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69 the city and county of San Francisco (and others) to adjudi- Level 2--Administrative Hearing. This hearing is normally cate fare evasion and other minor transit violations through conducted in person with an adjudication staff, but administrative review rather than through the court system-- a mail review can be requested. If denied at this essentially decriminalizing the fare violations. The purpose level, an appeal may be requested in the Superior of the new law was to improve enforcement of fare evasion Court within 30 days of the decision. and other minor transit violations, allowing SFMTA to treat such infractions like parking tickets. The implementing pro- Level 3--San Francisco Superior Court De Novo Hearing. The visions of the law are contained in San Francisco Traffic Code request for a de novo hearing must be accompanied Sections 7.2 and 7.3 and spell out the local legal basis for deal- with a $25 filing fee (note: "de novo" means the court ing with fare evasion within the city and county: considers the case anew and no deference is given to the hearing officer's decision, although the SFMTA · Section 7.2.101. Fare Evasion Regulations. This sub- Hearing Section's files are received as evidence). The section covers various aspects of fare evasion: the appeal can be done in person or by mail. If the appeal requirement to have PoP, what constitutes a PoP area, is upheld, then the filing fee and penalty are refunded. misuse of fare media, location, and unauthorized use of discount fares. The area of enforcement is defined as Repeat offenders do not face increasing penalties. How- ever, if someone supplies false information to a fare inspec- ...in or about any public transit station (including an outdoor high-level boarding platform or station operated tor, the fine can be up to $500. Also, in some cases, fare by the Bay Area Rapid Transit District), streetcar, cable car, inspectors may issue two citations (e.g., counterfeit passes motor coach, trolley coach or public transit vehicle to evade and misused senior or youth passes). any fare collection system or proof of payment program instituted by the Municipal Transportation Agency. Special Event Operations · Section 7.2.102. Passenger Conduct Regulations. In this subsection, the regulations cover committing SFMTA provides special services for sporting and special various acts while on transit premises, such as playing events, such as the "Bay to Breakers" annual run. For San sound equipment, smoking, willfully disturbing oth- Francisco Giants baseball games at AT&T Park, there are ers, carrying an explosive, and willfully blocking the special ticket sales personnel and queuing barriers are set up movement of others in a facility or on a vehicle. to organize fans on the sidewalk so as not to block the street, · Section 7.2.103. Conversing with Operating Personnel as the stations are in the street median. Prohibited. Conversation with any operator of a transit vehicle, except for the purpose of procuring necessary information, is prohibited. SUMMARY OF CASE STUDY OPERATORS · Section 7.3. Misdemeanors. This subsection indicates that the prohibitions shall be a misdemeanor; however, Evasion and Inspection Aspects the court or issuing officer can have the charge reduced to an infraction. Base ridership, evasion, and enforcement results related to the · Section 7.3.1. Other Fare Evasion and Passenger seven case study operators are compared in Table 38. As dis- Conduct Regulations. This subsection deals with such cussed in this chapter, the operators represent a diverse set of offenses as knowingly providing false identification to operating conditions and a variety of modes. Six of the seven a transit representative when engaged in enforcement, agencies operate an LRT mode, two have BRT modes, and two interfering with a turnstile or fare register, meddling have CR operations. In one case, Phoenix, its agency essen- with any of the transit system's facilities or structures, tially has sole operating responsibility over one LRT route. The and duplicating fare media (42). others have multiple services and multiple modes. For three of the entities (Buffalo, New York City, and Phoenix), PoP is With regard to adjudication procedures, an individual applied on only a small part of the overall regional system. with a fare citation who wants to pay the fine without con- testing it can pay $75 by any of four options: by mail, in per- Five of the operators have fare evasion goals and, except son, by phone, or on the Internet. The person has 21 calendar for the Dallas TRE commuter rail, the fare evasion rates days to pay the fine. If the individual wants to protest the experienced are within the goal. NYCT's goal, at least citation, the process has three levels: initially, is to achieve fare evasion rates below what it had incurred prior to implementation of BRT SBS. Level 1--Administrative Review. A protest must be received within 21 calendar days. If the protest is denied and Three of the agencies set inspection goals for their services: the individual wants to further the protest, he or two were set at 10% (LA Metro and MinneapolisSt. Paul she must request an administrative hearing within Metro Transit LRT), one at 20% (Phoenix METRO), and one 21 calendar days of the denial and pay the $75 fine. at 25% (MinneapolisSt. Paul Metro Transit Northstar CR).
