Citations up 13 times compared to last year
TriMet fare inspectors wrote 1,622 citations for fare evasion last month, 13 times as many as April 2011.
Inspectors also wrote 768 exclusions last month, an increase from 566 in April 2011.
The increase is the late result of a shift to fare enforcement instead of warning in July 2011.
According to TriMet, riders caught without a valid fare had an 82 percent chance of receiving a citation or exclusion last month compared to a 41 percent chance in April 2011.
Riders without a valid fare face a $175 citation or an exclusion of up to 90 days.
When TriMet moved to a stronger stance on fare enforcement, six new supervisors were hired, bringing the fare enforcement team to an equivalent of 18 full-time fare enforcers. The dedicated fare enforcement team is augmented by all other field supervisors spending an hour a day checking fares.
The number of citations and exclusions has actually been decreasing in recent months. In February of this year, inspectors wrote 1697 citations and 776 exclusions.