Aldermen, riders against end to downtown service
"Without proper enforcement it doesn’t matter if you have a free-fare zone."
The idea of abolishing the LRT free-fare zone in the downtown hasn’t gone over well with riders, or some aldermen.
On Monday, council discussed a safety review of the city’s LRT system and at least two aldermen called for a review of the free-fare system.
Ward 7 Ald. Druh Farrell pointed out a potential problem with the free-fare zone calling it a “warming station for vagrants.”
But Ward 13 Ald. Diane Colley-Urquhart doesn’t agree that ending the free-fare zone will help curb crime.
“Without proper enforcement it doesn’t matter if you have a free-fare zone. The guys that are drunk and the guys that are on drugs don’t care and will get on the train anyways,” she said.
Transit rider Sandy Keeling agrees with Colley-Urquhart, telling Metro the many shouldn’t have to suffer for the “few bad apples”.
“I don’t think it’s a good idea and I don’t think it would help with crime. A lot of people use the free-fare zone because it is convenient,” Keeling said.
Devan Johnson rides transit regularly and feels a police presence would curb crime along the corridor.
“What they should do is put police on the cars and have some enforcement. There should be more of a police presence,” he said.
Ald. Andre Chabot also disagrees with terminating the free-fare zone, telling Metro downtown businesses rely on the free service.
Ald. Joe Connelly suggested on Monday that the free-fare zone was an attraction for the homeless, but couldn’t be reached for comment by Metro yesterday.