Everyone knows the saying that “crime doesn’t pay.” In Phoenix, there has recently been an increased police presence near several of METRO’s light rail stations, and it sounds like there will be increased enforcement on cheapskates trying to ride for free. According to a recent report, roughly 1/3 of the people that don’t buy a ticket to ride are being busted for fare evasion.
Remember… “An all-day light-rail pass costs $3.50, while unpaid fare citations can cost anywhere from $50 to $500 with court costs.” – AZ Central
With rumors of September’s ridership numbers being the highest ever, ( actual count should be out soon ) there must be an increasing need to make sure people are paying their way. METRO light rail runs on an honor system, where many riders purchase a pass at a station and then board their train for their ride. Random checks are handled differently by the individual cities along the 20 mile line.
“These cards must be validated or touched to the orange target on vending machines BEFORE EACH AND EVERY RIDE. To ensure proper validation, hold the card flat against the orange pad until you hear a confirmation din…g or "enjoy your ride" appears on screen. Bypassing validation is fare evasion and can result in fines.” – METRO
At just $3.50 for an all day pass, you would think people wouldn’t want to take a chance of not paying for the ride. Yeah, yeah, I know you have probably heard people say how easy it is to ride for free, but the reality is, most don’t. As I have said before, it just isn’t worth the risk or the embarrassment of getting caught.
The weather is bound to start getting nice again and there will be a LOT of stuff going on along the line with thousands of light rail riders each and every day. The smart money says it isn’t worth the gamble of playing fare evasion roulette. Maybe you are not that smart. If that’s the case, good luck. I’ll be the guy laughing as they write you a citation…