PORTLAND, Ore. – TriMet officials announced sweeping new security and fare enforcement measures Monday for Portland’s MAX light rail system.
Fighting, attacks on other riders, fare evasion and reports of criminal activity on the trains have prompted the security measures, which include more Portland Police officers riding the trains and stepped up enforcement of fare collection.
TriMet announced that 11 additional Portland police officers will be stationed on the trains, bringing the total to 58 officers riding the rails.
Additionally, several stations will get security upgrades, including new lighting and security cameras.
TriMet also said that fares would not be increased to pay for the upgraded security.
The installation of security cameras on several platforms is being paid for with a $1.1 million grant. Once installation is completed, about 75 percent of MAX stations will have video monitoring.
It is the latest in a line of security bumps for TriMet's MAX line following several high-profile incidents and complaints from riders.
MAX rider Jamie Gangle told KATU she has seen people beaten up, drug deals go down and drug use while she has ridden on the transit system.
Gangle also said she was offered drugs while on the train. She said that she felt just having video cameras on the trains was not stopping the illegal activities.
With the rise in gas prices, MAX ridership is at record levels. However, several violent episodes have taken some of the shine off the system that is routinely described as one of the best in the nation.
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