Friday, December 10, 2010

Metro Cop's Misplaced Rage?

Given the frequency with which fare gates break down or bus fare machines are broken, the reaction seems a little excessive. What do you think? Metro Transit Police seem to shrug at harassment, a far more serious crime.

From K:
I am writing to report an extremely offensive encounter I had the other morning with one of the Metro Transit Police.

I was entering the turnstile at Greenbelt station. The first turnstile I tried was broken, so I used the one next to it, and I noticed the LED display was broken, yet the gate still worked.

My boyfriend entered after me, and we hurried to catch the train on the platform.

All of a sudden, we heard the policeman on duty repeatedly shouting, "Hey! Feel like paying your fare today?"

We turned and realized he was speaking to us.

Apparently, the gate didn't scan my boyfriend's SmartTrip card (which he couldn't have known, again, because the LED display on the gate was off).

Whether it read his card correctly or not I don't know, but if it didn't, he obviously would have had to pay once he tried to leave the system at his destination. I see that happening to people every day, and it's no big deal. The Metro employee just scans their card when they try to leave.

However, this policeman proceeded to yell at us and accuse us of stealing from the Metro system. He also lectured us like we were kids and held onto our SmarTrip cards, so we had to listen to his rant. He added that if he ever caught us doing that again he'd give us a $50 fine.


Yesterday I watched two teenagers literally squeezing themselves through a closed Metro turnstile, right in front of a Metro employee who did nothing to stop them, and this policeman yelled at us for 5 minutes when we did nothing wrong?

Is this part of some new system to crack down on people who hurry through the turnstile?

If so, at least make sure the LED displays on the gates are functioning properly.

I am really offended by this.

I pay the Metro system almost $14 a day.

If someone ever speaks to us like that again, like we're some kind of criminals, Metro will lose us as riders.

Get your transit police under control and have them start enforcing actual crimes that take place in the stations.
Other items:
What to do if you're harassed on Metro (WUSA9)
70% of Metrobuses off schedule (WaPo)
Metro legal fees hit $1.3 million in union fight (Examiner)
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