Rules of Conduct Policy

Rules of Conduct Policy

It is the mission of GoTriangle to provide safe, reliable, convenient, and efficient public transportation to the citizens and visitors of the Triangle area. GoTriangle has established this Conduct Policy in order to promote the safety and comfort of its riders, facilitate the proper use of transit facilities and services, protect transit facilities, protect its vehicles, and protect its employees.

I. Purpose
II. Definitions
III. Authorizations
IV. Levels of Inappropriate Conduct
V. Transit Exclusion Procedure
VI. Appeal Procedure
VII. Notice

I. Purpose

GoTriangle has established this Rules of Conduct and Exclusion Policy to outline conduct deemed inappropriate inside and outside areas of GoTriangle property, bus shelters, bus stops, transfer points, and on buses. This policy also details the procedures for passenger exclusions and appeals.

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II. Definitions

Facilitiesmeans all property and equipment of GoTriangle, including, without limitation, inside and outside areas of property, bus shelters, bus stops, transfer points, signage and buses used to provide public transportation service. No individual may engage in inappropriate conduct on, at or in public transportation facilities.

Inappropriate Conduct—is any conduct that is disruptive or injurious to other individuals’ lawfully using GoTriangle facilities or services; damaging or destructive to transit facilities or services; or disruptive, harassing, or threatening transit employees. Inappropriate conduct may also constitute a violation of an ordinance or criminal law. Not charged or convicted by Law Enforcement of an incident of inappropriate conduct does not bar investigation and/or exclusion under this policy.

Excludedmeans an individual may not enter or remain on GoTriangle property and equipment used to provide public transportation services.

AssaultNorth Carolina General Statute defines assault as (a) An unlawful threat or attempt to do bodily injury to another, (b) The act or an instance of unlawfully threatening or attempting to injure another.

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III. Authorizations

GoTriangle Operators/Supervisors—Any individual observed engaging in the inappropriate conduct may be told by a bus Operator or Supervisor or other authorized individual to leave the facilities immediately. An individual who declines to leave the facilities after being ordered to do so is subject to arrest and prosecution for trespassing and/or disorderly conduct.

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IV. Levels of Inappropriate Conduct

Inappropriate conduct will be categorized in Levels I, II, and III. Level I offenses will result in exclusion from transit facilities and/or services for not less than 30 days or more than 3 months. Level II offenses will result in exclusion from transit facilities and/or services for not less than 90 days or more than 6 months. Level III offenses will result in exclusion from transit facilities and/or services for not less than 180 days or permanently based on severity. Further legal action may be taken as applicable and appropriate for Level III offenses. The levels of inappropriate conduct are as follows:

A. Level I Offenses

1. Refusing to vacate designated wheelchair areas and/or seating for senior citizens and people with disabilities on the bus.
2. Using profanity, smoking, eating or drinking on the bus (Note: Items in closed containers are permitted)
3. Using an audio device (e.g. portable radio, tape, CD player, TV, etc.), unless such equipment is used with earphones so that sound is limited to person’s own listening.
4. Standing in front of the yellow standee line at the front of the bus near the driver’s seat or leaning on the rear doors.
5. Bringing any animal on buses uncaged or caged, except service animals that assist those with disabilities.
6. Bringing on board any large articles, packages, baggage, non-collapsible strollers or baby buggies that block the aisle and restrict the free movement of passengers.
7. Engaging in indecent, profane, boisterous, unreasonably loud, demeaning, and disrespectful to GoTriangle employees, contractors, and/or passengers.
8. Engaging in unauthorized canvassing, selling, soliciting or distributing any material on-board buses or at the transfer facility.
9. Boarding unattended minors: children five years of age and under must be closely accompanied at all times by an older responsible individual.
10. Roller-skating, roller-blading, or skateboarding on buses or at the transfer facility.
11. Hanging or swinging from stanchions or other bus equipment with feet off the floor.
12. Hanging out, reaching out, or putting anything out of bus windows.
13. Willfully refusing to pay a fare, or show appropriate identification or fare media to the bus operator.
14. Misuse of fare media, including counterfeit or stolen fare media.
15. Obstructing or interfering with the Bus Operator’s safe operation of the bus.
16. Otherwise disorderly or inappropriate conduct that is inconsistent with the orderly and comfortable use of buses for their intended purpose

