End Metrolink fare enforcement during the coronavirus crisis

End Metrolink fare enforcement during the coronavirus crisis

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Transit Rider Empowerment Project started this petition to CEO of Bi-State Development Taulby Roach

The coronavirus crisis is set to fundamentally impact every area of our lives, including public transportation. We’re still early in this crisis, but Metro transit has already seen changes. Ridership has plummeted, some bus lines have been discontinued due to driver shortages, and Metro has moved to using a weekend schedule on weekdays. But many St. Louisans, including essential workers, seniors, and disabled people still rely on our transit system every day.

To help reduce transmission between riders and operators, Metro is taking extra measures, including deep cleans of their vehicles, temperature checks for vehicle operators, requiring that passengers not ride near operators, providing operators with gloves, and allowing operators to wear their own personal protective equipment during duty.

Additionally, Metro has already ended fares on Metrobus and Call-A-Ride and asks all bus passengers to board using the back doors of the bus if they don’t require a ramp. However, Metro has been very clear that they are continuing fare enforcement on Metrolink, writing on their website: "Fare enforcement will continue on MetroLink, and all MetroLink passengers need to have a valid fare in their possession when riding the light rail system."

We are still learning about coronavirus, but the CDC’s guidelines say that it is spread more easily when people “are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).” Fare enforcement officers walking the length of multiple vehicles, several times a hour, and interacting with every passenger in those cars is a clear danger to public safety on Metro. This choice by Bi-State leadership undermines all of Metro’s other worthy efforts to combat the spread of coronavirus

Other transit systems in other cities (e.g. Seattle, Madison, Des Moines) have moved to a fare-free system during this crisis, and we should be doing the same. Bi-State confirmed mid-March that they were considering ending fare enforcement, but seem to have ultimately decided against it, with fare enforcement being key to Metro's safety plan.

Why does ensuring that those riding Metrolink continue to pay a $2 fare constitute safety on transit, but preventing the spread of disease aboard our system does not?

We are calling on Bi-State Development to end fare enforcement (and fares generally) for the duration of the crisis. Please add your name!

0 have signed. Let’s get to 500!
At 500 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!