A coalition of groups concerned about Port Authority’s plan to use armed police officers for fare enforcement is turning up the heat against the policy.
The coalition began gathering signatures on petitions at light-rail stations Wednesday and posted a petition online to collect more signatures. In addition, there will be a public meeting at 6 p.m. June 15 at 1 Smithfield St., Downtown, for people to air concerns about the policy.
“We are responding to concerns from residents,” said Gabriel McMorland, incoming director of the Thomas Merton Center. The coalition also includes Pittsburghers for Public Transit, Casa San Jose and the Alliance for Police Accountability.
The groups say they fear the system could result in racial profiling, a criminal record for not paying a $2.50 fare and problems including possible deportation for undocumented immigrants. They want nonpayment of fares handled as a civil matter enforced by unarmed fare compliance officers, with unpaid citations turned over to a collection agency.