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B. Level II Offenses

1. Smoking or carrying a lighted or smoldering pipe, cigar, or cigarette on the bus or inside the transfer facility (this includes electronic cigars or cigarettes).
2. Fighting
3. Behavior that is disruptive, harassing, or threatening in nature to GoTriangle passengers or employees. This includes following or stalking passengers or employees.
4. Causing sounds that are unreasonable and highly disruptive of other individuals using GoTriangle facilities or services, including but not limited to: prolonged loud, abusive, indecent, profane or drunken conduct.
5. Drinking alcoholic beverages or possessing open containers of alcoholic beverages.
6. Otherwise disorderly or inappropriate conduct that is inconsistent with the safe and orderly use of transit facilities for their intended purpose.

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C. Level III Offenses

1. Bringing any items of a dangerous nature on board buses including: weapons (pistols, rifles, knives or swords); flammable liquids; dangerous, toxic or poisonous substances; vessels containing caustic materials, chemicals, acids or alkalis; sheet glass and sharp objects.
2. Stealing or willfully damaging, defacing or destroying GoTriangle property. GoTriangle will press charges of anyone who steals or willfully damages, defaces or destroys GoTriangle property.
3. Lighting an incendiary device on the bus (e.g. match, lighter, torch).
4. Indecent exposure and/or any form of onanism.
5. Filing fraudulent claims about injury sustained on a GoTriangle vehicle or at the transfer station.
6. Entering or remaining on GoTriangle buses after having been notified by an authorized individual not to do so, or boarding or remaining on GoTriangle buses during the period when an individual has been banned from the premises.
7. Spits or expectorates on or at bus operators, terminal employees, or GoTriangle passengers.
8. Assault or threat of assault on a GoTriangle Operator or passenger.

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V. Transit Exclusion Procedure

In the event that it is determined that an individual should be excluded from GoTriangle facilities and/or services, the process is as follows:

a. Authorized GoTriangle personnel will issue a written exclusion letter indicating the reasons for the exclusion, the duration of the exclusion, and the facilities and/or services to which the exclusion order applies. If continued use of transit facilities and/or services is made subject to safety conditions or restrictions (e.g., presence of a parent or guardian in the case of a juvenile; accompaniment by a personal care attendant or aide), a conditional exclusion letter may be issued specifying that the individual will be subject to exclusion unless the imposed restrictions are followed.
b. The letter shall also advise the individual of his/her right to appeal the decision and include a copy of the appeal procedure.
c. If an appeal is not filed by the excluded party within 10 days from the commencement of the exclusion to Customer Relations Administrator, then the right to appeal is considered waived.

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VI. Appeal Procedure

a. If the aggrieved person/s appeals the exclusion, he/she must submit an appeal in writing to the Customer Relations Administrator to rescind or alter the terms of the exclusion. Appeals can be mailed to PO BOX 13787 RTP, North Carolina 27709. The Customer Relations Administrator shall review and may reconsider or modify the decision to exclude an individual, following investigation of the matter and shall specify in writing within fourteen (14) business days of receipt of the appeal the reasons for rescission or modification, if applicable, to the grievant.
b. The appeal shall contain a) a copy of the exclusion notice and b) a statement of the reason why the exclusion is improper or should be altered.
c. Should the excluded person wish to appeal the decision of the Customer Relations Administrator, he/she may forward the appeal to the Operations Manager.
d. For those requesting a hearing in person before the Operations Manager, the Customer Relations Administrator or designee will schedule a hearing within 10 days following receipt of the appeal.
e. The hearing shall be conducted as follows: a) presentation of documents and testimony supporting the exclusion, and b) presentation of documents and testimony opposing the exclusion. The Operations Manager or designee may question those providing testimony and may tape record the proceedings.
f. Any decision levied by the Operations Manager will be in writing and shall be final.

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VIII. Notice

In addition to outlining the appeals process on the Exclusion Notice, GoTriangle will mail a copy of the entire Appeal Policy to persons issued Exclusion Notices who provide a mailing address. A copy of this policy is also available for review at GoTriangle’s transfer center located at 901 Slater Road, Durham, North Carolina 27703 and gotriangle.org.