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70 TABLE 38 CASE STUDY OPERATOR FARE EVASION AND INSPECTION STATISTICS Annual Annual Fare Evasion Rate (%) Number of Inspection Rate (%) Ridership Citations + Inspectors Operator Modes (1,000s) Warnings Goal Actual (FTEs) Goal Actual Niagara Frontier Transportation LRT 6,216 4,526 2.00 <2.0 5 None 8.6 Authority (Buffalo) LRT 17,799 2.6 Dallas Area Rapid Transit 36,106 3.75% 48 None n/a CR 2,469 4.3 BRT 7,043 0.8 16.4 Los Angeles County Metropolitan LRT 46,650 84,700 2.005.00 0.8 300 10 20.2 Transportation Authority HRT 47,900 0.8 9.0 Metro Transit (MinneapolisSt. LRT 10,322 0.7 10 8.8 Paul) 4,907 5.00 18 CR 710 0.1 25 30.0 MTANew York City Transit BRT 21,200 12,037 No worse 6.1 42 None 7.0 than before implementa- tion (13.00) METRO Light Rail (Phoenix) LRT 12,600 3,779 None 4.0-6.0 17 20 12.4 Bus 167,333 San Francisco Municipal LRT 42,447 57,000 None 9.0 42 None 0.8 Transportation Agency Streetcar 7,002 n/a = data not available. TABLE 39 CASE STUDY OPERATORS: SUMMARY OF ENFORCEMENT AND ADJUDICATION ASPECTS Fare Enforcement Fine Amounts Personnel for Evasion, Is Fare Evasion Fine Revenue Department/ Entity Adjudication First Offense/ Offense Civil Retained by Responsible for Police Operator Forum Maximum or Criminal? Operator (%) Fare Enforcement Position Title Powers? Niagara Frontier Transportation Niagara $50/$280; Civil; criminal 100% NFTA Rail Opera- Metro fare No Authority (Buffalo) Transit escalates after two or tions and Transit inspectors Adjudication dependent on more unpaid Police Bureau how soon citations paid Dallas Area Rapid Transit DART $75/$500 Civil if paid 100% if paid DART Police Fare enforce- No within 30 days; administratively Department ment officers Class C misde- within initial 30 meanor after 30 days; otherwise, days with a $5 received per court procedure citation Los Angeles County Metropoli- LA Metro Fine schedule Civil if paid 0%* Los Angeles Sheriff's Yes tan Transportation Authority Transit not approved within initial 45 County Sheriff deputies Court* yet* days; after 45 Transit Services days, criminal* Bureau Sheriff's secu- No rity assistants Metro Transit (MinneapolisSt. County court $190/$1,000 Civil if paid; if 0% Metro Transit Metro Transit Yes Paul) defaults, then Police Department patrol officers becomes mis- demeanor; two or more offenses are misdemeanor MTANew York City Transit MTA $100/$100 Civil 100% NYCT Department Special No NYCT Tran- of Security inspectors sit Adjudica- tion Bureau Table 39 continued on p.71
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71 Table 39 continued from p.70 Fare Enforcement Fine Amounts Personnel for Evasion, Is Fare Evasion Fine Revenue Department/ Entity Adjudication First Offense/ Offense Civil Retained by Responsible for Police Operator Forum Maximum or Criminal? Operator (%) Fare Enforcement Position Title Powers? METRO Light Rail (Phoenix) Municipal/ $50/$500 Civil 0% METRO Depart- City of Phoe- No county ment of Safety and nix police courts Security assistants Transit No enforcement aides (private) San Francisco Municipal Trans- SFMTA $75/$75 Civil 100% if paid SFMTA Security Transit fare No portation Agency Customer administratively and Enforcement inspectors Service through the ser- Department Center vice center *The Transit Court is expected to be operational by end of 2011. In comparison to the overall evasion and inspection sta- · All of the operators employ forces specifically desig- tistics displayed in Figures 2 and 3, the case study operators nated for fare enforcement. However, each force has generally were found to have different titled positions for what amounts to similar functions, mainly focused on fare enforcement. · A modestly higher inspection rate, on average 12.4% · Fare enforcement personnel with six of seven of the compared with 11.3%. operators do not possess police powers. · An average fare evasion rate in the same general range, · The first fare evasion offense is treated as a civil or 2.2% compared with 2.7% overall. administrative matter. In four of the cases, the offense becomes a misdemeanor or criminal offense in differ- Enforcement and Adjudication Aspects ing situations (e.g., based on whether the initial fines were paid, how fast they were paid, or how many times As shown in Table 39, four of the seven case study operators the person received a citation). administer their own court, and one operator (LA Metro) will have its own transit court by 2012. One of the inconsistencies was related to the penalty schedule. The fine for the first evasion offense ranges from Although there are some unique differences as to how the $50 for Buffalo to $190 for Metro Transit. The maximum adjudication process works among the seven operators, there amount has an even larger range: $75 to $1,000. are numerous consistencies: