As Madison Metro begins to enforce the existing student ID policy, many have observed a smooth transition into full implementation.
According to Metro Madison Bus Driver Frances Craig, the policies, which are intended to eliminate fraudulent use of the unlimited bus pass by prohibiting students from selling their bus passes to non-students, have been successful.
Associated Students of Madison Press Office Director David Gardner said he thinks the issue needed to be addressed, and the first stages of the enforcement period are going well.
“This is a transition period and we are definitely easing into the process,” Gardner said. “Right now, enforcement has been more prevalent off campus, but I think after Thanksgiving break, we will see it phase in and we will likely start seeing the program implemented on our campus.”
According to Craig, all bus drivers have been instructed to only ID people with Edgewood College bus passes as of now. However, Craig added they are working on asking every unlimited bus pass user for ID.
Many UW students already show their IDs regardless of being asked, Craig said.
General Manager of Madison Metro Chuck Kamp said drivers have been using appropriate levels of enforcement to ensure the timeliness of the bus and to respect people’s schedules.
Bus drivers are allowed to use their discretion when checking identifications and have been making announcements to communicate with riders the new policies, Kamp said.
On Sunday evening at 5:30 p.m., only two out of 12 people were asked to show ID on the Route 7 bus from the West Gorham Street and North Basset Street stop. Both were Edgewood students.
Jennifer Bacon, an employee of Madison Metro Transit, also said Madison Metro is receiving favorable feedback from pass participants, which include UW, MATC, Edgewood College and St. Mary’s.
Bacon added the new policies are part of a “pilot project,” and bus drivers will be focusing on one pass participant at a time in the early stages of the enforcement period.
Craig said she and many other bus drivers were in favor of the enforcement policy.
“Before, I saw a lot of people who I knew weren’t students riding the bus—one day they’d have an MATC pass, one day a UW employee ID — and now that we have this, that won’t happen anymore,” Craig said.
According to Gardner, the ID policy was implemented due to increased expenses with the use of fraudulent bus passes. ASM wants to ensure students’ fees do not get too expensive because of fraudulent use of the bus pass, Gardner added.
Although the policy will be implemented increasingly, Gardner said policy may be changed should the enforcement hinder students’ bus access.
“This policy will be enforced increasingly, but if we find out that students are not riding the bus because of the policy or that students are getting their bus passes confiscated because they forget their ID, we will reevaluate our position on the policy,” Gardner said.
Kamp said Madison Metro would continue to focus on educating individuals on bus policies in order to avoid unnecessary punishment or bus pass confiscation.