What you need to know about citations
Providing a welcoming and safe experience on transit is our highest priority. And we know from listening to our riders and staff that having a strong, official presence on transit is one of the best things we can do to achieve that goal.
That’s why we’re advancing plans to put more people in more places, including personnel whose responsibilities will include inspecting fares, issuing citations to people who haven’t paid, and providing other assistance to riders.
As a first step, Community Service Officers (CSOs) began asking riders for their fares and issuing non-criminal citations in December 2023. Transit Rider Investment Program (TRIP) Agents will begin assuming responsibility for fare inspections and other customer service duties in February 2024.
What do Community Service Officers do?
CSOs are members of the Metro Transit Police Department who are on a path to law enforcement careers. Their duties include riding transit to help customers, monitor behavior, and contact police when they observe illegal behavior or an emergency.
What do TRIP Agents do?
Duties assigned to Transit Rider Investment Program (TRIP) Agents who will ride the METRO Green and Blue lines include:
- Inspecting fares and issuing administrative citations for fare non-payment
- Educating riders about “Your Role As a Rider,” which outlines illegal activities like smoking and behaviors that violate Metro Transit’s Code of Conduct, such as playing loud music
- Providing information about routes and schedules
- Sharing information about social service programs
- Administering first aid and Narcan
How are fares being checked and what happens if someone doesn't have a fare?
CSOs and TRIP Agents board trains and ask each customer for their proof of payment, including Go-To Cards, paper transfers, or app tickets.
Those found without a fare will be given an administrative citation that must be paid within 90 days. Those who wish to appeal a citation may request a virtual or in-person hearing, where a third-party hearing officer will determine whether the citation should be upheld or dismissed. Unpaid violations may be referred to a collections process.
How much does an administrative citation cost?
$75 and prohibited from accessing transit service for 60 days
4th & Subsequent VIOLATIONS
$100 and prohibited from accessing transit service for 120 days
How are administrative citations different than previous penalties?
Until a 2023 change in state law, those found without a valid fare could be issued a misdemeanor citation by a police officer. These citations were referred to the courts and in many cases were not prosecuted. Administrative citations carry lesser fines and do not show up on criminal backgrounds.
How will the administrative citations program be evaluated?
The program will be evaluated through the tracking and analysis of several data points, including the number of fares inspected and the compliance rate, the number of citations issued, paid, or reduced according to the fine schedule, contested, and referred to collections. Surveys are also a tool for measuring customer satisfaction.
Learn more about fare payment options and programs
To learn more about buying fares and fare programs that can save you money, call 612-373-3333 or visit one of our Service Centers.
Those who receive their first administrative citation can reduce the $35 fine associated with the citation in several ways.
Load $20 in stored value to a Go-To Card or the Metro Transit app. (Fine is waived)
View the Transit School video and load $10 in stored value to a Go-To Card or the Metro Transit app. (Fine is waived)
View the Transit School video to reduce fine to $25.
If you qualify for the Transit Assistance Program (TAP), apply, then load $5 in stored value to a TAP card. (Fine is waived) TAP makes public transit more affordable for people with lower incomes. For program details, visit metrotransit.org/TAP.