Monday, August 27, 2007

THE LATEST SCAM

I got really irritated today after about the 5th or 6th time this scam was run on me today. Seems people think nothing of teaching their children to lie, cheat and steal. They even make them DO it!

I've been driving the 11 lately. This scam seems quite common on this line.

I was driving up 4th avenue and saw a lady with a baby in a stroller and a couple older kids waiting for a bus to come in the opposite direction. Then one of the kids ran across the street and stood on the corner for me to pick him up. He got on and put in his 50 cent kid fare and asked for a transfer. I knew what was up, as I've seen it numerous times just today. I asked him if he was staying on the bus. A look of guilt and panic washed over his face as he lied and said "yes". He got off on the next corner, pretending to see a friend of his. I watched as he ran back down the street to give the transfer to his mom. No doubt she was going to use it for herself and not pay for any of the kids. I called the control center as I had had enough of this particular scam for one day. They were going to notify the bus heading in the thieves direction and also notify the transit police of this latest scam.

Earlier, on the other side of town, I had a kid get on and put in the 50 cents and ask for a transfer. She jumped off the bus as soon as I handed it to her. She gave it to a lady who then got on the bus and tried to tell me the last 50 cents on her stored value card was for the kid with her and she was going to use the transfer. I explained that the transfer said "reduced" on it, meaning that was a kid fare and she'd have to pay a full fare for herself. The "kid" she wanted to use the other card for looked about 15-16 years old. She 'fessed up and told me the little kid that just got off gave her the transfer and I told her that was illegal. She got off the bus.

I had a teenager today also try to ask me for a transfer on the way off the bus. I told him he paid with one so if he wanted one from me he'd have to pay another fare. He claimed he paid with a token. I told him I hadn't been paid with a token the entire trip. He seemed surprised I busted him and just got off the bus.

I think it's time to do like Chicago did...do away with transfers. One set price per ride. Make it $1 per ride....no mobility or senior/kid fares, everyone pays the same thing. With gas at $3 per gallon, it is still a heck of a good deal. If they wanted to use stored value cards, sell them with a free ride or two per card. It would cut out a lot of fraud.

It would also stop people from using their kids as pawns to commit crime (fare evasion) for them. That, in itself, is priceless.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I drive transit in a rural area and we can't afford fancy fareboxes - just the old drop it in type. There is someone who is dropping in rolled up/torn in half bills. So I gotta ask everybody to show their money before dropping it in.

9:09 PM  
Blogger Jeanne Ree said...

Bummer. If your schedule is anything like ours, you really don't have time for that. Hopefully, they can find the person doing it.

I've never seen a farebox like that. Does it count the money or is that considered your job?

Good luck on finding that loser.
Thanks for your comment! :)

11:47 AM  
Anonymous Red said...

This idea is from the "darkages".
The MTC ridership would drop more than 50% and many operators like you would be made redundant in short order.

Riders of the World Unite !

Cheers,

Red

7:53 AM  
Blogger Jeanne Ree said...

Ridership is growing constantly. With fuel prices the way they are and that causing everything else to cost more...some people rely on public transportation to help balance their budget.

We set a goal of over 70 million rides this year and are far ahead of it already. That is in part due to the bridge collapse, the gas prices and the addition of convenient park and ride lots for commuters.

I feel secure that public transportation (and my job) is a very needed and supported part of the American lifestyle that will only get stronger and better in the future.

1:24 PM  

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