Do not buy and sell tokens to your teammates in Atlanta

Do not buy and sell tokens to your teammates in Atlanta.
Read this link. If you have to sign up please do.

This is a better link.

I don’t think MARTA would have a problem if a mentor bought all of the tokens at once to save time instead of taking the extra time to all get your own. And if time is an issue and you will be riding the train multiple times a day. it might be a good idea for your team to buy a weekend pass ($9 for unlimited rides Fri.-Sun.) or a weeklong pass. ($13 for unlimited rides Mon.-Sun.)


You have to read the article. The person that gave the token to some one else was doing nothing wrong but handing him a token.

Exactly. Which is why, next time I’m in Atlanta, if someone needs a token I won’t hesitate to help them out. Not that I would’ve hesitated before, of course.

Stupid “laws” should not stop you from being a good person.

According to the article, handing him the token wasn’t a crime, but accepting the money was.

This law was put in place to deal with the scam artist who fills his pocket with tokens, and then jams the machine so that others cannot buy one. Then he sits there and has his own little ebay auction for the unfortunate people who cannot get the machine to work. (Not to insinuate that is what happened in this case.)

The fact is, you can hand out free subway tokens all day and not be arrested. Just don’t accept any recompense.

The real question is “Why wasn’t the purchaser arrested as well?” He was fully an accomplice in this crime.

And “What did the guy who got arrested do to tick off the officer enough to cause an arrest for such a silly situation?”

The thing is, is the guy made no profit and MARTA didn’t lose money. The guy gave him a token that he had paid for. The other person insisted on paying him back, the guy refused until the other guy said he wouldn’t take no for an answer. Pirone accepted the money, and was arrested.

Sounds ridiculous to me. I personally agree with Mike in that dumb laws wouldn’t stop me from being helpful to someone who needed assistance.

The first thing i noticed when reading this is:

“What you’ve got to keep in mind is that fare abuse is a chronic problem,” Baker said. “It costs MARTA millions of dollars every year.”

Now as the article says he made no money off from selling the coin to the person.


“There are customer service phones for people who are having trouble getting tokens out of the machine,” Baker said. “The fact is, our officer acted within the law.”

If you have ever had to use the customer service phones on a rail system, they can be slow. So that could cause you to be late for just about anything.

And thirdly:

“I gave him a token and, I guess out of his generosity, he gave me the money for it,” Pirone said. “But I didn’t ask him for money.”

He never asked for the money. So as far as anyone knows he could have simply donated it to him. (even though that is kinda a stretch) But the police officer could not know for sure if a purchase had taken place, it may have looked like it, but looks can be deceiving.

As for how it affects FIRST, i really don’t think it affects us at all. Your mentor should still be able to go and get you all tokens, or passes and hand them out. There should be no problem when groups travel, since it is just a lot easier for one person to get everything that for everyone to get there stuff serperatly. I think they understand that.

Sheer utter stupidity…

thats all that can be said.

Ahhhh… Its times like these that make me love our law making body.

I’d be willing to bet that there wasn’t any kind of problem, and then the guy mouthed off to the cop.

Cops don’t like to arrest people. It’s a major pain, they have to do all kinds of paperwork, and I’m guessing like referees in FIRST, they don’t take pleasure in arresting people (or throwing flags). He probably told the guy “Hey, you can’t sell tokens, please stop” and the guy probably got an attitude with him.

Either way, the whole situation is pretty lame.

I wouldn’t count on the police understanding that at all! It sounds like you had better be very sure that the police don’t see ANY money changing hands. The mentor had better collect all the money before ever entering the station, or after the team has reached the hotel, or take it out of the team travel budget.

We ran into a similar problem in a local park. A group of families had a tradition of meeting in a local park for the purpose of selling off their excess books at the end of the school year. Well, this particular city has a law against conducting “business” in a public park unless you have a business license. No one in their right mind would consider selling used books at a substantial loss, once a year, to be a “business.” But the city has their rules, and this year they ran us off. Apparently no one can sell anything at all in the park without breaking the law. If you went to McDonald’s to buy burgers for yourself and a friend, then brought the food to the park, you’d better not be seen collecting reimbursement from your friend!

