Wednesday, July 14, 2010

What Was That?

Your Driver sits in his seat behind the wheel and you either put your cash fare into the farebox, or you show him your passes and transfers.

As your Driver, I'm responsible for checking each and every pass and transfer.
Passes are pretty easy, pretty plain to see.
Transfers are a bit more involved.

Both have their abusers.

I've had people flash me their driver's licenses and credit cards, King Sooper's shopper's cards - etc and just walk to the back.
If the line to get on the bus isn't very long, I'll ask them for the correct fare.
If it's moderate, I'll simply remind them as they bolt to the back.
If it's packed, I'm usually focusing on the next passenger.

But don't think they've gotten away with it.
We have cameras which record everybody entering the bus.
I hit a little button on my radio that records when a passenger doesn't pay.

Enough times and officers start walking the route.
These guys give tickets, and just the other day, three undercover officers physically dragged a guy who tried to run after getting caught not paying, dragged him off the ride and cuffed him.

So yes, you think I don't realize that is a King Sooper's card and not an Eco pass...
Or that that Student ID has no current RTD sticker on it.
I know, and I record it - I have to cover my butt so RTD doesn't think I'm giving away free rides.

And transfers...
I've seen some very creative tricks in my first year.
While I'm impressed with the creativity, I still react the same as I listed above for passes.
You're still stealing from the rest of the passengers and I have to record it when you don't pay.
I've seen the fingers over directions, over dates, the half fold over, the quick flash.
Or worse, folks grab light rail tickets from the ground and try to use those.
That may work if you're at a light rail station but when you're getting on the bus out at CenterPoint in Aurora...yeah, not so much!

As I get more comfortable and put in more time, I'm starting to pay much more attention to the fares.
I notice and I'm starting to tell people no.
I hate saying no to a customer/passenger but if you're trying to steal, trying to break the law, trying to board without paying...
It's my job to say,
"Sorry Sir/Ma'am, but I'm not authorized to give away free rides. The fare is $X.XX. If you chose to ride without paying that fare, you ride at your own risk."
More and more you really are putting yourself at risk as I've seen enforcement getting more serious and intense.

So slow down, have your fare and passes ready, don't hold up the line but don't try to pull a fast one.
I see what you're doing.
If you try flashing a fake form of payment, you are going to hear me say,
"What was that, your Colorado ID? Do you have a pass or fare, Sir?"

As always, "Welcome aboard, find your seats - Let's Roll!"

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