Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Light Rail Ticket Again

Pinhole Light Rail
Originally uploaded by mjwessty
Light rail update: I was finally ticketed this morning; well, Clark was ticketed. Although my strategy worked, I don't think this will become a habit for me. I've been sited twice in so many days. Never before have I even been approached.

I attribute this to the new Target Twin Stadium. They must be upping the security, since there is absolutely no tail-gating parking available to Twins fans. They, for the most part, use manciple parking ramps if they want to drive downtown at all. That is not at all advisable, nor desired, as far as the city concerned. They want fans to partake in the downtown experience. They've even made the food more attractive. Dome dogs have gone the way of the dodo bird, replaced by local bratwurst. In fact, everything is local. There is a push for all food local. It sounds pretty cool. But when you leave the stadium, they want you to visit local clubs downtown. So, I can see the need to clean up the light rail.

This ticket was written out to my alias. Since I did not place my wallet in my pocket, I, again, had no fear of giving an alias. The officer was much more polite, checked my pockets for ID, found none, then told me he wouldn't be taking me downtown, where they most certainly would've found my wallet and ID. When he gave me the ticket, he told me to present it to any officer asking for my rail ticket. Again, I bought a ticket for my ride back from the airport. I'm getting tired of this cat-and-mouse game. I don't think I'm going to do it again.

Interesting thing though: The violation was named “Face Evasion”. Go figure.

– Without Wax

Sunday, March 28, 2010

How to Avoid a Light Rail Ticket

How to Avoid a Light Rail Ticket

I had been drinking the night before and was sipping off the hair-of-the-dog on the light rail this morning, killing time and takin' naps, when two police officers approach me asking for proof of fare. I hadn't drank in two months. Thankfully, I'd thought ahead and did not pocket my wallet. I'd been warned about the $180 fine, but thought little of it in my inebriated state.

One officer questioned me while the other stood in the isle to block my escape, which I thought was amusing. Where was I going to go? There are no handles on a speeding train. To the best of my knowledge, the conversation went something like this:

The officer woke me with, “May I see your ticket?”
“Sure,” I said while I fumbled for the non-existent boarding pass. “I'm sorry, I must have dropped it.”
“May I see your Minnesota ID please?,” He asked.
“I'm sorry. My wallet was just stolen,” I replied, not far from the truth. It was stolen months ago, and I'd just gotten my ID back, but I wasn't going to show them that.
“What's your name?,” he asked.
I've never given a police officer an alias before, and always wondered what path this would lead me down. I had one ready, “Brad Clark.”
“What's your middle name?,” he quickly asked.
Off the top of my head, I used my dad's middle name, “Joseph”.
He phoned in my name. “You know there's a fine for riding the rail without a ticket.”
I nodded, “I know. I must've dropped it,” I repeated.
“Where did you purchase it?”
“Mall of America.”
“Where do you live?”
“Homeless,” I mumbled.
“...No Brad Joseph Clark on file,” the radio squawked.
“We don't have you on file, sir,” the officer stated.
“I just moved here,” I replied.
“From where?”
“How long ago?”
“About a month ago.”
He rolled his eyes, then called to stop the train. “Step out!” Officer two stepped aside to let me pass.
I got up and stepped out of the train.
Looking me straight in the eye, he said, “Don't get back on this train!”
“Yes sir,” I said withholding my inner-smirk.
They left me within walking distance of where I wanted to go, but didn't really want to walk. I had an errand to do, so I took a look at the fare machine and said, “Why not?” I bought a ticket and got back on the train. What was he going to do?
If he would have arrested me, I would've replied, “Oh good, three hots and a cot.” I think he knew that. If he had, however, I'm sure he'd have search my backpack and found my wallet and ID. I plaid the homeless poker bluff.
But, I really wonder why he didn't give me a ticket in my alias?

-- Without Wax