Cover Image

Not for Sale



View/Hide Left Panel
Click for next page ( 72


The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement



Below are the first 10 and last 10 pages of uncorrected machine-read text (when available) of this chapter, followed by the top 30 algorithmically extracted key phrases from the chapter as a whole.
Intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text on the opening pages of each chapter. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

Do not use for reproduction, copying, pasting, or reading; exclusively for search engines.

OCR for page 71
61 various aspects of what constitutes a fare evasion offense Special Event Operations (civil), and authority to give citations. METRO's LRT line provides service to Chase Field (major Although there is no formal training program, METRO league baseball) and US Airways Center (indoor home to management has updated its directives to the fare enforce- professional basketball and other special events). With ment supervisors to place more emphasis on customer regard to the latter, admission tickets sold for events held in engagement as opposed to issuing citations. This new US Airways Center can be used as valid light rail fare on the emphasis does not alter the main objective--to maintain as day of the event for 4 h prior to the start of the event through close to 100% fare compliance as practical--but redirects the end of the transit day. The center pays a fixed amount for the officer's approach to "Engage, Educate, and Enforce," every attendee at the event. Based on automatic passenger tagged as the "3 Es." Thus, the inspection rate has not been counters, METRO estimates that 12% to 15% of the gate altered with this revised approach and remains targeted at uses LRT for access to the events. about 20%. In addition, special procedures used to handle crowds at Fare Compliance and Inspection sporting events at the two venues include temporary queuing barriers (shown in Figure 39) and positioning fare inspectors The fare inspection rates vary on the two geographic sectors at the station entries to inspect for fare payment before an of the LRT line. The TempeMesa officers averaged 14.9% individual enters the station. For special event ingress, ser- in 2010; for the Phoenix police assistants, the rate was 10.9% geants position two police officers and four police assistants in 2010. METRO's average inspection rate for the entire line on two stations to perform fare inspection. Special event works out to 12.4%. During this period, METRO reports egress has crush load inspections at which passengers hold that the fare evasion rate was about 1.0%, with little varia- up their fare media before boarding the train instead of being tion between the Phoenix and East Valley sectors. In 2010, checked individually with HHVs. METRO issued 3,779 citations and 11,743 warnings, which equates to a rate of 0.32 citations for every warning issued. Changes Under Way or Under Consideration In October 2010, handheld verification devices (called Although no significant changes are being considered for handheld verifiers, or HHVs, by METRO) were acquired the PoP operation, some smaller projects are under way. and distributed to fare enforcement personnel; an example For example, METRO is working with its TVM supplier to is shown in Figure 38. The technology in the new verifica- obtain screens that are more readable in bright sunlight. tion devices allows magnetic-stripe fare media and plati- num passes to be electronically inspected to ensure fare An effort is under way by management to review the payment. Subsequent to the October 2010 introduction of functions of fare collection within METRO. Similar to HHVs, higher evasion rates, averaging about 5%, have been other transit organizations, there are overlapping objectives observed. Management believes that this increase in the eva- among various functions within METRO: sion rate resulted from noncompliant rides not being identi- fied in the handwritten logs that were previously used. Revenue production--Finance Department, Speed and productivity of the system--Operations Penalties and Fines Department, Customer service--Public Relations Department, The penalty schedule ranges from $50 to $500. There is Communication and marketing of the service (e.g., no automatic increase in the financial penalty on a second print media)--Marketing Department, offense; however, repeat offenders can be excluded from Security--money processing and fare media control. using the system, and the offense can graduate to a misde- meanor. Those receiving a citation can either remit payment or show up at court. METRO does not receive any revenue SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA--SAN FRANCISCO from the fines paid by fare evaders. In the city of Phoenix, MUNICIPAL TRANSPORTATION AGENCY (SFMTA, MUNI) if someone defaults on a citation, it goes to collections and the state can recover payment by garnishing the individual's In November 1999, San Francisco voters passed a proposi- tax refund check. tion that amended the City Charter and called for the creation of SFMTA through consolidation of the city's Municipal There is a concern on management's part that the penalty Railway and its Department of Parking and Traffic on July schedule for a first offense is too low in comparison with the 1, 2002. Although SFMTA has been in existence nearly 10 $55 cost of a monthly pass. It is felt that the comparatively years, the city's transit system is still often referred to locally low penalty of $50 does not provide significant incentive to as "Muni," short for "Municipal Railway." SFMTA oper- encourage fare payment. ates the entire surface transportation network, encompass-

