Monday, January 12, 2009
1/12/09 Recent story on fare inspection
There is more to the story than you might think.
Last week there was an article in The Oregonian about a customer who was issued a citation for not paying her fare on MAX. The article took issue with one of our supervisors issuing a citation to a customer who had intended to pay her fare, but was unable to because she allegedly could not locate a functioning ticket vending machine.
No doubt we have challenges with our fare equipment, and we are doing a number of things to improve this. I am very aware of the frustration that this has caused the riding public, and also to our employees in the field who have the challenging job of enforcing our fare policies.
What you didn't read in the article was the fact that this was not the first time the customer had been in this situation. The incident that was reported on last week followed two written warnings and a previous citation—all for the same offense.
I think it is important to know that there are at least two sides to any story. The perception was that our employee was overly aggressive in her enforcement of fare policy; the reality is that some people may believe that paying their fare on TriMet vehicles is optional. In this case, neither could be further from the truth.
1/7/09 Thank you for rising to the challenge
I want to thank each and every operator for your tremendous response to the snow and ice challenges of the last few weeks. While there will continue to be debate about whether or not TriMet made the right decisions for our customers, there is no doubt that the men and women who operate and maintain our system on the front line went to heroic efforts to keep the service moving.
This was a forty-year storm. Throughout the series of events, bus and rail operators acted as the face of TriMet, serving record numbers of customers and showing them what it means to be a true professional. Be assured that we are looking very closely at how our response can be improved in the future. I understand that the decision to dramatically reduce bus service on December 22 was painful for operators and your customers, and that you had very little time to prepare. It was not an easy decision to make. With more than 130 buses stuck that morning and our maintenance and bus rescue crews spread across the region, we were facing an even greater breakdown of the bus system. Again, the decision was not made lightly, and there are many lessons learned from the process.
We have received many comments from customers about the efforts of operators. This only confirms what I already know to be true: Regardless of the challenge, our operators are committed to their customers and the important work that they do every single day. You should all be commended.