Police Ticketing Informal Rideshare Participants Based On No Law, But To Protect Port Authority Revenue

from the sad dept

We've talked many times about how legacy industries and organizations seek to protect against competition they don't like. One example we've mentioned a few times involves taxi companies and bus companies trying to shut down upstarts such as ride-sharing/carpooling services as being "unlicensed" transportation offerings. What they really mean, of course, is that they're competition in a market with artificial barriers to entry, which artificially keep prices high -- sometimes astronomically high. But, of course, as with any attempt to defeat real competition, those in support of cracking down have some sort of sob story, and governments and law enforcement often fall for it with no evidence.

Aaron DeOlivera points us to a sort of twist on the situation described above, where the real issue is people paying less money to the Port Authority of NY. You see, if you are in a carpool (of at least 3 people) and cross the George Washington Bridge (between the Bronx and New Jersey) you save $6 on the toll. That's a decent-sized savings, so people have set up an informal sort of ride share, in that those who want to get across will wait at a nearby bus station, and drivers will swing by and pick them up for the ride. The riders get a free trip across the bridge... and the driver gets a lower toll. Win-win.

Except for the Port Authority. And apparently the police are helping out the PA by giving tickets to people picking up hitchhikers based on absolutely no violation of any law.
... the crackdown on carpools smacks of a revenue-grab by the Port Authority, which has been criticized for lavish pay and benefits. With extensive overtime, some toll collectors make more than $100,000, while salaries for several officers working at the bridge topped $200,000 last year.

Curious to see what would happen, Mr. Topyan [an economist who's been observing the practice] recently picked up two passengers in plain sight of a police officer—and was promptly ticketed. Having researched the law, he spent six hours in traffic court and won his case. “The prosecutor was jumping up and down in disbelief,” he says. He didn’t have to pay.
Even so, the report notes that the police still show up. Even if there's nothing illegal happening, just having the police show up -- and having people think that there might be something wrong -- causes people to worry about taking part.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    identicon
    arcan, Jun 20th, 2012 @ 12:15pm

    well i guess the port authority wants to *puts sunglasses on* carve out some more profit.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      arcan, Jun 20th, 2012 @ 12:17pm

      Re:

      on a more serious note, this is kinda rediculous. i mean 100k to sit in a toll booth all day when most of it is automated anyways. the standard electrical engineer only makes 58k a year. so the moron sitting in the booth makes 32 grand a year more...

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        icon
        Oblate (profile), Jun 20th, 2012 @ 1:52pm

        Re: Re:

        100k - 58k = 32k?
        Do you work in a toll booth? I think I got change from you once...

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        P., Jun 20th, 2012 @ 2:20pm

        Not Salary

        They don't earn @100K, they take in 100K... as in that's how much was in the register, not their paycheck.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          icon
          JMT (profile), Jun 20th, 2012 @ 2:31pm

          Re: Not Salary

          "With extensive overtime, some toll collectors make more than $100,000, while salaries for several officers working at the bridge topped $200,000 last year."

          Sure sounds like earnings to me.

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          •  
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, Jun 20th, 2012 @ 9:45pm

            Re: Re: Not Salary

            "With extensive overtime, some toll collectors make more than $100,000, while salaries for several officers working at the bridge topped $200,000 last year."

            With extensive overtime.
            That's working anywhere from 10-30 hours more than the 40 hours they've already put in!
            They get one and a half times their normal payrate for overtime.
            The reason these workers get overtime is due to staff cutbacks
            There isn't enough staff to work the shifts!

             

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            •  
              identicon
              Anonymous Coward, Jun 21st, 2012 @ 6:23am

              Re: Re: Re: Not Salary

              Oh I see, so its cheaper to make 2 people work 60 hours a week and pay them time and a half than just to hire someone to do 40 hours at regular time. Its genius moves like this...

               

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Jun 20th, 2012 @ 9:22pm

        Re: Re:

        Based on your math skills, I assume you are not an electrical engineer.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        Fernando, Jun 21st, 2012 @ 4:20pm

        Re: Re:

        42...Not that the answer is always 42 (it is, by the way), but 100-58 is 42, not 32.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      arcan, Jun 20th, 2012 @ 12:25pm

      Re:

      my joke fails... thought it was the george washington carver bridge for some reason...

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 20th, 2012 @ 12:17pm

    The idea is to price the fine for the ticket to be in a range where most people choose that it's not worth their time to fight it.

