First Advisor

Brian C. Renauer

Term of Graduation

Spring 2020

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Criminology and Criminal Justice


Criminology and Criminal Justice




Local transit -- Fare evasion -- Oregon -- Portland, Compliance -- Statistics, Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon



Physical Description

1 online resource (v, 43 pages)


The present study sought to examine the factors that most distinguish fare evaders who do not pay their fines and fail to appear in court from fare evaders who pay their fines and appear in court. The relationship between prior criminal history and fare evasion offenders who do not pay their fines and fail to appear in court is also explored. A sample of 24,646 defendants who received a citation for fare evasion while riding the Tri-Met transit system in Portland, Oregon were divided into two groups of fare evaders who pay and appear in court and fare evaders who do not pay and fail to appear in court. An analysis of variance (ANOVA) was conducted to find the average differences between the groups. To examine the relationship between criminal history and fare evasion defendants who do not pay and fail to appear in court, the criminal histories of a subsample of 400 defendants from both fare evader groups were analyzed. ANOVAs were conducted on the 400 defendants to evaluate the differences in criminal histories between the pay and no pay groups. Also, a logistic regression was conducted to investigate the factors most associated with non-payment and failure to appear. Furthermore, a qualitative analysis on defendants who did not pay and failed to appear was conducted using a criminal records search. Results show that there is a significant difference between the no pay and pay groups across all variables, but prior criminal history, homelessness, and repeat fare evasion are the most distinguishable factors. The findings suggest that fare evasion fines are ineffective among fare evaders who have criminal histories, are homeless, and are repeat evaders. Further research on this population is needed to improve fare evasion policy.


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