Governments these days always want a piece of the action whenever money changes hands. A police officer on a slow day, who decides to enforce the picky city laws, is a sight to be dreaded.

the problem with dumb laws is they must be enforced no matter who is involved in the transaction.

If the police turn their back while a school group has a book sale in the park, then when someone decides to sell hotdogs in the park a precident has all ready been set.

Cops dont make the laws, or decide who to apply them to. If they did they would be guilty of favoritism.

If the law is stupid, then it needs to be changed.

As an atlanta resident and a regular MARTA patron, i am ashamed of this if it really did occur as the story reports. More than a few times i have ridden MARTA, some bum has come up to me and tried to sell me overpriced tokens. I have never seen the MARTA police do anything about it even if they are standing and watching. Another variant of this is that they stand by broken token machines (which are very common) or machines with very long lines (common during concerts and sports games). Tokens are $1.75. They sell you a token but unless you pay them with exact change, they hassle you and try to get you to let them keep the change. Its rather annoying. Looks like for once MARTA police decided to enforce this rule at an innappropriate time. This is not a case of cops attempting to avoid “favoritism”. I personally will not let this article scare me.

I do have a funny story about the MARTA cops. One time we decided to take our robot on MARTA which was an idea that i was not to keen on but went along with it anyway. We got into the station fine. Once a train pulled up and we went to get one the train, the train driver notices our robot. Over the intercom he tells us not to get one his train, promptly closes the doors and speeds off. We hear an announcement over the intercomm “rail control code 54” or something like that. After about 5 minutes some MARTA cops come and start hassling us, detain us and ask us questions. They tell us that one of the drivers told them that somebody tried to bring an “airplane wing” on the train.
I don’t really see the resemblance between our robot and an airplane wing. After much questioning they decided we weren’t bringing and “airplane wing” or a bomb on the train and decided it was ok.

Of course police offers like to arrest people, why else would they be officers? I mean, isn’t arresting people pretty obviously a part of the job? Why would you become a law enforcement official if you didn’t enjoy arresting people and enforcing rules? That’s what they do…

Disciplining students is obviously part of the job of being a teacher. Do most teachers like this part of the job? No. They didn’t become teachers to discipline students, they became teachers to educate the youth.

Most police officers probably took the job to protect society. Arresting people is merely one means to this end. They probably didn’t take the job so they could enjoy arresting people.

That being said, there are probably officers who do enjoy arresting people, and teachers who enjoy disciplining students. I just don’t think they’re in the majority.

I suppose everyone in the military enjoys killing people too.

[edit] apparently from the responses I’ve gotten, it wasn’t evident that this was sarcasm aimed at showing that you clearly cannot generalize an entire population based on one small aspect of what they do.

That’s enough, guys. Let’s show some respect to those who risk their lives to protect us, even if we don’t agree with everything they do.

Let’s not go into another agrument that will make everyone look foolish and stick with the original topic.

(404) 853-3434

This is the website for the Atlanta Police Department as well as the “Police Information” phone number. I would suggest that any team concerned by a potential situation ask the people who know the answers and correct procedures.

It’s easy to get worked up over what is probably a simple issue with a simple solution - let’s take it easy. Hope it helps.

Ultimately, this comes down to two things:

  1. The guy arrested was probably just trying to be a good person and was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Unfortunate, but life.

  2. Police have the right to arrest anyone that they have reason to belive is breaking a law that they are meant to enforce. When you get let off by an officer, they’re using their best judgement to realize that that law you just broke is irrelevant in the current situation, or is bad for the common good.

An example would be the recent incident in Miami where a passenger was shot by an Air Marshall. He was probably an idiot who got too riled up, but when he ran, the officer was completely in the clear to shoot him. In the public’s moral eye, he got a bad break, which we automatically attribute to unfairness. It wasn’t unfair, just unlucky. (I’m not saying the subway guy was a terrorist, just drawing an example). Thats why bums can sell tickets all day long, but a helpful guy who does it unknowingly once gets nailed.

And then there’s corruption of law, a far too delicate subject for uninformed people to yell about over the internet. We don’t want “The Flame Heard 'Round the World”…:wink:

Actually that is for the city of Atlanta police who are unaffiliated with the MARTA police which are a seperate force.