MINNEAPOLIS — If you take public transit in the Twin Cities, make sure to have your tickets ready. Starting Monday, Metro Transit is cracking down on riders who don't pay their fares.
Officers will be asking riders on blue and green bus lines and light rail trains for proof of payment. A first-time violation will cost you $35 and ensuing violations will go up from there. After a fourth violation, riders will get a $100 fine and a 120-day ban from buses and trains.
There are new announcements that are airing over the speakers and on the informational screens now, reminding riders of the change. WCCO's Pauleen Le also notes seeing plenty of officers out on the platforms enforcing the citations.
"It's about time. They really need to stop doing this honor system," Nathan Malone, of Minneapolis, said.
Riders have mixed feelings about it. Some say they still question whether it will change anything.
"It's not going to improve anything," St. Paul's Chad Noble said. "Another way of getting more money, but it's not going to change anything."
There are about a dozen community service officers working on enforcement throughout Metro Transit light rail and bus systems.
Metro Transit says the change is in part to help crack down on drug activity and crime happening on the train and buses, something.
"This is one prong in a multi-pronged approach but we do think it will be a positive step," Metro Transit General Manager Lesley Kandaras said.
The citations do not show up on criminal backgrounds and can be appealed.
Metro Transit has several programs to reduce fare costs.
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