Newly proposed changes to TriMet Code would toughen long-term exclusions up to a lifetime ban

Published: Oct. 26, 2022 at 10:56 PM PDT
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PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) - TriMet said it’s continuing a larger effort to make the transit system safer by addressing nuisance issues to improve the customer experience.

The newest proposal would authorize imposing stiffer penalties for prohibited conduct on the transit system. TriMet said this amendment, if approved, will strengthen their ability to keep riders and employees safe. And wanted to make clear the proposal is focused on addressing behavior-based conduct, and not penalties for fare evasion. People we spoke with said, it’s welcomed news.

Many people take TriMet every day and said it makes their lives easier.

“We have to commute for work, I use the bus, he uses the MAX,” Elise Lesage, a TriMet rider, said. “I think the buses are super reliable compared to some of the other cities I’ve lived in.”

But like any system, TriMet isn’t without its challenges.

“Take it every day and over the past couple of years, it’s been really different. There’s incidents every day,” Daniel Howard, a TriMet rider, said.

“I’ve seen public nudity a couple of times, which is pretty intense,” Lesage said.

TriMet said there’s an ongoing effort to make the transit system safer for both employees and riders. Earlier this year, the TriMet board approved a change to the code that increased penalties for spitting on operators. And in recent months, TriMet said they’ve doubled the number of customer safety supervisors. Riders said they’re noticing the changes.

“I think it’s improving now. It was like people would be afraid to ride on Trimet,” a TriMet rider said.

Now, TriMet is hoping to boost safety even further with a new proposal. Trimet said this amendment to TriMet Code would toughen long-term exclusions, up to a lifetime ban, address chronic offenders, remove distinctions between first and second offenses, and increase penalties.

People said they’re glad to hear this is in the works.

“As someone who uses Trimet to commute to work, when I get off of work, I’m really not trying to deal with somebody trying to me feel unsafe and I’ll feel safer going out at night,” Lesage said. “The bus drivers are all super professional and friendly. They’re doing a great job.”

TriMet just held the first reading of the proposed amendment in front of the board. There will be a second reading of Ordinance 369, which must happen no sooner than 30 days after the first reading. TriMet said that’s planned at the board’s December 14 meeting, and the board will vote immediately after.