Do Our Light Rail Fare Enforcers Look Like the Communities They Serve?

They're Overwhelmingly White, and Sound Transit Wants to Change That

Comments

1
You liberal-progressive-statists always have to bitch about something, don't you? How about just saying thank you? How about showing a little gratitude to the bent-over-the-table tax payers who built this for you? Hmmm?
2
If your goal is to slowly trend into the territory of nonsensical muedede rants, great work ansel!
3
"Seeing one of these officers in their black-and-gray jackets is supposed to deter you from skipping the fare."

Ansel, you might want to coordinate your article copy with Mudede's photo. The Fare Enforcement uniform jackets appear to be black and BLUE in Mudede's photo, rather than "black and gray" as you describe them. Is it a missed opportunity to comport "black and blue" (bruise colors) with the color palette of the oppressive, white-enforcement uniforms donned by the regime personnel?

Oh, brother.
4
"People of color make up 34 percent of Seattle's population, according to the 2010 census. But they make up only 20 percent of fare enforcers."

Maybe you could actually practice journalism and dig a bit further, like researching and reporting on the percentage of qualified job applicant that are people of color?

Maybe (not saying this IS the case, just maybe...) Sound Transit (or their contractor) can't very hire a more diverse workforce because the vast majority of qualified applicants are white men?
5
I agree Ansel, race and gender should definitely be the deciding factor when choosing who gets jobs or not.
6
Wait, so they look like rent-a-cops... because they are rent-a cops!
7
Jesus Christ this article is stupid.

I wish people would realize that far left and far right are the same flavor of crazy.
8
They "sometimes look like rent-a-cops" because they are rent-a-cops. What's ST's rationale for hiring private security to do fare enforcement? Wouldn't it make more sense for them to contract with KC to fill those positions with sheriff's deputies, as they do for the rest of their security force?
9
Do Our Light Rail Fare Enforcers Look Like the Communities They Serve?

This is as good an argument as I've seen for a mandatory dress code requiring everyone in the city to dress like security guards.
10
20% of 15 is 3. 33% (I'm rounding) of 15 is 5. we're talking about TWO minorities to meet your quota.
11
@4 - that is a big issue. You can only hire from the pool of qualified candidates that apply to your job.

Take for example, I currently have a job opening for a licensed architect here in Seattle. It's a job with full benefits, including 100% paid healthcare, matching 401k, paid life insurance, paid gym membership, flexible hours, the whole deal. Earns good money too - depending on experience, between $75k and $95k. The job is posted on LinkedIn, on industry job boards, and in local industry associations (AIA office): after a month, there are 13 applicants, of which only about half are remotely qualified -

Luis - white guy, licensed architect, in Puerto Rico. Seems qualified.

Luciano - appears to be a white guy, currently in New York, but from Venezuela. Qualified, but may have immigration issues.

Karim - qualified, is in Saudi Arabia. Arab, but appears "too white" to what it seems to be the litmus test of The Stranger. Qualified, but again, immigration.

Zarko - qualified, in Demark. White guy.

Enzo - qualified, is Italian considered "white" these days? In Italy.

Igor - qualified, white. In Serbia

Mikis - qualified, Arab, In Bahrain.

And then I have a bunch of Amazon "Software Architects" from here in Seattle who thought they could apply to a licensed building architect job post for some reason.

So, right now, other than one Puerto Rican, no US citizens (let alone Seattleites) have applied, no women have applied, and other than possibly Arab guys and two very white looking Puerto Rican and Venezuelan guys, I have no candidates that the Stranger would consider "people of color," Heck, I have only one candidate who's even currently residing within the continental United States.

I'm curious what The Stranger writers suggest that I (and other hiring managers) do? We've pretty well laid out any and every benefit, put the job out in lots of places, and have had at least a month to find candidates. I have a feeling that even if I put on a sandwich board and walked around Capital Hill and down Rainier Avenue that says, "Looking to hire a black or Asian female licensed Architect. Will put you on top of the hiring list and will pay you more than 20% than your white, male counterparts. Apply here."

In all likelihood, that even going that far, I'd have zero local applicants. And then I'd get sued by the male applicants and the government for obvert discrimination.
15
How about Stranger staff? Do they look like the community they serve? Maybe they do.
16
@ 11
Perhaps you would seem a bit more credible if, as the Seattle architect you claim to be, you avoided the rookie mistake of erroneously referring to Capitol Hill as "Capital Hill."
17
@ 11
By the way, what the hell is "obvert discrimination"? You must be one helluva great "Architect." (Why capitalize "architect"?)
18
Seriously, you probably intended to write "overt" rather than "obvert", but that can be attributed to your architectural professional background.
19
@10 Exactly. You're talking about two employees. Out of fifteen. Are you going to complain about all the coffee shops that only hire cute female baristas? How about the fact that half of the employees at Home Depot aren't female?

So the next time someone has a vacancy and they're choosing who to hire, do they need to count up all the percentages of employees they currently have, by race and gender, and then hire the person who's race and gender makes their total most equal to the last census data?

This is the dumbest thing I've ever seen you write, Ansel.
20
Here's what's wrong about even having fare inspectors in the first place.

First, it is a very cynical scheme that, like lottery, assumes that a certain percentage of passengers don't pay the fare, so hopefully at least some of them would be caught and slapped with a fine that is about 100 times the actual fare. This almost always falls on the poor who cannot afford the fare. Transit agencies across North America that implement this system actually build projected fine revenues for fare evasion as part of their budget!

Second: Presumption is that everybody is guilty of fare evasion unless proven otherwise by the way of presentation of proof of payment. This goes very much counter to American legal tradition whereas the proof of burden squarely resides on those who prosecute. Treating every passenger like a pre-criminal and having a man with a badge accost them randomly, is a bad customer service - and also would alienate international tourists, some of them probably don't know enough English to figure out if it is a fare inspector wanting to see a ticket or an immigration police demanding a passport.

Third: the so-called "self-service fare" scheme adopted by many U.S. and Canadian transit agencies (including Sound Transit, TriMet and Translink) are inefficient precisely because it does not prevent all fare evasions. In many cases fare inspectors' work schedules are quite predictable. Most of the civilized world (including New York City, Hong Kong, pretty much all the cities in Japan, Taiwan) use automated ticket gates which would only open to let a person through if a valid ticket or pass is inserted or scanned.