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Old December 10th, 2005, 01:00 AM   #1
hkskyline
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Atlanta Man Handcuffed for Selling Subway Token

U.S. man handcuffed, issued citation for selling subway token in Atlanta
9 December 2005

ATLANTA (AP) - Transit police handcuffed and issued a citation to a man who sold a $1.75 subway token to another man who was having trouble with a token machine.

A spokeswoman for the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority, Jocelyn Baker, said Friday that an officer who spotted Donald Pirone, 42, selling the token on Nov. 30 inside a subway station could have given the man only a warning and sent him on his way.

But, Baker said the officer decided to handcuff Pirone and give him a citation for the misdemeanor offense because a 1992 state law prohibits passengers from selling tokens.

"What you've got to keep in mind is that fare abuse is a chronic problem," Baker said. "It costs MARTA millions of dollars every year."

Baker acknowledged that Pirone sold the token at face value and did not make a profit. But, she said the law is the law.

"There are customer service phones for people who are having trouble getting tokens out of the machine," Baker said. "The fact is our officer acted within the law."

As for Pirone being handcuffed, Baker said the officer felt that was necessary.

"Our officers do that for their own safety," Baker said.

There was no answer Friday at a phone listed to a Donald V. Pirone in Atlanta. He told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he was just trying to help a fellow passenger out who was having trouble with a token machine.

"I gave him a token and, I guess out of his generosity, he gave me the money for it," Pirone said. "But I didn't ask him for money."
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Old December 10th, 2005, 01:26 AM   #2
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Quote:
"What you've got to keep in mind is that fare abuse is a chronic problem," Baker said. "It costs MARTA millions of dollars every year."
How does this cost them anything? As long as the tokens aren't stolen, who cares if someone resells a token, MARTA still gets the same amount of money.
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Old December 10th, 2005, 01:56 AM   #3
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because it's the law!
Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline
"Our officers do that for their own safety," Baker said.
this has got to be a JOKE!
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Old December 10th, 2005, 12:13 PM   #4
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The reason for the law is that bums have historically jammed the token machines in order to get money for themselves, faking their appearance as MARTA employees.

Giving tokens away shouldn't be a problem though, I think the officer went too far in this case.

That or if they want to get rid of this problem and do both sides a favor, they'd switch exclusively to fare cards and get rid of the damn tokens.
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Old December 10th, 2005, 12:30 PM   #5
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It seems to be a worldwide problem that subway operators have a lousy customer service.

Though in this case, I would even say MARTA ought to be prosecuted for deprivation of personal freedom.
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Old December 10th, 2005, 08:14 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rail Claimore
That or if they want to get rid of this problem and do both sides a favor, they'd switch exclusively to fare cards and get rid of the damn tokens.
Apparently this isnt working in NYC because some people are standing by the turnstiles and they are sliding cards for other people to enter @ the price of $1, but the actual fare costs $2. Also, some cards are unlimited, which can swipe as much times as possible, but with an 18 minute interval. So you can see how much they are losing if this trend goes on.
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Old December 12th, 2005, 08:34 AM   #7
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In Japan, once you swipe with your commuter pass, you can't use it again until you exit the system. I guess some data is stored that shows that the card has been used to access the system already. I imagine the DC system is similar...
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Old December 12th, 2005, 08:23 PM   #8
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^
In New York, you can swipe a MetroCard as many times as you want. That makes it incredibly easy for people to sell swipes at a discount.
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Old December 12th, 2005, 08:51 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by micro
It seems to be a worldwide problem that subway operators have a lousy customer service.

Though in this case, I would even say MARTA ought to be prosecuted for deprivation of personal freedom.


i've always gotten great customer service on the tube; i was even wished a happy fourth of july. i also got treated well by the metro agents in paris.

deprivation of personal freedom? for committing a crime?

like Rail Claimore said, token fraud by bums in Atlanta is a huge problem. it also puts a negative image of mass transit in the mind of the public, so maybe if they crack down on it, there'll be more ridership and more money for better service.

bravo MARTA, bravo.

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Old December 12th, 2005, 08:56 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LSyd
i've always gotten great customer service on the tube; i was even wished a happy fourth of july.
How did they know you were American?
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Old December 12th, 2005, 09:08 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asohn
How did they know you were American?
the guy asked where i was from.

