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Rail News: Passenger Rail
Caltrain slashes fines for fare evasions
Caltrain late last week began testing a new fare enforcement policy that calls for issuing administrative citations to fare evaders instead of criminal citations that require court visits.
The policy also slashes fines and speeds up the overall process, Caltrain officials said in a press release. Previously, fines were set at $250 plus court administrative fees, but the new ordinance reduces the fines to a $75 administrative penalty for a first offense.
In the past, the railroad has used a proof-of-payment/honor-based system, with conductors responsible for daily fare inspections. The policy was time intensive and prevented conductors from making as many checks as possible.
In addition, some fare evaders responded aggressively toward conductors during the 10- to 15-minute citation process, which could result in trains being stopped.
The new administrative citations are expected to reduce man-hours and free up conductors to check more tickets. The new policy also has the potential to generate more revenue, Caltrain officials said.
"The new ordinance will create a standardized 'zero-tolerance' approach, and greater enforcement will allow Caltrain to recoup money that is being lost due to fare evasion, and ensure that responsible riders don’t shoulder the burden for those unwilling to pay," they added.
Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.