posted on Oct, 15 2009 @ 10:41 AM
Last night at about 6:00 as I was coming to the El Cajon transit center from SDSU (I am finishing up my BA, so I practically live there), I heard the
trolley driver over the loud speaker politely ask "Please have your tickets or passes out and ready for inspection".
In all my years using the MTS system, as a customer I have grown accustomed to trolley security hassling an occasional drunk or belligerent customer,
and usually security is justified in their duties. Typically they will board the trolleys in teams of two to three and will politely ask for people to
show their passes, as lots of people try to nab a free ride. Although, some are authorized to have guns and recently one security guard was actually
shot with his own gun, and I just find giving security guards guns asks for all kinds of trouble.
This night as the doors of the trolley opened, I was greeted with a transit platform swarming with security. They had formed a perimeter around each
door and immediately began 'inspecting' people's tickets. I had my student id with the official MTS semester pass ready to see, it is a good sized
square sticker that is on the id, and it is prominent on my special ops wallet from Saudi Arabia, so you can see it with little difficulty.
The security guard who was barring my passage to the transit center asked to see my pass, and as I willingly showed it to him, he instantly grabbed my
wallet and tried to 'inspect' my wallet after giving me a completely confused look. I refused to let go, and as he tried to pull it towards him, I
instinctively began to pull back.
I noticed his heightened emotions at my action and he began to raise his voice and he repeated "I can't see it. I can't see it." So to avoid a
confrontation with over twenty transit security guards, I proffered my wallet once more and he confirmed my pass and let me go. Then I saw the extent
of what really looked like a military exercise as I could barely get past the swarm of security that was clearly a waste of resources compared to the
usual methods of checking tickets.
It almost feels like the customers were being treated like they were the enemy. One older man who got on the same bus I take after the trolley ride,
mentioned he was being hassled by security to the bus driver who responded "Yeah, the transit cops are being real jerks today". I actually know a
few, and I rarely have any run ins at all, but the usual security I recognize, would have been lost in the swarm of uniforms, even if they were
More than a few people are believing that we are on the verge of becoming a police state and although nothing really bad happened, I think this is a
sign of more to come. This was an unnecessary tactic for paying customers who use this system every day, and really does create an oppressive
environment while wasting their security resources on what I can only describe as excessive force.
I guess I should be glad I pay for my semester pass in advance, but this really bothers me.
[edit on 15-10-2009 by GideonHM]