil penalty until an individual has two or more unpaid "active" fare evasion violations; then A Metro Rail fare evasion rate chart is presented every month it becomes a criminal offense. The individual can then be to the board. "Fare evasion" is determined by "blitzes" dur- arrested and charged with "theft of service" at Buffalo City ing which Metro fare inspectors inspect 100% of the riders Court. If an individual defaults on payment, the bureau can in a concentrated period of time. Trends from April 2008 file a civil judgment as long as the address on file is accurate through December 2010 show a relatively wide fluctuation and mail is not returned. After 2 years, if an address does not in fare evasion by month, ranging from 0.29% (December exist, those records are purged from the system. 2008) to 4.00% (January 2010). The stated objective of the chart is to keep a management watch on the fare evasion rate About 10% of fare evasion summons are dismissed or trend and, in particular, to be prepared to take action when voided. For more than 10 years, the bureau has accepted the rate moves above 2.00%. monthly payment as low as $5 per month until the penalty is paid in full. More tickets have been paid since this option There is no target percentage for the number of passen- was implemented. NFTA receives all citation revenue and gers who are inspected on a daily basis, but in general, Metro applies it back to transit operations. Citations for fare eva- fare inspectors check about 8.6% of underground passengers sion numbered 4,526 last year. on board trains in rail stations. Transit Adjudication Function DALLAS, TEXAS--DALLAS AREA RAPID TRANSIT (DART) Fare enforcement adjudication takes place at the NFTA Tran- sit Police Headquarters. The Niagara Transit Adjudication Authorized by state legislation, DART is a regional agency Bureau was created in 1984 by New York Public Authorities created when following approval by local vote in 1983. It is Title 11-A - Section 1299-EEE (15). There are 10 sections a transit development entity as well as the operator for bus that define the role of the authority; explain when default and rail services and high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes
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34 in the Dallas area. DART's service area includes Dallas Authority (The T) and links downtown Dallas with down- and 12 suburban jurisdictions. The agency is governed by town Fort Worth with stations in the midcities. Figure 11 a 15-member board of directors appointed by the city coun- shows the DART rail network and the TRE route. cils, eight from the city of Dallas and seven appointed by the suburban cities. The initial LRT start-up was in 1996, and the system has grown incrementally since, with the most recent addition an Off-board PoP is used for fare collection on the regional extension to the Green Line in December 2010. The present commuter rail, Trinity Railway Express (TRE), and all of system totals 72 mi (116 km). More LRT service expansion is DART's LRT lines: Red, Blue, and Green. The TRE is a planned, with additional extensions scheduled to open as early joint operation of DART and the Fort Worth Transportation mid-FY 2012 and to continue over the next 20-plus years. FIGURE 11 DART rail system map.
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35 In 2010, annual ridership on the TRE was 2,469,000, or · Local--covers all local bus and LRT services. approximately 10,900 daily. For DART's LRT lines, annual · System --includes all local services, plus DART ridership was 17.8 million, or 57,800 on an average weekday. express bus services, and TRE train service between However, with the addition of the expanded Green Line ser- downtown Dallas and the DallasFort Worth (DFW) vice, the average weekday ridership for January 2011 rose to regional airport TRE station. 72,700, an increase of 26%. · Regional--includes all DART services and Fort Worth Transportation Authority services (The T), TRE ser- Use of Proof-of-Payment Fare Collection and Evaluation vices, and Denton County Transportation Authority of Barrier Fare Collection System commuter express services. · Reduced --includes reduced-fare programs for dis- As with most modern LRT systems in North America, the abled, seniors (65+), children (514), and other special case for use of PoP fare collection was generally assumed fare programs. to be a complementary feature. The predominant at-grade nature of the system being planned seemingly dictated a PoP experience on DART's rail line indicates that 78% barrier-free system. of its riders primarily rely on day passes. At 14%, single- ride fares make up the second-largest category of fare media However, as with other systems, policymakers expressed used. These are valid for 90 min from the time of purchase an interest