OCR for page 71
62 FIGURE 39 METRO Light Rail special event fare inspection using temporary queuing barriers. ing pedestrians, bicycling, transit, traffic, and parking, and service, SFMTA converted from what was a standard fare is also responsible for regulating the taxi industry. SFMTA collection system on a rail system dating back to the early also connects with other regional transit systems, includ- 20th century to a PoP system. This conversion took place ing Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), Caltrain, AC Transit, incrementally beginning in 1993, with off-board fare pay- Golden Gate Transit, and SamTrans. In 1973, the city and ment being available at several light rail stations. At the time, county of San Francisco adopted a "Transit First" policy; PoP was not extended to its light rail lines but gradually was the formation of SFMTA was, in large measure, an effort expanded to include all light rail lines, and now includes the to improve the coordination of transportation and parking. entire system of motor and trolley buses (approximately 65 lines). However, it is a modified form of PoP, with front-door Annual ridership on the various Muni services for its boarding required on most buses. most recent fiscal year (FY 2010) was as follows: Within Muni and for the transit-riding public, there was Electric Trolley Coach 67.0 million total no substantive controversy with regard to moving toward passengers PoP. In the operating ranks, it was generally accepted, Motor Coach 91.6 million especially by the bus drivers who, as a group, did not resist Light Rail (LRT, also locally diminishing their fare collection responsibility. referred to as "Muni Metro") 42.5 million Historic streetcars 7.0 million Complicating the PoP fare collection for SFMTA has Cable cars 8.0 million been the transition to the Clipper smart card system. In 2010, SFMTA introduced smart card-compatible Muni Metro fare- This annual total of 216 million equates to about 700,000 gates and began the conversion of paper passes to the Clip- transit trips on an average weekday--one of the highest tran- per Card. Clipper Cards allow stored value as well as passes sit utilization rates in the United States. The Muni Metro (e.g., a month), and can be used on other regional services LRT network is shown in Figure 40. such as BART, AC Transit in the East Bay, Caltrain pen- insula commuter rail, and Golden Gate Transit services to Basis for Decision to Use Proof-of-Payment Fare Collection Marin and Sonoma counties. By June 2011, nearly all paper monthly passes had transitioned to the Clipper Card. The Unlike the other transit properties surveyed in this synthe- Clipper Card is sold in a plastic form (currently free, but will sis, all of which started PoP at the same time they initiated cost $5 by 2012) and as a paper "limited use" ticket with an

OCR for page 71
63 FIGURE 40 SFMTA Muni Metro system map. embedded chip (these are free). These fare media are sold at vending machines located at the eight Muni Metro light rail underground stations. In both cases, the card can be reloaded with increased value. Customers can reuse the "limited use" ticket for a 90-day period. One of the potential operational benefits of going to PoP for the entire system was the possibility of officially allow- ing rear-door boarding on some of the bus routes for Clipper Card holders. From an operational view, there are two sides to the use of rear doors for boarding: The positive side is that PoP can greatly help reduce boarding times at bus stops and thus increase the speed of some of the Muni's busiest routes. Riders with a valid Clipper Card (or other form of PoP) would be allowed to use the rear doors, and they would be required to tag their card on a stanchion-mounted verification device (these devices are already operational on all doors of Muni's buses). An example of such a device is shown in Figure 41. However, countering the positive effect on bus speed, rear-door boarding could pose additional challenges with regard to fare compliance. Over the years, a culture of rear- door boarding has developed, particularly at busy stops. SFMTA has reported that approximately half of the people boarding through the rear doors do not have valid PoP. Fig- ure 42 provides an example of the illegal boarding taking place on one of SFMTA's buses. SFMTA is aware of this evasion issue and has posted signs on all rear doors of buses at eye level: "STOP, ENTER THROUGH FRONT DOOR ONLY." In addition, SFMTA has implemented enforcement FIGURE 41 Rear-door stanchion-mounted verification device initiatives to control the problem. on SFMTA bus for tagging Clipper Cards.