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Old December 12th, 2005, 10:30 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LSyd

deprivation of personal freedom? for committing a crime?

like Rail Claimore said, token fraud by bums in Atlanta is a huge problem. it also puts a negative image of mass transit in the mind of the public, so maybe if they crack down on it, there'll be more ridership and more money for better service.

bravo MARTA, bravo.

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The ticket vending machine wasn't working. It could have been working if it had been maintained properly, but it wasn't. There's no other ticket vending machine.

Bums have to be arrested, no question.

But supposed I'd be a tourist in Atlanta, seeing someone struggling with the stupid machine, and offering him a token, you want to see me handcuffed??

Maybe you are the
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Old December 13th, 2005, 12:24 AM   #13
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Perhaps they should install more stable ticket vending machines? Are they built into walls or free standing in Atlanta?
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Old December 13th, 2005, 12:45 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by micro
The ticket vending machine wasn't working. It could have been working if it had been maintained properly, but it wasn't. There's no other ticket vending machine.

Bums have to be arrested, no question.

But supposed I'd be a tourist in Atlanta, seeing someone struggling with the stupid machine, and offering him a token, you want to see me handcuffed??

Maybe you are the
bums disable the machines. even when they're not disabled, they're offering rides. i've even seen them pay fare, and hold the gate open for people, expecting tips.

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Old December 13th, 2005, 01:29 AM   #15
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Maybe they should start incorporating machines that uses those touch-and-go thing. Hong Kong's Octopus or something like London's Oyster.
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Old December 13th, 2005, 09:24 AM   #16
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Also in Japan, the stationmaster's office is often next to the ticket gates, so if one of the gates jams or if someone's doing some shady business they can take action. In Boston, the token vendor attendant is also next to the turnstiles, so they can shoo away any suspicious people. In New York, though, I remember the token vendors being isolated from everything else.
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Old December 13th, 2005, 09:19 PM   #17
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Camera surveyance could also do it
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Old December 13th, 2005, 09:57 PM   #18
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I heard Donald Pirone on the radio the other day telling the story. He said that the he and a friend were trying to use a $10 bill to get tokens at one machine and another person at the other. The second bill finally went through and netted them 5 tokens (they only needed 4... 2 each to get to their destination and back). Seeing the other guy struggling with the machine he gave away his token. As he tried to walk away the man gave him the money.

The way I see it, even before Donald gave away (ultimately sold) the token he could have been arrested. If his friend had paid him back for the tokens at that moment he would have committed a crime. They bought 5 tokens (2 each with an extra). Had his friend given Donald $3.50 right then Donald would have been arrested with 2 violations for selling 2 tokens!

So, is a MARTA officer going to follow Donald and his friend around town "waiting" for them to exchange money for the tokens to "act within the law?" Sounds like they're just trying to justify stupidity while ignoring the real fraud I see on MARTA every day.

Where's the sense in that?

Quote:
Originally Posted by LSyd
bravo MARTA, bravo.
How can you congratulate MARTA for enforcing this especially when the officer saw the whole transaction this way? Who was defrauded here? How does this encourage people to ride an already tarnished transit system? I'd really like to know...
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Old December 14th, 2005, 08:50 AM   #19
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I hope these stupid charges are dropped. MARTA police have better things to be doing such as putting a stop to real crimes on the trains themselves. I'm never riding the system again, at least not for a long time.
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Old June 24th, 2010, 09:16 AM   #20
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ATLANTA | Public Transport

MARTA (Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority)



Quote:
Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority or MARTA (pronounced /ˈmɑrtə/, like Marta) is the principal rapid-transit system in the Atlanta metropolitan area and the ninth-largest in the United States. Formed in 1971 as strictly a bus system, MARTA operates a network of bus routes linked to a rapid transit system consisting of 48 miles (77 km) of rail track with 38 train stations. MARTA operates almost exclusively in Fulton and DeKalb counties, with a single bus stop in Cobb county (Cumberland Transfer Center next to the Cumberland Mall), and a single rail station in Clayton County at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. MARTA also operates a separate paratransit service for disabled customers. As of 2009, the average total daily ridership for the system (bus and rail) was 482,500 passengers.
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