Fresno Area Express Implements New Rules to Enhance Passenger Safety and Security

Fresno Area Express (FAX) today announced the implementation of new rules addressing safety and security on the City’s public transit system. The rules allow FAX to revoke the riding privileges of passengers who are unruly or commit crimes while on a bus or in a transit facility.

The City’s Department of Transportation developed the rules following the passage of Senate Bill 1561 by the state legislature. The bill authorizes FAX to exclude passengers from transit vehicles and facilities for specified violations or actions, in addition to imposing fines on offenders.

Effective Monday, February 1, 2010, riders who repeatedly violate transit laws can be banned from using the system. Anyone arrested for a crime, or cited on three separate occasions within a period of 60 consecutive days for infractions committed in or on a FAX bus, at a bus stop or on transit property, may be banned for 30 days or longer, depending on the offense.

Violations include interfering with an operator of a transit vehicle, willfully disturbing others on or in a transit facility or vehicle, and defacing transit property. Other prohibited behaviors include assaulting a bus operator, urinating in public, spraying graffiti and loitering at bus stops.

FAX ridership has increased in recent years, with a nearly 7% jump in passenger trips in 2009. The new regulations are designed to enhance the ridership experience by curbing passenger misconduct and reducing nuisance behavior.

“Perceived safety on FAX buses was the second most important factor impacting rider satisfaction in our most recent survey,” said Ken Hamm, Director of Transportation. “Thanks to the state legislature, these new rules provide us with a vital enforcement tool that will allow FAX to provide a safer riding experience for our customers.”