OCR for page 71
64 FIGURE 42 Illegal rear-door boarding on SFMTA bus. Fare Media Because Muni's entire transit network uses a PoP fare col- lection system, all patrons must have some form of proof In 2009, SFMTA conducted a comprehensive survey to of having paid a fare. Muni has 41 off-board ticket TVMs, determine fare payment patterns throughout the system. all located at the Muni Metro subway stations. Thus, the SFMTA updated this initial study with a smaller follow- absence of off-board TVMs at surface stops (i.e., bus, street- up survey in 2010, which indicated that Muni riders use car, and light rail) requires all riders paying for a single ride monthly passes (47%) as their primary fare media. Adult on the surface bus and rail lines to board at the front door, "A" passes available on the Clipper Card allow use on Muni pay a fare, and request a transfer/fare receipt, even if the and BART, but within San Francisco only. Adult "M" and rider does not intend to transfer to another route. In its public reduced-fare passes available on the Clipper Card are valid information, SFMTA notes that "it is not just a transfer, it is only on Muni. also a fare receipt." The 2010 survey also found that approximately 33% of When entering a light rail subway station, the faregates are customers paid cash and received either a paper transfer/fare activated by tagging with the Clipper Card. Passengers with receipt from the operator as PoP (on buses and at light rail a paper transfer/fare receipt must pass by the station agent, surface stops) or a "limited use" ticket with an embedded who will release the faregate on visual inspection of the PoP. chip from a vending machine (at a Muni Metro subway sta- tion). During the survey, 6% of customers used the Clipper Public Information Regarding Proof-of-Payment System Card as either stored valued or a pass, but this number has risen substantially as the Clipper Card has replaced paper Because PoP is a fundamental part of the Muni system, there passes. As of mid-2011, SFMTA was registering approxi- are numerous audio and visual reminders on Muni buses, the mately 300,000 Clipper "tags" on an average weekday. SFMTA website, and in public information materials. For Other fare media include visitor passports, ticket books, city example, the web page on "POP in brief" includes a mes- passes, and regional discounted tickets with other transit sage at the top of the page that "Proof of Payment is required providers. The survey found that approximately 9% of cus- throughout the Muni system. Make sure you have your pass, tomers do not possess valid PoP. payment card or transfer good for 90 minutes."