    You get a $40 fine that you know is bogus. Do you take a day off work, which likely will a greater loss then $40, to fight the ticket? Even if you do show that the officer wrote a bogus ticket, there will not be any punishment to him, the police force, the government or anyone else involved in the decision to write these tickets.

    So it's in "their" best interests to try to pull any trick in the book to fine citizens, while there is no worry about consequences.

    This is a lot like the RIAA/MPAA/Patent Trolls/etc. It doesn't cost them much to try to milk the system for all it's worth. If they get caught, by sending bogus DCMA takedowns or use the courts to extort people, they don't get punished.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      arcan, Jun 20th, 2012 @ 12:20pm

      Re:

      maybe there should be a 150k fine per bogus DCMA takedown? considering how many get sent out that would be a good deterrence from automating the process to the level they do. and before the AC guys who work for them comment they have tried to make youtube review all of it's video. what is it now, 78 hours of video a minute or something like that? if they think it is possible to review that certainly they can actually check their DCMA requests beforehand.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        PRMan, Jun 20th, 2012 @ 2:24pm

        Re: Re:

        There should be a $1000 fine paid to the person whose site it is in small claims court. Unwanted solicitations already work like that in my state.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        Digger, Jun 21st, 2012 @ 10:02am

        Re: Re:

        Much easier to make the penalty for filing a bogus DMCA claim "you lose the copyright that you think was violated and it's immediately placed into public domain."

        File a bogus copyright claim on someone's comment about your new blockbuster movie? You lose the copyright on your new movie - it immediately gets placed into public domain. No ifs, no buts, no exceptions.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      Oblate (profile), Jun 20th, 2012 @ 2:00pm

      Re:

      That's exactly it- price the fine so it's not worth fighting it. I noticed the same thing for speed cameras fines- not worth the cost to fight a bogus ticket, and no way to contest it other than wasting a whole day- and considering the 'kangaroo' nature of the typical traffic court I don't think most people would have any luck there. I'm just waiting for the eventual class-action lawsuit.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Jun 20th, 2012 @ 4:42pm

        Re: Re:

        speed camera fines are not issued by a governing authority and there is no legal reason for you to bother paying them.

        its a third party company saying "hey, that looked illegal, pay me even tho you have no reason to do so."

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    bob, Jun 20th, 2012 @ 12:18pm

    Uh-- where did this come from?

    Would it hurt you to actually give the reporter and publication some credit? Could we be told where the quote is coming from?

    Oh wait-- let me save you the time-- it's from Spencer Jakab from the Wall Street Journal, that evil organization that often puts their content behind a paywall. Are you really relying on a paywalled news source for your information? I thought they were going to shrivel and die for irrelevance on the Internet? Why isn't the tip-jar fueled font of open innovation helping you do all of the legwork for your stories that conveniently fail to give any credit? Why aren't the folks of Somalia, unshackled by patents and copyright, innovating up a storm?

    Put another point on the Paywall's line of the scoreboard.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jun 20th, 2012 @ 12:22pm

      Re: Uh-- where did this come from?

      God you say too many fucking words.

      He linked to the damn article, so shut up already.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jun 20th, 2012 @ 12:22pm

      Re: Uh-- where did this come from?

      bet you five bucks i can find the same report for free in 10 minutes.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      arcan, Jun 20th, 2012 @ 12:24pm

      Re: Uh-- where did this come from?

      2 things. 1 copyright law does exist in somolia believe it or not.
      2 they kinda have more important things to do besides creating multi-million dollar budget movies that never actually follow the budget. like trying to survive through the day.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Jun 20th, 2012 @ 12:34pm

      Re: Uh-- where did this come from?

      Could we be told where the quote is coming from?

      Hey bob, do you see that part in blue that says "giving tickets to people picking up hitchhikers"?

      That's called a hyperlink. Commonly referred to just as a link.

      Click it.

      It magically transports you to the article where the quote is from.

      Welcome to the internet, bob. Learn to use it, or look like an idiot. Your choice.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      Brent (profile), Jun 20th, 2012 @ 12:44pm

      Re: Uh-- where did this come from?

      It's linked in the article fool - the link directly before the quote takes you to the article and isn't one blocked by the paywall you mentioned. I get your complaint b/c Mike has put down the paywall system but linking to an article not blocked by the paywall serves to support his stance against them b/c it generates more traffic to the unblocked content.

      There isn't a formal method for blogs to cite source information that I'm aware of but there are plenty of informal methods. I think reasonable the minimum requirement is a link to the source and that has been fulfilled.