in the feasibility of having a barrier system to and cannot be used as a transfer. There are also passes that deal with the real (and perceived) matter of fare evasion. As include monthly, multiple days, employer corporate passes, a result, in 2002 an "LRT Station Fare Barrier Study" was annual passes, college student passes, and vouchers for non- performed for DART (18). profit organizations. The purpose of the study was to determine the possibilities DART uses two types of TVMs: for providing greater control of access to the system through use of a barrier system as a way to increase revenue by reduc- · Type A (shown in Figure 12)--These TVMs dispense ing or eliminating the number of people riding trains without single-ride tickets and day passes (both for all four cat- paying. The analysis assumed turnstiles and fencing would be egories of service) that are valid only on the date of added, plus additional TVMs near station entrances. purchase. The machines accept coins and bills only. · Type B (shown in Figure 13)--These are the newer The analysis found some unique problems associated with TVMs and offer more versatility by allowing use of the physical nature of DART's then-existing LRT system: credit and debit cards. In addition to single-ride tick- ets and day passes, the Type B TVMs allow purchase · Existing stations with adjacent bus drop-off areas typi- of 7-day and 31-day passes (except for reduced-fare cally do not have adequate space for TVMs, a fence, users). These TVMs have contactless smart card read- and pedestrian movement inside the fence. ing devices for possible use in the future. · Generally, there is inadequate space at most stations to provide for a fence and pedestrian movement. Public Information Regarding Proof-of-Payment System · Fencing would be virtually impossible to install at the downtown transit mall stations because of the sidewalk "How to Use a DART Ticket Vending Machine (TVM)" on nature of the stations. the DART website has a prominent paragraph that states, · The trackway cannot be fenced at at-grade stations, Note: Hold on to your ticket or pass and be prepared thus permitting unauthorized access to the platform to show them to a DART Fare Enforcement Officer, around the end of the fencing. DART Police Officer or other uniformed DART or TRE personnel. The cost for installing a barrier fare collection system (not including five stations due to infeasibility) for 59 sta- Step 5 on a DART web page titled "Six Easy Steps to tions (existing and buildout) was estimated to be $46 mil- Riding a DART Train" states, "Hold on to Your Ticket. Fare lion (2002 dollars). Management concluded that the cost was inspectors may inspect your ticket as proof-of-payment." prohibitive and the project was not undertaken. For customers, there are public information signs Fare Media Used and Availability announcing PoP on arrival at the station platform, on the platform, and on the train. An example of a post-mounted DART's fare structure is divided into four categories defined sign is shown in Figure 14. One of the in-vehicle signs is by the quality of its basic services: shown in Figure 15.
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36 FIGURE 14 Post-mounted "Proof-of- Payment Required" sign at entrance to DART platform. FIGURE 15 DART PoP information sign posted in light rail vehicle. Fare Enforcement Function DART maintains its own police department, which includes responsibilities for police services over the TRE, bus, HOV FIGURE 12 DART TVM Type A. lanes, and LRT. Within the DART organizational structure, the chief of police reports directly to the executive vice presi- dent of operations. DART police officers are designated as special-purpose peace officers by state statute to provide police services on the transit system. State Legislation Related to Fare Enforcement and Evasion In 2003, DART was the beneficiary of state legislation that created two statutes related to fare enforcement: One deals with the enforcement of fares, including definition of a fare evasion offense and the associated penalty; the second allows the agency to employ civilian fare enforcement offi- cers with specific prescribed authorities. A summary of the two statutes is provided here: (a) Texas Transportation Code (TTC) Section 452.0611, "Enforcement of Fares and Other Charges; Penalties" (19)--There are seven subsections that deal with the role and authority of an executive com- mittee, the need to post signs alerting passengers to each area where possession of a fare is required, and the definition and various aspects of what constitutes a fare evasion offense. In this section, the offense is classified as a Class C misdemeanor (i.e., least severe) and is not a crime of moral turpitude (i.e., it does not go on the individual's criminal record). (b) Texas Transportation Code Section 452.0612, "Fare FIGURE 13 DART TVM Type B. Enforcement Officers" (20 )--There are six sub-