OCR for page 71
65 SFMTA's website also includes "detailed information Fare Enforcement Function about Proof of Payment" with a list of 13 questions: In the initial years of PoP, the enforcement function was car- When do you need Proof of Payment? ried out by the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) as Do I need a transfer if I'm not going to transfer? part of normal policing duties. How can POP speed up your Metro ride and everyone else's? In 1999, 6 years after the initial limited introduction of What constitutes Proof of Payment? PoP, the SFMTA Board of Directors decided to transfer What does not constitute Proof of Payment? the fare inspection and enforcement function to the transit How and when do you get your Proof of Payment? organization. The first step in this transition was hiring a How do you board a Muni vehicle on the street or at an Muni manager of the PoP function who initially visited outside Muni station, excluding West Portal Station? several LRT properties and met with fare enforcement How do you enter a Muni subway station that is con- managers to craft a plan based on the experiences of these trolled by faregates? other operators. What if you lose your Proof of Payment? What if your Proof of Payment expires during your trip? In 2000, following a 6-week class, Muni's first class How is POP policy enforced? of 21 fare inspectors graduated. There have been mod- What are the penalties for not having Proof of Payment? est organizational changes since then, and currently What do you do if you receive a Muni transit violation? fare enforcement is part of the SFMTA's Security and Enforcement Division. Transit fare inspectors are primar- Public information signs are located at entrances to all ily responsible for fare enforcement. There are currently subway and LRT surface stations, as exemplified by the sign 42 filled full-time positions, plus five supervisors, in in Figure 43. SFMTA's FY 2011 budget. The inspectors are uniformed and have a shield displayed. They are trained to be POST- certified (Police Officers Standards and Training is a stan- dard curriculum for police officers) but do not possess police powers and are not armed. The job description for the position is as follows: Under general supervision, performs a variety of duties related to the enforcement of fare policies of the Municipal Railway (MUNI) Proof of Payment Program, and to the enforcement of other applicable civil and administrative codes, and MUNI regulations and policies. (38 ) The transition from city police officers to transit fare inspectors occurred smoothly. With in-house staff, there is now a more focused approach to curbing fare evasion and a training commitment toward more customer assistance using what Muni management refers to as a "soft" approach to fare compliance. An example management cited was hav- ing the inspectors sometimes assist people to pay by escort- ing them to TVMs without issuing citations. Muni buses carry some of the heaviest crowds in the country; on average, Muni buses board nearly 70 passengers per hour systemwide, with boardings exceeding 100 passen- gers per hour on some routes. Under these conditions, the staff uses several inspection techniques: Position inspectors at doors and inspect entering passengers, Proceed through the vehicle as the crowd thins out, and "Pretend" to board the vehicle and then question exit- ing passengers. FIGURE 43 SFMTA PoP sign at Muni Metro surface station entrance.

OCR for page 71
66 Management Audit of SFMTA Proof-of-Payment 5. Fare Inspection Safety --eight recommendations Program: 20082009 related to enhancing the value of incident reports and revising SOPs to better ensure the safety and security In 2008, a management audit of SFMTA's PoP program was of fare inspectors. initiated by the city and county of San Francisco's budget analyst at the direction of the Board of Supervisors. The 6. Muni Response Team and Station Agents --five purpose of the audit was to evaluate the program's effec- recommendations related to services, staffing, tiveness and efficiency. The scope was comprehensive and and training of the SFPD Muni Response Team, included the program's "planning and evaluation; staffing Metro station agents, and SFMTA fare inspec- and deployment; internal controls related to citations; pas- tors "to ensure appropriate and timely law enforce senger service reports, and staff incident reports; and other ment practices." issues related to fare enforcement." 7. Fare Evasion Fine Structure --six recommendations The 105-page audit report also included a 29-page let- related to enhancing the penalties to create greater ter with 59 specific recommendations (39). SFMTA's reply disincentive for fare evasion. was 25 pages and included a point-by-point response to each recommendation. Although it is not appropriate in this study 8. Citation Processing and Collection --eight recom- to comment on the recommendations, the nature of the audit mendations related to seeking legislative changes and is instructive because it reflects an outside review (in this increasing the reliability of citation data. case by an internal audit function) of PoP enforcement and administrative details normally reserved for those actively 9. PoP on Buses --seven recommendations related to engaged in managing the PoP function. expanding PoP to the Muni bus fleet. The 59 recommendations were divided into nine catego- In response to the 59 recommendations, SFMTA man- ries, and each was assigned a priority: agement prepared a detailed matrix indicating whether they were in agreement with each recommendation and any Priority 1--immediate implementation. action being taken in response to the recommendation. One of SFMTA's significant actions was to conduct a compre- Priority 2--achieve significant progress by December 31, hensive fare compliance study. This survey and analysis are 2009 (i.e., within 7 months). discussed below. Priority 3--longer term implementation to have a sched- Fare Compliance and Inspection: 2009 Study ule for completion by June 30, 2010 (i.e., within 13 months) or be included as part of the next annual budget. Fare evasion on Muni's services has received prominent public attention. Evasion, especially rear-door boarding, The nine categories were as follows: is evident to anyone using many of Muni's services. Plus, as noted above, the inspection rate is rather low com- 1. PoP Performance Management--seven recommen- pared with other systems. In 2009, the local newspaper dations that broadly related to PoP program perfor- conducted an in-house study and over a 4-day period mance (e.g., developing performance objectives, "boarded 16 different bus and light rail lines without calculating and communicating inspection and fare exhibiting a monthly pass or transfer. On 27 of those rides, evasion rates on a monthly basis, and determining reporters weren't asked to show proof of payment" (40 ). performance measures and standards). During that same period in 2009, SFMTA conducted its own analysis of fare evasion using a carefully controlled 2. PoP Staffing Needs --five recommendations related sampling process covering 1,141 vehicle runs. The pur- to achieving appropriate staffing levels and evaluat- pose was to learn as much as possible about fare evasion, ing inspector productivity. specifically, the amount and when and where rates tended to be higher (41). 3. Transit Fare Inspector Deployment--eight recom- mendations related to improving inspector produc- The survey found the observed overall systemwide fare tivity, maximizing the number of inspections, and evasion rate to be 9.5%, with an estimated statistical margin bolstering the 100% sweeps. of error of 0.3%. On a disaggregated basis, SFMTA found the differences by mode and route, time of day, day of week, 4. Complaints and Complaint Handling--five recommen- amount of inspection, and loads aboard the transit vehicles dations related to handling passenger service reports. shown below:

OCR for page 71
67 Rate Margin of Error 7%--Age-ineligible adults with a discount senior or youth pass; Mode 2%--Disabled users without proper card or without valid sticker on their card; 4.5% to 19.9% for top 1%--Counterfeit passes or transfers; 10 bus routes 0.8% to 2.7% 14%--Individuals with other invalid PoP; for exam- 12.0% historic streetcar 1.6% ple, unvalidated youth ticket (4%), wrong month's pass 2.4% to 5.6% light rail (2%), observed underpays (2%), other unvalidated (except T Line) 0.8% to 1.6% ticket (2%), other (4%). 15.2% T Line light rail 2.7% Fare Compliance and Inspection: 2011 Time of Day, Day of Week Examination of weekly counts performed by inspection staff 6.2% weekday (morning peak) 0.5% during January 2011 reflected an inspection rate of 0.75%. 9.5% to 9.8% weekday (midday) 0.7% This rate is significantly lower than for all other North 10.3% weekday (afternoon peak) 0.6% American transit properties surveyed. However, the size and 14.5% weekday (evening) 1.3% complexity of the San Francisco system accounts for the dif- 12.3% weekend 1.3% ference--a 10% inspection rate, for instance, would mean approximately 70,000 inspections each day, 12.5 times what Level of Enforcement is being carried out today. 4.7% heavy (light rail system) 0.5% Based on January 2011 data, inspection staff found cor- 10.5% light (buses and historic responding fare evasion rates (i.e., citations plus warnings) streetcars) 0.3% of 4.3% on Muni Metro station platforms, 3.2% on buses, and 5.1% at light rail surface stops, for an overall average Vehicle Occupancy of 3.9%. These figures vary significantly from the approxi- mately 9% systemwide rate found in the comprehensive 9.2% less than 50% seated loads 0.8% internal 2009 audit and 2010 update. The variance is due to 9.3% to 9.5% 50% to 125% of a different sampling methodology: Whereas the 2009 audit seated loads 0.5% and 2010 update covered the entire Muni service area and 10.5% more than 125% of seated collected representative samples based on route ridership, loads 0.9% time of day, day of week, and stop location, the January 2011 audits were based on data collected from specific inspector Based on these disaggregated data, the following gen- assignments. These assignments were concentrated at cer- eral conclusions can be reached concerning Muni's fare tain stops, routes, and times of day, and thus do not constitute evasion rate: a representative system sample but do reflect the conditions in which the inspectors were performing their duties. It is more related to geographic location of the service than to the mode. Introduction of New Clipper Card It increases over the course of the day, and is more than double in the evening compared with the morning Introduction of the Clipper Card has brought with it the peak hours. normal complications associated with this technology. For It decreases with a greater level of enforcement. stored-value users, a key concern is that nothing is printed Higher passenger loads do not significantly contribute on the card or limited use ticket to indicate when a single- to an increased fare evasion rate. ride purchase has expired. A cash fare purchase entitles the user to unlimited rides within a 90-min period; after 90 The survey also investigated the types of invalid PoP; of min, customers technically could be cited if they are still those comprising the 9.5% evasion rate, the breakdown is riding a vehicle and are unaware that their time has expired. as follows: On the other hand, misuse of the monthly paper passes, including use of discounted senior and youth passes by 50% --No transfer or fare receipt (comprises 41% age-ineligible adults and counterfeiting, is being curtailed actually observed with no transfer or fare receipt and as the Clipper Card phases out paper passes in 2011. Senior 9% who were presumed not to have any because they and youth Clipper Card customers are required to submit walked away and departed vehicle); documentation to receive special Clipper Cards that entitle 26%--Invalid transfer or fare receipt; them to a discount.

