To Our Community,
We are sad to report that, beginning February 1st, local retailers plan to discontinue sales of paper TriMet tickets. TriMet intends to eliminate the use of current paper “foil” tickets entirely. This change will impact all local retail stores, who on February 1st will begin to send back to TriMet any unsold paper tickets. We encourage our community to stock up on tickets ahead of time if needed to prepare for the coming shift.
The change comes because of TriMet’s e-fare system. This $22M project aims to eliminate paper tickets and cash and replace them with electronic cards. The cards bring an additional cost to the system (an initial cost of $3 for the card) and come with serious concerns about privacy, information sharing with law-enforcement, and availability in our neighborhoods.
This change will hit low income people hardest. It will also impact how OPAL delivers programs. We often give paper tickets to members, particularly youth, so they can participate in our meetings. We anticipate we are not the only nonprofit whose community will face this change with questions. We’ve said since the e-fare program was announced (and even prior, when plans for e-fare circulated in secret) that eliminating paper tickets, much like eliminating the use of cash on buses, is a decision that will harm our communities. Decisions like these are made by bureaucrats and businesses without the involvement of the community. This change forces more users onto the electronic fare system, which adds to the cost of a trip on buses and trains we fundamentally believe should be fareless. For now, we have preserved the use of cash on buses, providing a vital option to riders who don’t wish to use the electronic fare card.
Please help spread the word about this change to anyone you know who rides TriMet. Beginning in February TriMet riders will no longer be able to purchase ticket books at retail locations. Riders who wish to join us as we push to make the system less expensive, decriminalized, and more accessible should contact Orlando Lopez, Bus Riders Unite Organizer, at (503) 774-4504