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37 sections that define the employment of, duties, and Guidelines for Fare Enforcement Officers authorities of a fare enforcement officer. The section also prescribes that the officer must complete a 40-h Upon passage of the state legislation in 2003, DART's chief training course, be uniformed, and not carry a weapon of police developed a general order with its purpose to pro- while performing duties. Further, the fare enforcement vide "guidelines for the fare inspector position" (21). officer is not a peace officer and has no authority to enforce criminal law. In addition to a statement of purpose, the general order has six sections: DART's Fare Enforcement Function 1. Overview --Describes the fare inspectors' responsi- The implementation of the provisions contained in the above bility: to inspect passengers' tickets and/or passes to statutes enabled DART to hire and train civilians specifi- ensure that they are in compliance with DART PoP cally for fare enforcement. Until 2003, the fare inspection requirements. "Fair and impartial inspections will and enforcement had been carried out solely by DART's instill trust, appreciation, and continued use of DART police officers. as a means of safe and reliable transportation." Today, law enforcement of DART's rail services is carried 2. Fare Media--Lists valid fare media. out by police officers (with police powers) and fare enforce- ment officers (FEOs), who are nonsworn personnel with no 3. Procedures --Deals with fare inspection, enforce- police powers. The FEOs were created as a direct result of ment, dealing with passengers with disabilities, TTC Section 452.0612. FEOs are uniformed, as required by service interruptions, counterfeit passes, and other the same code section. crimes and offenses. DART has more than 45 FEOs assigned to support TRE 4. Uniforms and Appearance --Lists what is expected and LRT fare enforcement efforts. Although FEOs are lim- and any items that are prohibited. ited to issuing fare evasion citations, DART police officers are readily available for assistance with disruptive patrons 5. Prohibited Conduct--Identifies the consequences of or issues requiring police intervention. Similarly, the FEOs engaging in prohibited conduct. know that their only function is fare enforcement. The pres- ence of FEOs for fare enforcement allows DART police 6. Court Appearance --States that FEOs have to appear management to reallocate police officers to address other in court in support of a citation that was issued. crimes and "hot spots." DART police deployment of a com- bination of police officers and FEOs on TRE and LRT proves DART Adjudication Process effective in customer service and increased police visibility and passenger sense of security. The 2003 state legislation, in particular TTC Section 452.0611, included provisions that authorized DART to To effectively oversee the rail services, the police depart- handle fare evasions by either an administrative or judicial ment has divided the system into 10 geographic sectors. resolution process. As a result, DART has developed an During daily operations, a team of police officers and FEOs adjudication process that allows an individual who receives is assigned to each sector. DART police officers' response a fare evasion citations two choices: time to situations on the LRT requiring police attention on average is 5 to 7 min. 1. Administrative Resolution--This an administrative procedure managed by DART that permits a person DART police have executed signed memoranda of under- to pay a $75 "administrative fee" within 30 days and standing with each city that DART rail lines and buses avoid a criminal court proceeding. The individual can pass through to delineate DART police officers' duties and pay in person at DART offices, by mail, or by using the responsibilities with regard to traffic enforcement, incidents, DART store (DARTstore.org). However, this adminis- and accidents affecting DART assets and operations. In trative procedure is for fare evasion citations only and addition, the DART chief of police meets with service area not for other violations. Further, persons who choose chiefs of police a minimum of once a year. this option can no longer contest the citation. DART police also maintain a contract with a private secu- 2. Judicial Resolution--In this case, the person proceeds rity firm that provides armed guard services with distinctive through a court procedure and may offer a "not guilty" uniforms at DART transit centers, park-and-ride lots, and plea. If found guilty, the individual is subject to a pen- bus operations facilities. alty fine from $150 to a maximum of $500. In addition,