Thursday, August 31, 2006

Some thoughts about commuters using Senior Citizen or Child tickets

This topic came to mind because a friend of mine mentioned that his coworker, an able-bodies 35-40 year old, has no shame whatsoever using a disabled person's or child's ticket on BART!! This coworker of his says he finds that easy to do because station agents don't check or look his way as he enters.

I've seen people around my age with colorful tickets...green, orange, red...etc. For the longest time, I didn't actually take the time to read on the website or booklet what the different colors meant, and assumed that maybe they had discounted tickets because their relatives work at BART. When I finally did one day (read the booklet since I was out of reading material and was desperate for something to entertain myself), I started noticing that people who shouldn't be using a senior or child ticket, are using it. **Some had a disabled ticket, but I don't want to judge whether they are cheating or not just because I can't see an apparent diability**

Personally, I'd be embarrassed and quite ashamed to whip out a discounted ticket that I am not entitled to. I think most people would feel the same way. But there just are passengers who don't give a **** what people think...they walk through the side doors, they use discounted tickets, they park in handicapped spots without a placard (at least they get a ticket for that). Some people would throw away self-respect and dignity for a little discount.

I know it is impossible for station agents to be looking at colors of tickets even if they do decide to look up and around every once in awhile, but I can't help but think if they did look towards the direction of the ticket gates a bit more, would it help lessen the number of people who illegally use discounted tickets or even the number of people who walk through the side doors?

But this is really a problem with self-respect, dignity and upbringing- there will always be people who will defy the rules to get a little something for themselves. Even if BART station agents always paid attention to what is in front of them, these people will find another way to cheat.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Station Agent, talk about being caught between a rock and a hard place. If I see you use a discounted ticket, I have no authority to detain you, I have no authority to take the ticket, it is your property, in fact, I have to give it back to you, if you request I return it.

If I am lucky, A BART cop may be around and we can cite you. If not I can call it in to dispatch, but who is to say, where you get off at?

Many times, I give them the option buy a ticket and I will keep the illegal one or we can have a chat with the police. Depending on the station, that is enough. Such as Walnut Creek, Del Norta, Fruitvale, and many others have substation, so there is a good chance a cop is around.

Sure some Station Agents need to look up more, so lets not let them off the hook totally, but in most cases there is little a Station agent can do, without the authority or an officer to back them.

Anonymous said...

Police enforce those laws, the agents can just let you know of the rules.

I have seen this more often as I have seen less officers in the stations.

bartmusings said...

i am glad there are station agents responding here! it's good to hear different point of views. thanks for this insight. now, if only a bart police can comment here on why we don't see them around much, except walking in between trains the day AFTER a terror alert.

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Anonymous said...

There is one senior center near a Bart Station that is run by the local City that it is located in. You are eligible to join at 55 years old. They will sell you discounted BART tickets if you join their center, which costs $20 per year. If BART only allows seniors of the age of 65 or older to have these tickets, how can this senior center, run by a local city government, be allowed to sell them to members at the age of 55 years?

Chibii Miner said...

What about me,PLEASE DON't attack me but this is the truth. My Grandmother bought me a red ticket without knowing that it is not for me, but I need to use it because I don't have money to catch bart and get to school otherwise, what should I do???