TriMet Sets Hearings on Fareless Square Hour Limits

From the TriMet web site. I hope to have more info from TriMet later on Friday.

Fareless Square
Taking action on security
Public Hearing Locations

Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Liberty Center Auditorium
650 NE Holladay St, Portland
11 a.m.-1 p.m.
Plan your trip to the Liberty Center Auditorium

Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Portland Building Auditorium
1120 SW 5th Ave, Portland
5-7 p.m.
Plan your trip to the Portland Building Auditorium

To request an interpreter for the hearing impaired or other accommodations for persons with disabilities, call TriMet at
503-962-2455 or TTY 503-238-5811 (7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. weekdays) at least 48 hours prior to the hearing.

Background
Fareless Square was created in 1975 to address several policy objectives, primarily aimed at meeting federal Clean Air Act requirements. The policy objectives included reducing auto-generated carbon monoxide pollution, encouraging transit use and making travel within downtown easier for commerce, retail and recreational purposes. Thirty-two years later, the City of Portland no longer has a carbon monoxide pollution problem in downtown and TriMet’s ridership has greatly expanded.

TriMet’s fareless zone is the only one of its kind in the country. Seattle has a much smaller fareless zone and for security reasons has hours limited to 6 a.m.-7 p.m.

Proposal to enhance security
In response to recent security concerns TriMet’s General Manager has outlined a new security plan as part of a multi-faceted strategy to improve safety and security at night throughout the transit system. An important element of this plan includes limiting Fareless Square zone hours to
7 a.m.-7 p.m.

Much of the disruptive and threatening behavior that is witnessed on MAX occurs at night between downtown and the Lloyd District. The proposal is specifically targeted at passenger safety in the downtown core, and to substantially reduce the type of undesirable behavior that impacts the safety of our system.

Process
TriMet’s General Manager Fred Hansen will propose to the TriMet Board of Directors (Board) at its January 23, 2008 meeting that they consider for a first reading, an ordinance to limit Fareless Square zone hours of free rides to 7 a.m.-7 p.m. A second reading and vote by the Board on adoption of the ordinance is scheduled for a Board meeting February 27, 2008.
Hearings/Public Comments

Public comments will be received at both January 16, 2008 public hearings. Public comments may also be submitted by 5 p.m. Thursday, February 21, 2008 by the following:

Mail: TriMet-MK2, 4012 SE 17th Ave, Portland, OR 97202
Email: comments@trimet.org
Phone: 503-962-5806
Fax: 503-962-6469
TTY: 503-238-5811, 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. weekdays

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