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45 · A Superior Court proceeding --If the individual region's Metropolitan Planning Organization. Metro Tran- chooses to not use the administrative remedy available sit is the largest provider of fixed-route transit service in the by either not paying the penalty for the citation or failing MinneapolisSt. Paul region. It directly operates Metro Tran- to request an administrative review within 45 days, then sit Bus and Metro Transit Rail, with 78 million rides in 2010. the citation will be forwarded to the Superior Court. In addition, Metropolitan Transportation Services (MTS) A Transit Court would be developed consistent with the is a division of the Metropolitan Council responsible for provisions of Section 640 (c) and (e), which state the defini- transportation planning and for providing contract opera- tion and various aspects of what constitutes a fare evasion tions of a portion of the regional transit system. Suburban offense and enforcement aspects. The ordinance for impos- transit authorities also provide regular-route transit service, ing and enforcing the administrative penalty is governed by totaling about 10% of all regional rides. All providers use a Chapter 8 (commencing with Section 99580) of Part 11 of common fare structure and fare media. Division 10 of the Public Utilities Code and shall not apply to minors. (The entire Penal Code statute and the Sections Of interest in this case study are two services on which 99580 through 99582 of the California Public Utilities Code PoP fare collection is employed: the Hiawatha LRT line and are contained in Appendix D.) the Northstar CR service. Based on the enabling provisions of this law, LA Metro The 12.3-mi (19.7-km) Hiawatha Line offers light-rail scheduled board action in early 2011 to consider creation of service to 19 stations between downtown Minneapolis a Transit Adjudication Bureau (Transit Court) by the end of and the Mall of America. The route map of the Hiawatha 2011. The staff report indicated the following: Line is shown in Figure 22. Dozens of bus routes are timed to connect with trains at Hiawatha Line stations. Reve- The purpose of the Transit Court is to have a program that benefits its customers by providing a more direct, simpler nue service was initiated in 2004. Major activity centers process for resolving citations issued for transit related served include downtown Minneapolis, the airport, the violations, while also benefiting Metro by combining the Metrodome (home to Minnesota's professional football introduction of the Transit Court with the implementation team), Target Field (home to Minnesota's professional of the updated Customer Code of Conduct. The Transit Court will also benefit the Los Angeles County Courts by baseball team), and Mall of America, a tourist destination reducing the number of cases that are currently required with more than 40 million visitors each year. Annual rid- to be adjudicated in the Superior Courts. (26 ) ership was 10,322,000 in 2010, with 35,000 riders on an average weekday. Key milestones related to the implementation of the Tran- sit Court include The Northstar Commuter Rail Line offers service between Big Lake, northwest of Minneapolis, and down- · Adopt a bail schedule, town Minneapolis, stopping at six stations in six cities over · Issue a request for proposals for citation processing its 40 mi (64 km) of service. Figure 23 displays the Northstar services, Line system map. · Create the hearing examiner pool, · Create public outreach and communication plan for Northstar CR was opened in November 2009. Major Metro's customers, and activity centers served include downtown Minneapolis and · Train staff. Target Field. The Hiawatha Line and Northstar Line have termini at Target Field in downtown Minneapolis. The ter- Presently the staff is in the process of building the Transit minals are on separate levels, with Northstar arriving below Court infrastructure, which includes the Hiawatha Line. Passengers ascend to the stadium and Hiawatha Line level. Annual ridership was 710,400 in 2010. · Requesting proposals for vendor citation processing, · Scheduling the remodel of the Transit Court location, Basis for Decision to Use Proof-of-Payment Fare · Coordinating citation issuance and processing with the Collection sheriff's department, and · Developing a complementary community service program. As was typical for modern LRT projects in North Amer- ica, the decision to use barrier-free PoP was a consensus by Metro Transit's executives and governing board based on MINNEAPOLISST. PAUL, MINNESOTA--METRO factors in the industry at the time of planning. During the TRANSIT Hiawatha project development process, TCRP Report 80 became available and was relied on to a certain extent for Metro Transit is an operating division of the Metropoli- guidance. No independent analysis of PoP fare collection tan Council, which also serves as the MinneapolisSt. Paul was undertaken.
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46 FIGURE 22 Metro Transit Hiawatha LRT line map.