      Since I don't see how anyone could actually oppose the views put forth in this article (besides the NY police and toll workers), and you didn't oppose them either, you just need to get off your soapbox and work on finding something worth contributing.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      silverscarcat (profile), Jun 20th, 2012 @ 12:53pm

      Re: Uh-- where did this come from?

      "Why aren't the folks of Somalia, unshackled by patents and copyright, innovating up a storm?"

      Because assholes from other countries over fished in the waters near Somalia, there's no good fields to grow foods, and a day's wages barely covers food.

      About the only thing they can do is take the AK-47s that the Soviets gave them, the boats they have, and go looting for stuff.

      They don't really have a choice... Either be pirates and a terror on the seas or die.

      "Put another point on the Paywall's line of the scoreboard."

      Why?

      In fact, bob, since you're failing so hard that you must be losing money, let me give you a hint...

      http://www.newyorknewsnetwork.com/at-hudson-river-crossing-picking-up-hitchhikers-takes-t oll-vid-1013

      http://www.transystems.com/Home/News-Press/News-In-Motion/June-14-2012/At-Famous-Hud son-River-Crossing,-Picking-Up-Hitchh.aspx

      http://nj1015.com/more-nj-drivers-picking-up-hitchhike rs-at-the-gwb-to-save-toll-money-audio/

      Took me all of 2 seconds to find via google.

      None of which I had to pay for.

      Yeaaaah...

      Paywalls fail again.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Jun 20th, 2012 @ 9:50pm

        Re: Re: Uh-- where did this come from?

        "Because assholes from other countries over fished in the waters near Somalia, there's no good fields to grow foods, and a day's wages barely covers food."

        Actually, the home-grown terrorists killing and raping their own neighbors don't bother using the amazingly-fertile fields to grow food or raise cattle.
        They're too busy killing and raping.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          identicon
          DCX2, Jun 21st, 2012 @ 11:07am

          Re: Re: Re: Uh-- where did this come from?

          Actually, the home-grown terrorists killing and raping their own neighbors don't bother using the amazingly-fertile fields to grow food or raise cattle.

          http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-14785304

          "As many as 750,000 people could die as Somalia's drought worsens in the coming months, the UN has warned, declaring a famine in a new area."

          Last time I checked, drought and fertile are somewhat mutually exclusive...

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      jackn2, Jun 20th, 2012 @ 12:58pm

      Re: Uh-- where did this come from?

      and 2 points to this place, well, just for making you upset.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jun 20th, 2012 @ 7:25pm

      Re: Uh-- where did this come from?

      The Pirates in Somalia use very innovative techniques for hijacking very large ships.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Jun 21st, 2012 @ 6:26am

        Re: Re: Uh-- where did this come from?

        If the techniques were that innovative they would patent them

        /boblogic

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    AJBarnes, Jun 20th, 2012 @ 12:24pm

    Always wondered...

    I've always wondered why the gubment, which is supposed to be preventing monopoly abuse and promoting competition, abets these clear violations of anti-competitive behavior. This is just one of myriad examples. I guess if you have enough money, you buy a gubment official to pass anticompetitive laws to protect your business. Where were the regulators when BluRay was able to lock up all content and force the HD format out of business? How the hell did they let THAT happen? Where are the regulators when public stadiums give exclusive food franchises and charge exhorbitant prices for food and drink? Bought a beer at a game recently? I was charged $22 for an 8 oz glass of wine. I could have purchased 3 bottles of decent wine at Costco for what i paid for barely one drink. And when they take these protection laws to rediculous extremes, such as shutting down children's lemonade stands is when you can tell we've gone over the edge of sanity.

    We need to move back to more competition, not less. We need to make it easier, not harder, to start new businesses. Ever open a small business and see the MOUNDS of paperwork you have to fill out, the huge fees you have to pay and the bureaucratic nightmare that is the reward for being an entrepreneur? Sickening.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 20th, 2012 @ 12:26pm

    Wow. Congratulations, New York's finest.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Ima Fish (profile), Jun 20th, 2012 @ 12:26pm

    "Even if there's nothing illegal happening, just having the police show up -- and having people think that there might be something wrong -- causes people to worry about taking part."

    And yet people adamantly want the government to be run like a business. Yeah, let's give the guys with the guns a profit motive.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      :Lobo Santo (profile), Jun 20th, 2012 @ 12:36pm

      Re: ??? | Profit!

