No quick fix for black market in TriMet passes

Following up on last week’s story about the black market in TriMet (OR) passes, columnist Joseph Rose answered reader questions in The Oregonian. The background: Thieves are using stolen credit cards to buy TriMet passes and sell them to make a quick buck. Answering a question about the costs of upgrading credit card security, Rose writes:

TriMet said it would cost $3.1 million just to add pin pads and the software to the agency’s 210 fare machines. To deal with weather exposure and vandalism, the agency said it would likely need to hire more $90,000-a-year fare technicians. There’s also this: Credit processor VISA, which last week told me it would be easy-peasy to add ZIP code verification to the machines, now says the operating agreement with TriMet doesn’t allow it after all.

Other questions covered the ethics of reselling free passes provided by an employer (which Rose says falls into a “gray area”) and whether it’s even legal to resell transit passes (not on TriMet property). Link to full story in The Oregonian.

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