The report found that users were getting high on everything from marijuana to fentanyl during their journeys, and that each time a suspected incident took place, it resulted in lengthy delays for other passengers.
According to KATU, a public records request revealed that during the two weeks between November 16 and 30, thirty "passenger issue" incidents were reported.
Of those, twenty-nine involved a passenger smoking or suspected of smoking illicit drugs. The outlier involved a passenger attempting to use a torch to burn plastic on the train.
Smoking of any kind is banned on all TriMet MAX services, and when an incident takes place, even if the suspected drug use is not confirmed, the company takes strong precautions to ensure that other passengers are not impacted.
As KATU reports, each time an instance of drug use is reported, passengers are asked to exit, and the train is aired out for at least fifteen minutes. Transit dispatchers then call TriMet supervisors, who come to the scene and ensure that any remnants or fumes from the drugs are gone. Passengers and operators alike have reported feeling unwell after riding the trains, likely due to inhaling the various substances.
TriMet spokesperson Roberta Altstadt amitted that problems typically reserved for rougher areas of town were making their way on to their trains.
"It's just with what we're seeing in the community—homelessness, mental health, drugs and addiction are up in the community," she said. "You're seeing it more in public spaces, including on public transit."
TriMet reports most of the "passenger issues" via Twitter, however they do not go into detail regarding what specifically caused the delay.
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