OCR for page 71
68 To aid customers using the new Clipper Card, SFMTA "write" the updated stored value information on the indi- has published several public information brochures that have vidual's card, thereby automatically updating it. been widely distributed among stations and in their informa- tion offices (two are shown in Figure 44). The transition from visual to electronic inspection has also affected fare inspector productivity. Fare inspectors Some people have attempted to avoid paying a fare by must now approach customers and tag their cards with their not "tagging" the card when entering a Muni vehicle. They reader. Particularly on crowded vehicles, this process takes may have some stored value on the card, but not "tagging" longer than asking people to hold up their PoP and perform- prevents Muni from collecting the appropriate fare. ing a visual check. Smart card technology also is limited by the inability of Fare Enforcement Policy Changes Being Considered Clipper Card readers on vehicles to communicate wirelessly in real time with card databases. If customers add value Based on the 2009 in-depth analysis of fare evasion, a num- online to their cards, the new value cannot be updated auto- ber of management practices have been, or are being, imple- matically on the card or the card readers on vehicles. The mented by Muni: vehicles must enter the storage yard to be updated wirelessly, resulting in up to a 72-h lag before updated account balances Increasing the focus of inspection to buses and historic are accurately reflected when a customer tags a card reader. streetcars --From the beginning of Muni's PoP pro- Therefore, customers may not be able to use their cards after gram, the light rail lines received the bulk of attention. loading value online for up to 3 days. Hardwired faregates This focus carried over when the modified PoP went and TVMs at Muni Metro and BART stations do not have into effect to include the buses and historic streetcars. that issue. They are updated on a real-time basis and will Recent efforts have been geared toward increasing fare enforcement on buses and historic streetcars. Increasing fare inspection on routes and at times expe- riencing greater fare evasion rates --The 2009 study identified locations where fare evasion issues are sub- stantial, and these areas are scheduled for inspection more frequently than in the past. Initiating "enhanced fare enforcement" at bus stops-- During enhanced fare enforcement, up to six inspec- tors check on-board and alighting customers while the vehicle waits at the stop. This technique focuses on major stops but is conducted throughout the system on a random basis so that passengers can expect enforce- ment at any time throughout system. Contemplating a program to "officially" allow rear- door boarding on certain routes --There are four bus corridors with a combined weekday ridership of 150,000. The productivity gains with rear-door board- ing would be expected to bring major cost efficiencies. Implementing a multilingual outreach program to dis- courage fare evasion --SFMTA has placed public advertisement displays with an attention-grabbing graphic and a message in three languages (English, Spanish, and Chinese): "When it comes to fare eva- sion, we've seen every trick in the book." In addition, to aid inspection productivity, Muni has acquired handheld verification devices to allow inspectors to verify the payment status on Clipper Cards. Self-Administered Adjudication Process Discussed in the LA Metro case study was a California state FIGURE 44 SFMTA brochures regarding how to use the law that took effect in 2007, referred to as California Penal Clipper Card. Code 640 (included in Appendix C). This statute authorized