      Let's not be silly.

      The cops already have a profit motive--if they do not write enough tickets the city's finances suffer.

      They aren't there for justice, they just hand out extra "fees, fines, and taxes".

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Dionaea (profile), Jun 20th, 2012 @ 12:27pm

    Linking bakc to the article is more than enough, or did you miss the link altogether? -.-

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Chris ODonnell (profile), Jun 20th, 2012 @ 12:28pm

    I get to work every day via informal carpooling, or as it is called in DC, slugging. They are expanding the carpool lanes and putting in a congestion based dynamic toll system, we are told will still remain free for carpools of 3 or more. Today, we aren't costing anybody revenue by hitchiking to the Pentagon each day, and slugging is not only tolerated it is outright supported. I wonder if that will change when every car loaded with three passengers is viewed as three potential toll payers?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jun 20th, 2012 @ 12:37pm

      Re: FTFY > You dirty toll pirates....

      "I wonder if that will change when every car loaded with three passengers is viewed as three potential toll payers?"

      I wonder if that will change when every car loaded with three passengers is viewed as three toll pirates looking for a 'freeride'?

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        MrWilson, Jun 20th, 2012 @ 12:47pm

        Re: Re: FTFY > You dirty toll pirates....

        I wonder if that will change when every car loaded with three passengers is viewed as three potential terrorists.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jun 20th, 2012 @ 12:43pm

      Re:

      I think the objection here is that it is just to get across the bridge, and not a carpool to work. Carpooling reduces congestion, but here the added passengers would not drive anyways, so this doesn't take any cars off the roads. I'm not saying that this is a good reason, but it is a reason.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        icon
        Sneeje (profile), Jun 20th, 2012 @ 1:55pm

        Re: Re:

        That doesn't seem to make much sense. The passengers must be trying to get somewhere on the other side of the bridge, yes?

        Or are you suggesting that the passengers are just people hanging out on one side of the bridge that are willing to get in a car with a stranger to drive across the bridge, only to turn around and walk back?

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Jun 20th, 2012 @ 4:47pm

        Re: Re:

        Carpooling reduces congestion, but here the added passengers would not drive anyways, so this doesn't take any cars off the roads. I'm not saying that this is a good reason, but it is a reason.

        If enough people do this, it decreases the number of busses, reducing congestion; and does so without increasing the number of cars.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        David Chesler, Jun 21st, 2012 @ 8:20am

        Re: Re: Not a carpool to work

        "here the added passengers would not drive anyways"
        How else would these people get across the bridge? (My grandfather took the tan bus from Washington Hts to the Alcoa plant daily for 35 years, so I know that area well, and there are some buses, but a good number of the people doing this would be driving.)

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Lisa D, Jun 21st, 2012 @ 7:33am

      Re:

      I used to live and DC and was thinking of Slugging as I was reading this article. I remember the different car pool lines in the huge Virginia parking lot as people had a choice of where they wanted to car pool too. Of course that parking lot was pretty much full by 0630.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    ebilrawkscientist (profile), Jun 20th, 2012 @ 12:38pm

    New Name Time.

    Greedy people all over this planet huh?

    Maybe its time to rename Earth. We should call it Ferenginar, and appoint a Grand Nagus while we're at it?

    Meanwhiles, those of you who came to Earth from offworld. Big mistake, huh? huh?

    Yep - time to visit another cosmic reality elsewheres.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    ebilrawkscientist (profile), Jun 20th, 2012 @ 12:38pm

    New Name Time.

    Greedy people all over this planet huh?

    Maybe its time to rename Earth. We should call it Ferenginar, and appoint a Grand Nagus while we're at it?

    Meanwhiles, those of you who came to Earth from offworld. Big mistake, huh? huh?

    Yep - time to visit another cosmic reality elsewheres.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 20th, 2012 @ 12:47pm

    Here's a clue for you Paywall Bob. First thing is I am not going to pay some newspaper on the other side of the country to read an article. Don't care whether you like that or not. It's news is not relevant in my life where I live.

    When I find an article blocked by paywall, guess what? There's a search box, just to the right of the address bar. 95% or greater of the time, I can find either are reproduction of the article or one re-written to avoid the hot news and copyright issue without paying.

