Spin Viddy

adventures in biking and commuting…

Tri-Met Violence: Perception or Reality?

There was a stabbing at the platform of the Quatama MAX and it may have been gang related or simply a random act of violence.  This is not the first serious incident to occur along the MAX line and not the last.  As a weekly MAX commuter I am always asking myself, where is the security and where is the fare enforcement? MAX light rail runs throughout the metro area and crosses several jurisdictions in addition to the transit police, yet long periods of time pass during which I do not see a single fare inspector or law enforcement officer.  On almost a daily basis, whether it be in the morning or afternoon commute, I come across random individuals that no normal person wants to meet under the best of circumstances.  Just two days ago when I was riding into Hillsboro from the Elmonica stop I was treated to the sight of a young man who quite obviously had just been beaten up who got on at the Willow Creek stop.  Regularly I am treated to bands of tweakers, homeless and generally sketchy individuals who openly scoff at the poor fools who pay the fare to ride MAX.  They know the odds are in their favor that they can ride free of charge and not have to worry about running into a fare inspector because they are never around.

I have seen girls and older people harassed by individuals both on the train and at the platforms because once again, there is no enforcement, no security and no reason for anyone to fear any reprisals.  At the Hawthorn Farm stop you can still see the vandalism that took place recently.  Several of the plexiglass panels were shattered, for no apparent reason and because there was no fear of being caught.  I have been at Elmonica early in the morning and seen kids rattling the fare machines or jamming objects into the card readers.  In the month of April I only saw a single sheriff’s car make a pass through the parking lot.

Sure, I have never been the victim of harassment or violence but I am exposed to it on a regular basis.  I’m not saying the public transportation is to blame, and I am 100% behind using public transportation be it the train or busses but facts are facts and Tri-Met is failing horribly when it comes to fare enforcement and security.  Is law enforcement that busy that they cannot see that more needs to be done when it comes to making it’s presence known on and around the MAX line?  Will it come to the point in which MAX becomes too dangerous to ride?  Will it take a murder to occur?

I’d like to think that someone involved with Tri-Met has a plan to deal with these problems before it continues to escalate and become more commonplace.


May 14, 2009 - Posted by | Local News | , , ,

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