Rail Agency Looks to Fine Rude Conduct

January 8, 2010

Transit agencies across the country are raising fares to cope with budget shortfalls; here in D.C., the Metro is considering moving up a ten cent fare increase from July to March, and in Austin, Texas, they’re raising fares on lines that don’t even exist yet. The San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission, which runs the “ACE” commuter trains from Stockton and Tracy to Silicon Valley, may have hit upon another revenue-generating idea:

The San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission, which runs the Altamont Commuter Express trains, may start issuing fines of $25 for first-time offenders, $50 for a second violation of that same law within a year and $100 for each one after that.

Tom Shepherd, the commission’s attorney, said the organization has received many complaints from passengers about rudeness and misbehavior on the trains, and he felt the fines would help to alleviate that problem.[…]

If the fines are OK’d by the commission at its 8 a.m. meeting on Friday in Stockton, someone who places their bag in a seat on a full train can get a ticket.[…]

The code of conduct, also on Friday’s agenda, would protect against gambling on the trains, placing feet on the seats, blocking aisles and panhandling in trains and stations, among many others.

No word yet on what the board decided to do. I bet the DC Metro could turn a profit if they started handing out fines to rush hour door-blockers and seat-hoggers.


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