Bus pass gets lost in RMTD

While Rockford Mass Transit District (RMTD) continues to operate its daily schedule, and the new bus routes have been explained, some passengers have had problems of a nontypical nature.

One of them, Julia McCord, sent a letter to The Rock River Times explaining what happened to her recently.

“I attempted to activate a 30-day bus pass last Friday, Jan. 6, but inadvertently inserted it into the Fare Box, instead of the Transfer Box. The bus driver called the dispatcher, and the dispatcher said I could retrieve my pass Tuesday afternoon, Jan. 10, 2006. I called on Tuesday—a woman in RMTD’s Administration office said that my bus pass had not been retrieved and that I should call back Friday the 13th. I called back on the 13th, and the bus pass has not been retrieved yet!!!

“I could pay two to four or more bus fares traveling by RMTD bus any given day, and I frequently ride the bus to and from work five days a week. I schedule appointments throughout the week, Monday thru Sunday, reason enough to purchase a 30-day bus pass. I would think that RMTD fare boxes could be programmed to reject monthly bus passes, or why can’t a substitute bus pass be issued and to be surrendered upon retrieving the 30-day bus pass? Of course, the issue date of the substitute pass would validate the original pass with the same date. After all, passengers can’t ride for free (for a week)!”

Jan. 23, McCord spoke with TRRT again and said she still had no word about the missing bus pass. However, she said she had spent $28 on bus fares since then.

TRRT contacted RMTD Public Relations Specialist Lisa Brown, who promised to look into the matter. She informed us that McCord had called the day after RMTD had cleared out the fare boxes, so one of two things might have happened. “It’s possible that the pass could have been thrown out in the trash, or it could still be stuck somewhere in the box,” she suggested. Unfortunately for McCord, she cannot get even a partial refund on the pass. Monthly passes cost $35.

McCord also shared two other concerns with TRRT.

“The most recent free ride day was commemorating Rosa Parks. There is no free ride day for 30-day bus pass holders. Activated 30-day bus passes expire in 30 days, regardless of a free ride day or a national holiday. I’m happy for passengers taking advantage of free ride days—they are RMTD’s busiest days.

“Concerning another topic, RMTD bus drivers turn in lost items (the information’s logged); that doesn’t necessarily mean the items turn up in Lost & Found. I left a new book on a bus. It was logged in, but I could not claim it in Lost & Found. Poof! It was gone! I lost a scarf a couple of months ago. I was the last passenger to leave the bus, and then the bus went to the garage. The scarf was on the seat next to me—I forgot to pick it up. The scarf is mysteriously lost! Poof! Gone with the wind!”

These last incidents seem to involve possible theft, but there is no way to trace what happened. The best advice here is—check the seat you just vacated before getting off the bus.

From the Feb. 8-14, 2006, issue

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