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47 FIGURE 23 Metro Transit Northstar Commuter Rail route map. Fare Media Used and Availability The Metro Transit fare structure includes a wide variety of fare media used on the Hiawatha LRT and Northstar ser- vices. These include magnetic-stripe tickets and Go-To smart cards, which can be used as stored-value cards, and various passes (e.g., 31 days, college, and corporate). Pricing of bus and light-rail single-ride fare media (see Figure 24 for an example) is dependent on time of day, FIGURE 24 Metro Transit single-ride ticket. except for downtown zones, which are $0.50 at all times. Children younger than 5 years of age and service-related media, including day passes, event passes, and Northstar disabled vets ride free at all times. There are other fare roundtrip family passes.
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48 Off-Board Fare Purchase Required Before boarding the LRT or a CR train, the rider must pur- chase a fare using one of the above-listed fare media. All rail station platforms are defined as "paid-fare zones," and are reserved for those who are purchasing tickets or for ticketed customers who are waiting for or getting off trains. Cash or a credit card can be used to buy a magnetic-stripe ticket from the TVM on the station platform or a Go-To Card, or a pass must be validated at a card reader on the platform. Language options on the TVMs include English, Spanish, Hmong, and FIGURE 26 Metro Transit Rider tapping Somali, both in text and audio. The faceplate of a TVM is Go-To Card prior to boarding. shown in Figure 25. Fare Collection System Details All in One Place Metro Transit publishes a 21-page booklet for service pro- viders and users called "Guidelines and Procedures for Fare Collection System" (27 ). The booklet contains all of the details associated with Metro Transit's fare collection sys- tem. Below is an outline of the contents: · Regional fare structure --Lists fares for regional ser- vices and definitions of the numerous terms associated with the structure (e.g., rush/nonrush hours, youth, seniors, and persons with disabilities). The different fare collection equipment is also described, including FIGURE 25 Metro Transit TVM. farebox, ticket reading and issuing machine (TRiM), TVM, and rail and bus card readers. The "Smart" Go-To Cards · Fare media restrictions --Explains eligible uses and restrictions for the Go-To Card and the various passes Go-To Cards are the most commonly used fare payment that are available for using transit in the region. medium, owing to speed and convenience of use. Go-To · Transfers --Lists numerous conditions affecting the Cards are "smart cards" that hold multiday passes, stored use of transfers (e.g., they expire 2.5 h after issuance). value, or both, and are valid on bus, light rail, and Northstar. Transfers offer a convenience to riders but can be a They can be recharged (or reloaded) with additional value, challenge to control. or can be loaded with a pass good for a specified number of · Go-To Card fare payment types --Explains the use days (i.e., 7-day pass, 31-day pass), and are made of durable and pricing of the Go-To Card, along with conditions plastic to facilitate long-term use. They can be protected affecting group travel. against theft and loss if registered with Metro Transit. · General Go-To Card guidelines --Describes mainte- nance and registration of the Go-To Cards. The "smart" portion of the card is exemplified by how it · Refunds and exchanges --Covers how to deal with lost, is used for seniors, customers with disabilities, and students; damaged, or disabled Go-To Cards. the cards are specially programmed so the reader will auto- · Go-To Card terms and conditions--An appendix spell- matically deduct the correct fare in effect at that time. The ing out various legal conditions. cards also permit one individual to pay for multiple riders with the one card. Public Information Regarding Proof-of-Payment System Go-To Cards can be ordered online or by mail, and are On the Metro Transit website one can click on the YouTube also available at Metro Transit stores and Go-To Card retail icon and get connected with "mymetrotransit," a series of outlets. Value can be added at Metro Transit Stores, Go-To instructional videos. Each video is about 2 min long, and Card retail outlets, online, by phone, or at ticket machines. those that relate to the fare collection function include Go-To Card readers allow users to check card balances. "About Metro Transit," "How to Ride Light Rail," "How Card balances may also be checked remotely via phone or to Ride the Northstar Line," "About Go-To Cards," "Ticket website. Metro Transit Go-To Card readers are shown in Machines," "Types of Fares," "Transfers," "Paying for Your Figures 25 (on the TVM face) and 26 (a stand-alone Go-To Fare," "Paying for a Group," "Day and Event Passes," and Card reader). "Customers with Disabilities."
