No tolerance for vandals of metro Phoenix light rail

[Source: Casey Newton, Arizona Republic] — Riders of Metro light rail will get five days to ride the system for free.  But when it comes to vandalizing the trains, there are no freebies.  “There will be zero tolerance,” said Tom Simplot, chairman of the Metro board.  “The last thing we want is a graffiti-ridden, garbage-strewn light-rail system.”

The Metro board voted this week to adopt a zero-tolerance policy for violations of its prohibited-conduct ordinance, which is effective in Phoenix, Tempe, and Mesa.  The ordinance prohibits vandalism, smoking, playing loud music, and other inconsiderate behavior.  Officials warn that first-time violators will be punished beginning on opening day, Dec. 27, receiving fines of $50 to $500.  Some acts of vandalism could be prosecuted criminally.  Anyone who sees someone vandalizing a train should inform a Metro security officer or use one of the call boxes on the train, officials said.  “Call us,” said Rick Simonetta, Metro CEO.  (602) 253-5000.

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