    Guess which I'm gonna use, willingly and often?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 20th, 2012 @ 12:53pm

    as there is no traffic violation taking place, i can only assume the Police are there so as to have a nice easy time for how ever long they can swing it. perhaps questions need to be asked to find out who sent the police officers to that particular locale and for what reason?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    OC, Jun 20th, 2012 @ 12:56pm

    I'm not that familiar with the power structure of NY but I can't see how Porth Autority has any influence over the NYPD. And I don't see what the cops are getting out of this ticketing (assuming the fine goes to PA), other than possibly some fun. So the order to ticket these riders should come from someone in control of both organizations, no?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      teka, Jun 20th, 2012 @ 3:11pm

      Re:

      Port Authority functions like a massive joint private police structure that likes to consider the bridges, tunnels, ports, airports and areas adjacent to these things as their personal domain across the southern new york/northern new jersey area.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      Robert A. Rosenberg (profile), Jun 22nd, 2012 @ 7:07pm

      Re: NYPD?

      OC posted "I'm not that familiar with the power structure of NY but I can't see how Porth Authority has any influence over the NYPD. And I don't see what the cops are getting out of this ticketing (assuming the fine goes to PA), other than possibly some fun. So the order to ticket these riders should come from someone in control of both organizations, no?"

      Crossing the GWB from NJ to NY takes you through a Toll Booth while crossing the GWB from NY to NJ is free (you got charged for both crossings when you did the NJ->NY crossing). Thus since the pickups are being done on the NJ side, I fail to see how the NYPD is issuing the tickets.

      I also question how the cops know if the riders are nor coworkers of the driver who are being picked up there. BTW: If I remember correctly there are Ride Share parking lots in the area (or nearby on the NJ Turnpike Rest Stops) where you can park your car to connect with a car pool driver.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    ahow628 (profile), Jun 20th, 2012 @ 12:59pm

    Do something...

    This vile problem is legal for now, but hopefully some NYC politician will "do something". We can't have all these politicians sitting around doing nothing.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Brent (profile), Jun 20th, 2012 @ 1:12pm

    After reading the WSJ article, it says that the bridge generates $625 million annually for the port authority. It is estimated that $7 million is lost to 'ride cheats' and actual cheats not paying the toll at all. So they are pursuing 1% of potential revenue.

    The question then is, how much is it costing the city to 'enforce' the effort to regain the missing revenue? From WSJ "the police often issue citations only after quizzing the occupants to determine that they don't know one another" which implies that they are pulling over many cars who are not ride cheats and therefore not issuing any citations. They don't provide enough info to get a ratio of how many are pulled over vs citations issued but even without that info, its reasonable to assume that the police could be doing ACTUAL LAW ENFORCEMENT which would either prevent costly events or generate revenue from legitimate fines. The latter example wouldn't count towards closing the gap in lost revenue but would instead count towards increasing the revenue lost annually associated with 'ride cheats'.

    In summary, issuing citations to 'ride cheats' is actually costing the port authority more money each year than just accepting the $7 million loss.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      cjstg (profile), Jun 20th, 2012 @ 2:06pm

      Re:

      what gets measured gets changed.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Jun 20th, 2012 @ 2:22pm

      Re:

      "In summary, issuing citations to 'ride cheats' is actually costing the port authority more money each year than just accepting the $618 million gain."

      FTFY

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      Niall (profile), Jun 21st, 2012 @ 6:53am

      Re:

      It's almost like they think the passengers 'owe' them a full fare or something.

      It's a bit like a movie company saying that because you bought their movie in a bargain bin for £3 instead of the original £15 you've 'cheated' them of £12!

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Jes Lookin, Jun 20th, 2012 @ 1:17pm

    What if...

    What if the ticketed people filed specific complaints against the officer and prosecutor for being unlawfully stupid. No law, no cause, no case. Particularly if you bother to go to court and win - the officer and prosecutor are there and should be called out specifically. That way less stupid people are part of the system. I always take names and log decisions made by idiots.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    RyanNerd (profile), Jun 20th, 2012 @ 1:56pm

    Career Choice

    Obviously I made a mistake in my career choice to be a software developer. I should have aspired to Toll Booth Operator.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 20th, 2012 @ 1:58pm

    This entire country is nothing but a revenue generation scam. From two hour parking ticket zones in areas with tons of free parking spots to border crossing fines to govt created taxi cab, cableco, and broadcasting cartels to patents to copyrights, don't touch my profit margins and revenue sources and don't compete with me or else we the violent mafia govt. industrial complex will come after you with our tax funded police and military force. Public interest be darned, this is about me me me me me.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Not That Chris (profile), Jun 20th, 2012 @ 2:03pm

    I guess my question would be is there any recourse after going to court to get the ticket dismissed? As someone else pointed out, you're out whatever your costs for that day were just to fight a ticket you shouldn't have gotten in the first place. If you win, can you counter-sue for harassment or something? Not that I'm a big proponent of encouraging lawsuits, but maybe getting slapped back harder a few times would make someone in power wake up and look for a solution.