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49 There are various messages to alert the riding public to On Northstar, both police officers and conductors inspect for PoP fare collection being in effect on Metro Transit's rail fare payment. However, only the officers can issue a fare lines. There are warnings that Metro Transit police officers evasion citation. Conductors can ask passengers to pay at will randomly ask to see proof of fare payment on trains and the destination station or may ask them to disembark at the stations. These warnings also are posted on the Metro Tran- next station. The latter is rarely used because of the relatively sit website and in its videos. In addition, each LRT and CR long intervals between train arrivals. The conductors will platform is considered a "paid zone." As a person approaches also take the name of any fare evader and then share it with the platform, signs call attention to the need for PoP. Metro Transit police to track repeat offenders. Fare Enforcement Function Typically, a citation will not be issued if riders with a Go-To Card Pass (vs. stored value) do not tap in. Inspec- Metro Transit has an 87-person police department headed tors will walk them off the train to tap their card. All by a chief of police who reports to the Metro Transit general warnings are to be recorded with the rider's name. Metro manager. Fare inspection on the rail services is carried out Transit would like to increase the number of passengers by 18 FTE transit patrol officers who make up about 37% of who tap in. the total number of FTE assigned patrol duties. These transit patrol officers have police and arrest powers and are comple- Independent Program Evaluation and Audits mented by use of part-time officers from local communities. Assisting Metro Transit, the regional Metropolitan Coun- When Metro Transit decided to have a policing function, it cil provides an independent audit function. In March 2008 started by using off-duty municipal police officers. Off-duty and in October 2010, the council performed separate "pro- officers worked full time for a municipality, so scheduling of gram evaluation and audits" for light rail and commuter rail, "off-duty" hours became a problem because municipal priori- respectively. ties came first. This was further accentuated with heightened municipal scheduling following the terrorist attacks of 9/11. The 2008 report was devoted to the Hiawatha Light Rail line and the 2010 report concerned Northstar Commuter Rail In 2002, Metro Transit created its own police force, and (29, 30 ). The purpose of the two audits was generally the today all of Metro Transit's law enforcement function is same: an evaluation of fare compliance issues. The specific managed within its police department. purposes of the 2008 Hiawatha Line audit were to determine how much enforcement occurs (i.e., inspection rate) and the Related to fare enforcement duties, Metro Transit has actual rate of fare compliance. The purposes of the 2010 developed a clear statement of an SOP titled "Fare Enforce- Northstar Audit were to verify the accuracy of the ridership ment," which notes the following: counts and assess the fare compliance. Metro Transit Officers will be the primary point of contact with all passengers. As such, the highest The outline of the 2008 audit report for the Hiawatha Line standards of professional demeanor will be expected of offers a good idea of the process that was used and its man- them. In terms of public acceptance and enforcement agement and policy function: of the proof-of-payment system, the fare inspectors are essential to the success of the system. The philosophy for fare inspection will be high visibility, with pleasant yet · Introduction --Background, purpose, scope, method- firm enforcement. This philosophy dictates that Metro ology, assurances. Transit Police Officers apply interpersonal relationship · Observations --Fare inspection, fare compliance, fare skills and law enforcement authority to gain acceptance media, handheld devices, Go-To Card data. of and compliance with the proof-of-payment system. (28 ) · Conclusions. · Recommendations --Each recommendation is catego- Usually two-person teams work Northstar in 8-h shifts, rized by one of the following: "essential, significant, and two-person teams on the Hiawatha LRT work three considerations, verbal recommendation." shifts during the day beginning at 6:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., · Appendixes --Statistical methods, train fare media. and 6:00 p.m. Saturation inspections are also regularly scheduled, at which time a police team inspects all patrons Fare Compliance at a selected station, those on the platform as well as those deboarding trains. Hiawatha Line --For the Hiawatha light-rail line, Metro Tran- sit has set a "compliance goal" of 95%; in the first 5 months Fare Compliance and Inspection of 2011 operations exceeded the goal, with an average 99.3% fare compliance. Whereas most agencies report on the num- Transit police officers carry handheld verification devices bers of evaders, or fare evasion, Metro's use of the term "com- (also referred to as MPVs) to verify payment by Go-To Cards. pliance" provides a positive slant to describing evasion.
