Controversial TriMet Budget Passes
5/30/2017, 5:15 p.m.
After a dramatic and emotional meeting, the TriMet Board of Directors last Wednesday unanimously passed a new budget for the public transit agency that includes $9 million toward the construction a new transit police precinct in northeast Portland.
TriMet officials objected when earlier public testimony called the proposal a “transit jail,” saying it will only replace two holding rooms that already exist in a policing office located at the Smart Park garage in Old Town.
TriMet Board Chair Bruce Warner responded to the public concerns, grounded by reports that show members of minority communities are overrepresented in the criminal justice system when it comes to transit fare enforcements and other policing actions.
Warner said TriMet is working with local district attorneys to reduce criminal prosecutions on public transportation and TriMet has introduced a bill which takes fare evasion cases out of the courts and through an administrative process.