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Police acting as fare inspectors on Interstate Max ?

Today I rode the interstate max north from downtown, a couple of cops got on downtown and after the Rose Quarter, they began checking fares. One was a Portland cop and one was a Milwaukie cop. Is this routine ? I thought Tri-met had its own cops?
A funny note: Right after the cops got on two young and very giggly tourists asked for a picture with them, the cops cheerfully obliged. Afterwards, the Portland cop said "it will probably end up on ebay or whatever that website is called". I can't help but think he meant indymedia . .
trimet 03.Jun.2004 20:02


they are trimet cops. trimet contracts for their police services from many police agencies

Maybe 03.Jun.2004 20:33


But maybe he actually thinks there are people who'd want to buy his photo.

Yes, cops on the max isn't unusual 03.Jun.2004 21:08

downtown brown

A few months ago I was pulled off the MAX by a city cop for not having a fare. I was taking Paxil at the time as an anti-depressant and had dialated eyes. Apparently a lot of illegal drugs have pupil dialation at a side effect too. At first he tried to goad me into admitting that I had smoked marijuana. But I was calm and patient enough to stand my ground. Eventually he let me go without any warning or citation or anything, but a Tri-Met worker watched over me as I bought a MAX ticket.

I guess the theory is like Guiliani's tactics in New York City... that some of the people they bust for minor "crimes" are going to be the ones more likely to have committed greater "crimes", like the "crime" of smoking a harmless weed. And since Tri-Met officers probably don't have any real police power, the big guns are called in.

yeah i know. 03.Jun.2004 22:09

i get ebay and indymedia mixed up all the


gung ho! 03.Jun.2004 23:07


Yep. The cops are so gung ho, I saw them even ask a driver, who was in uniform & finishing his shift, for his ticket. The Yellow Line is a cool ride. I hope the cops don't ruin it.

It's hit or miss 04.Jun.2004 09:02

Teddy Ruxpin (the lousy typist)

I have kind of seen it go both ways with the tr-met guys. I have run into them on the blue line out around the gateway area and they seemed pretty cool (verbal warnings, letting people get off and buy tickets, a few lectures about fees and such).

The month after that, two Tri-Met cops stole bikes that were chained to a downtown bike rack, claiming they were interfering with pedestrian traffic. Not sure if the folks that lost their bikes ever got them back either. There was no train or bus nearby, Tri-Met had no operations that were nearby at the time and this is a very wide sidewalk. I walk it every other day or so, and you could have walked three abreast without bumping into bikes.

My worry is that the interstate line runs through the black part of town. If the Tri-Met cops are going to misbehave and act like asses, I think this is the line they will do it on. Those cameras they have mounted on the trains need to be randomy screened by some of the police accountability groups just to be sure.

Camera screening 04.Jun.2004 11:44


You know, that might not be a bad idea. Those are public cameras and probably considered open records. I bet if some group got the funding and a lawyer they could force the city to let them review random tapes.

Most interstate tri-met cops are pretty cool 04.Jun.2004 12:59


Most of the tri-met cops on the yellow line have been exceptionally cool. A lot of them seem to know the kids that ride every day to school, and show a good rapport with other riders - and I see the same cops there every day.

I can only hope that this is the future of policing that Tom Potter might bring (back) to Portland.

tri met Max stings 04.Jun.2004 13:38

andrea pdx

Over the last several months, I have seen regular fare check offensives. I have seen both Tri Met transit police and Portland Police Bureau and Multnomah County Sherrif personel engaging in fare checks, citing passengers and occasionally doing searches.

One of the stops you see this happening is at the PGE Park stop. When an fare offensive is happening you will see several Portland Police cars and Tri Met security cars parked at the stop.

The Police and the TriMet Security folks wait at the Beaverton outbound platform and ask people as they come off the MAX for proof of payment.

Frankly I find this kind of massing of forces to be intimidating and contributing to a police state sort of mentality.

Often the folks being cited are homeless, young people and men of color.

Wrong 04.Jun.2004 16:15


Wrong. The people you see being ticketed are people who should have known better then to cheat the system. I've seen plenty of yuppie-looking white people get ticketed too. A crook is a crook no matter what the color of skin.

Help Make the World You Want 05.Jun.2004 22:12


Private internal combustion engine vehicle sales should pay for a fareless transit system.

When the urban/extra urban transit system is used by all of the traveling public, not using fuelless modes of transportaton (e.g. bicycle) to go places that the transit system doesn't go within the metro area, it will be affordable by everyone.

From each according to ability--to each according to need.

Clarification 06.Jun.2004 11:29


"When the urban/extra urban transit system is used by all of the traveling public", EXCEPT THOSE "using fuelless modes of transportaton (e.g. bicycle) to go places that the transit system doesn't go within the metro area, it will be affordable by everyone."