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50 Although the 2008 audit is somewhat dated, its findings dations to management; they are repeated here mainly as are pertinent. The auditors found that the compliance rate for examples. Some recommendations from the audits are out- the Hiawatha Line was somewhat lower than that reported of-date and others have been acted on. The recommenda- by Metro Transit police at the time (99% in 2007), ranging tions were as follows: between 89.0% and 93.5%, depending on how one classi- fies riders with untagged monthly passes. Patrons using a Hiawatha (2008) pass fare product (College Pass, UPASS, Metro Pass, etc.) but not validating (i.e., not tapping their Go-To Card to the 1. (Significant) The council should add identifying reader/verification device prior to boarding) are currently information to U-Passes and College Passes, includ- considered valid as these passes are still a "prepaid fare" as ing the name of the valid cardholder and possibly a the current statute is interpreted, although not in compliance picture. with agency policy for use of that type of media. The audit observed a relatively high number of Go-To Card users not 2. (Significant) The council should include handheld validating their cards before boarding the train. inspection terminals (HITs) machine maintenance in future supplier contracts. Northstar Commuter Rail--For the Northstar service, the compliance rate for January and February 2011 aver- 3. (Significant) Use of a transfer with stored-value cards aged 99.9%. The 2010 audit found a modestly lower compli- on light rail needs to be enforced more strictly. ance rate of 98%. The audit considered only Go-To Cards, which are considered to have higher compliance rates than 4. (Consideration) The council should consider cam- the other fare media. However, the audit found that the com- paigns or incentives to encourage passengers to tag pliance rate was lower on weekends, about 93%. Two sub- their Go-To Cards prior to boarding light rail. sequent weekend 100% saturation inspections found 100% compliance during those weekends. Northstar (2010) Fare Inspection 1. (Consideration) Program the TVMs to require the purchaser of group fares, such as family passes, to Hiawatha Line--Metro Transit has set a goal of inspecting 10% input the number of riders using the group fare. of LRT customers. In 2007, the reported rate by Metro Police was 10.9%. For the JanuaryMay 2011 period, the Hiawatha 2. (Consideration) Signage on board the trains should Line inspection rate averaged 8.8%. However, relative to the inform passengers of the fare structure and fines. 2011 figures, Metro reports that the inspection rate increased significantly April through December related to increased Adjudication Process enforcement associated with baseball and football events. Minnesota Statute Section 609.855, "Crimes Involving Tran- The inspection rate determined in the 2008 audit was found sit," identifies fare evasion as a misdemeanor and describes the to be somewhat lower than 10%, too. However, the audit sam- various aspects of what constitutes a fare evasion offense (31). pling method did not include the "directed" enforcement patrols, when attention is devoted to high-risk stations and to Administrative arbitrators hear the initial appearance in special events when fare evasion may be known to be higher. fare evasion cases when an individual appears on a misde- meanor citation. These "hearing officers" have the authority Northstar Commuter Rail--Metro's goal for Northstar is to to levy a fine if the individual admits responsibility. Alter- inspect at least 25% of the passengers. For the JanuaryMay natively, the hearing officers can dismiss the ticket if they 2011 period, Northstar recorded an inspection rate of 30.0%. determine circumstances warrant such action. If the case cannot be settled in this manner, then it goes to court and the The Metropolitan Council Audit confirmed a similar person can enter a plea of not guilty and request a trial. Cita- rate, finding that 30% of Go-To Card users were inspected tions are $180 for first- and second-time offenders. Penalties on Northstar, 25% by police officers and 5% by conductors. can reach up to $1,000. Court costs add $11. If the case goes On weekends, the inspection rate was found to be lower, to court for resolution, then any revenue received is kept by about 14% combined. the court. 2008 and 2010 Audit Recommendations During the early years of PoP enforcement, Metro Tran- sit was concerned that the courts were being too lenient The two audits provide management and policymakers with with fare evaders, in general. Management learned that the useful independent confirmation of the fare compliance for courts became more serious about upholding fines after the LRT and CR services. The audits provide recommen- they took a few rides with Metro Transit staff. Even so,