    Sadly, said solution would probably be to make it actually be illegal, raise the fine tenfold, and give any agent who gives out a ticket a $10K bonus for a job well done.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      DCX2, Jun 21st, 2012 @ 11:15am

      Re:

      Isn't this a great example of a class action lawsuit?

      Get together all the people who were wrongly fined for being "ride cheats", make them a class, and sue the pants off the Port Authority. If it cost them $7 million in revenue, make sure the class-action lawsuit results in at least $21 million between the class and the lawyers.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 20th, 2012 @ 2:59pm

    They have to find something to do with those extra 10,000 cops they hired to violate the rights of peaceful protesters.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 20th, 2012 @ 3:13pm

    The port authority is learning from the RIAA how to make something perfectly legal look like something dirty and illegal.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    wto605 (profile), Jun 20th, 2012 @ 3:26pm

    Meanwhile... in California

    The bay area goes as far as to institutionalize this practice, encouraging pickups as far away as Vallejo (30 miles form the city, 20 from the bridge) and San Francisco has placed signs for different east-bay destinations along a city block block (although, since there is no toll eastbound this they aren't quite as popular except to avoid traffic). It is even listed on 511.org http://rideshare.511.org/carpool/casual_carpool.aspx.

    Note that 511.org is run by the MTC who collect bridge tolls (the bridges themselves are actually owned by the state) and even manage the prepaid stored value cards for the various public transit systems (presumably they get a small cut of this revenue but 30 seconds on google didn't find a stat on this). So they're losing money on 2 fronts and continuing to encourage the practice.

    The folks at the MTC have realized that, as a government agency, their responsibility is to provide an effective service for their taxpayers. Even if it means less revenue.

    P.S. it is worth noting that picking passengers up at a bus-stop is subject to a fine in most Bay-Area communities, but with such well documented pickup locations this doesn't inhibit the practice.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 20th, 2012 @ 4:19pm

    Don't know if this has been mentioned yet or not, but cops can't ticket for no law. They may be ticketing for a law that doesn't actually relate, based on wild interpretations of that law, but they have to put something down on the ticket where it says "violation".

    It could be impeding the flow of traffic, or a minimum speed limit law, or a law about not stopping in certain places, or opening a door while on the road, or unsafe... whatever.

    I'm not saying the cops are right. With the given fact, they are certainly wrong. I'm just saying they can't ticket "based on no law".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jun 20th, 2012 @ 4:35pm

      Re:

      I'm just saying they can't ticket "based on no law".

      Police can just take your money. They don't even need to write up a ticket.

      Audit: Small town Utah cops targeted foreign tourists” by Nate Carlise, Salt Lake Tribune, Jun 12 2012
      Audit says officers in “Gateway to Zion” illegally cited foreigners, made them pay cash and failed to log fines.

      Police in the town that promotes itself as "The Gateway to Zion National Park" wrote citations to foreign tourists, required them to pay cash and didn’t document the fines, according to a Utah State audit released Monday.

      [...more...]


      Police can just take your money. Laws got nothing to do with it.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Rekrul, Jun 21st, 2012 @ 1:18am

    So if I understand the situation correctly, the city gives incentives to people to carpool in the form of lower toll prices, then they turn around and punish people for actually carpooling?

    Or is the issue how well you know the people you're carpooling with? What if a friend asks you to give two of his friends a ride, but you've never met them before? You pick them up near your house and take them across the bridge. Does that count? Will the cops start quizzing drivers on how well they know their passengers?

    Or does it just matter where you pick them up? What if you're giving a ride to two of your friends, but since they live across town, you pick them up along the way, and it just happens to be near a bus stop? Do your friends now have to take a taxi to your house just so that you can then carpool with them from a proper departure point?

    So what exactly is the criteria for a 'legal' carpool? How well you know the people? Where you pick them up? Surely the police should be able to answer these questions...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 21st, 2012 @ 4:47am

    F**k New York City. What an armpit!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Mannie, Jun 23rd, 2012 @ 3:13pm

    It just goes to show that the real criminals in New York are the p;olice.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This