PPT has serious concerns about fare enforcement policy

Port Authority released their fare enforcement policy:

Here is the coalition’s earlier request to meet with the Port Authority about the policy, including our specific requests. We think a policy with such significant impact on riders should be influenced by the public.

May 9th 2017

Dear Ellen McLean and Jeff Letwin,

We understand that the Port Authority has decided to delay implementation of the proof of payment policy on the T, but this step is not sufficient. Our coalition is asking the agency to halt the implementation of the policy until it has gone through a legitimate public process. A policy with such significant ramifications should be influenced by public input. We expect the policy to include the following:

  • The de-criminalization of fare evasion
    • Unpaid citations will not lead to criminal charges or jail time. Instead, a debt collector will be contacted
  • The fare inspectors will not be armed police officers
  • A model that encourages ridership rather than punishes fare evaders
  • Extensive, annual training for fare inspectors and Port Authority police that includes
    • Cultural responsiveness
    • Preventing racial profiling
    • De-escalation
    • Interacting with people with mental health challenges and disabilities

The policy will explicitly state:

  • The constitutional rights of all immigrants will be upheld.
  • Port Authority police will not inquire about anyone’s immigration status
  • The names and information of individuals who are cited will never be shared publicly or with Immigration and Customs Enforcement
  • Port Authority police will not grant any ICE requests to detain individuals without a judicial warrant
    • If an individual’s name is run through the system, Port Authority police will not comply with ICE requests to hold an individual
    • If an individual’s name is run through the system and comes up as having an ICE warrant (rather than a judicial warrant), Port Authority police will not hold the individual for ICE

*holding an individual based on ICE’s request without a judicial warrant is unconstitutional

  • Internal and external accountability measures must be in place for all fare inspectors and Port Authority police
  • Port Authority police policies should be open and available on their website
  • Police need to track data and share an annual report to the public (number of stops, reason person was stopped, location, race and age of person stopped, if stop equated with arrest or conviction)
  • Port Authority police should not use dogs to attack people
  • More inclusiveness and diversity in the Port Authority police’s hiring and promoting practices

We would like to meet and discuss these concerns and requests with you in the next 2 weeks and look forward to hearing from you.


Chandana Cherukupalli, Molly Nichols, DéPree Hopkins, chandana@pittsburghforpublictransit.org, 718-309-0853, Pittsburghers for Public Transit

Christina Castillo, Gabriel McMorland, Christina@thomasmertoncenter.org, Thomas Merton Center

Monica Ruiz, Jeimy Sanchez Ruiz, ruizcsj@gmail.com, Casa San Jose

Brandi Fisher, Brandifisher33@gmail.com, Alliance for Police Accountability


Chief Executive of Allegheny County Rich Fitzgerald

Port Authority Director of Operations Bill Miller

Port Authority Communications Officer Jim Ritchie

Port Authority Police Chief Matt Porter

Port Authority board member Jennifer Liptak