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Confiscation of Student IDs by GRT


RideTheRocket

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A bus driver driving 2701 on the 9 Lakeshore heading north to Conestoga Mall from Waterloo University at 6:45pm today seized the student ID cards of two students including my own for what he claims to be a "faded picture" on the ID. A girl was crying over the fact her boyfriend got his ID confiscated and the driver simply walked away from his bus to go to the washroom leaving her crying. This is a really sad image being portrayed by GRT personnel.

In my opinion, this is a clear breach of privacy as well as security given that funds inside the cards as well as library access are still active. No where is there any mention of a University policy nor GRT policy that student cards will be confiscated on the basis of faded pictures, only expired IDs can be confiscated per the GRT website. A faded picture ID can be deemed an invalid fare and thus subjected to a payment of a full fare, but no way should drivers be able to collect personal identification of students.

So watch out if you are using your student ID on the GRT, especially on a Friday night because you won't be able to get a new one until Monday morning at the earliest if GRT confiscates it (and you may have to pay the replacement fee). I am going to make a formal complaint in regards to the breach of confidential information (and privacy act) and if there is not a satisfactory result, this will be brought to the attention of the media.

This is an unacceptable practice by GRT when student IDs are relied upon for meal purchases, identification, library access, and admission into exams.

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A bus driver driving 2701 on the 9 Lakeshore heading north to Conestoga Mall from Waterloo University at 6:45pm today seized the student ID cards of two students including my own for what he claims to be a "faded picture" on the ID. A girl was crying over the fact her boyfriend got his ID confiscated and the driver simply walked away from his bus to go to the washroom leaving her crying. This is a really sad image being portrayed by GRT personnel.

In my opinion, this is a clear breach of privacy as well as security given that funds inside the cards as well as library access are still active. No where is there any mention of a University policy nor GRT policy that student cards will be confiscated on the basis of faded pictures, only expired IDs can be confiscated per the GRT website. A faded picture ID can be deemed an invalid fare and thus subjected to a payment of a full fare, but no way should drivers be able to collect personal identification of students.

So watch out if you are using your student ID on the GRT, especially on a Friday night because you won't be able to get a new one until Monday morning at the earliest if GRT confiscates it (and you may have to pay the replacement fee). I am going to make a formal complaint in regards to the breach of confidential information (and privacy act) and if there is not a satisfactory result, this will be brought to the attention of the media.

This is an unacceptable practice by GRT when student IDs are relied upon for meal purchases, identification, library access, and admission into exams.

If as you say he had no right to take the card then did you call the police and advise that this individual had taken your identification away from you. If not file a complaint with them and get the report number, then when you talk to GRT present them with the police report # as well.

After all you don't know what this person could do your card, after all it sounds like this is your university ID, not just a bus pass.

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I agree. If it had been strictly a bus pass, GRT would likely have the ability to confiscate it as they see fit. If it was a school-issued ID card with limited restrictions on confiscation, that is a totally different ballgame (especially when wrongly confiscated). Most universities have all-in-one cards and like you said if they're confiscated it leaves the student without access to university services that they've paid for or are entitled to (building/dorm access, preloaded funds on the card, admission to an exam or test).

File that complaint with GRT, and also to your university to get them on GRT's case about it, regarding proper enforcement and confiscation proceedures.

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IIRC the drivers are allowed to confiscate student cards as they are considered fare media. I think GRT returns them to the university.

That is correct, GRT has the full authority to confiscate those cards if misused, invalid or abused, and GRT does return them to the University that issued them.

To the bus driver, I say "Good Job" because its rare to hear about a GRT driver doing their job properly!

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I am going to make a formal complaint in regards to the breach of confidential information (and privacy act) and if there is not a satisfactory result, this will be brought to the attention of the media.

LMFAO............ Seems like somebody is a little p*ssed at a driver just doing his job! Good luck on your complaint. (If you only knew the UW/WLU fare fraud that goes on with those cards! Just wait until the "swipe card" system is implemented and watch the cry babies scream then .... No fare = No ride; Expired card = No Ride) I can hardly wait to see what Jeff Outhuit has to say, or CKCO. Don't waste your time on this one OK. Just get a new card that has a "visible" picture on it, and remember to take it out of your pocket before you run it thru the laundry!

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That is correct, GRT has the full authority to confiscate those cards if misused, invalid or abused, and GRT does return them to the University that issued them.

To the bus driver, I say "Good Job" because its rare to hear about a GRT driver doing their job properly!

I agree that a card should be confiscated if it is expired, but not if it is faded since a student card is used for many things other than riding GRT, including getting into some residence buildings and buying food on campus.

I once had a bus driver tell me that my card was faded and that he'd let me on this time, but I should go ask my school for a new card. This seems like a better way to deal with faded cards than just confiscating them, and leaving the student to pay $20 for a "lost" card.

BTW, I took good care of my card, but it became faded because I had to swipe it 6 or 7 times per day to buy food and get into my residence building.

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That is correct, GRT has the full authority to confiscate those cards if misused, invalid or abused, and GRT does return them to the University that issued them.

To the bus driver, I say "Good Job" because its rare to hear about a GRT driver doing their job properly!

How is having a "faded" card a misuse? It seems to me that this is not a valid reason for confiscating a card.

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thats BS, a driver confiscating an faded id card? does the driver not know that those cards are also libary cards and etc have infomation you wouldnt want to fall into the worng hands? in a world where Identity theft is high GRT needs to change that policy a faded photo is a BS excuse for confiscation they get used alot (maybe they need to be redesigned so they dont fade)

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thats BS, a driver confiscating an faded id card? in a world where Identity theft is high GRT needs to change that policy a faded photo is a BS excuse for confiscation they get used alot (maybe they need to be redesigned so they dont fade)

I don't think "redesigning" faded cards is GRT's problem.

Also, as you say, "in a world where identity theft is high"; I think you hit the nail on the head ................ the GRT driver has no idea if the holder of the card with a "faded" picture, is the true owner of that card, since he/she has no way of confirming who is on the card, in the picture! By confiscating the card, and returning it to the University Security, "you" the true owner and holder of the card, should be able to retrieve it from them by showing identification, and proving your validity as a student there. All of this shouldn't have to be done on the bus, by the driver. Get a damn card with a visible picture and you won't have to deal with the "chance" that your card will be confiscated.

And, by the way, "in a world where identity theft is high" as you say, I think you should thank the driver for taking the card because, what if, just what if, the card was stolen, and being used fraudulently??? Now you have it back in the rightful owners hands. Hmmm. Good point.

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A bus driver driving 2701 on the 9 Lakeshore heading north to Conestoga Mall from Waterloo University at 6:45pm today seized the student ID cards of two students including my own for what he claims to be a "faded picture" on the ID. A girl was crying over the fact her boyfriend got his ID confiscated and the driver simply walked away from his bus to go to the washroom leaving her crying. This is a really sad image being portrayed by GRT personnel.

In my opinion, this is a clear breach of privacy as well as security given that funds inside the cards as well as library access are still active. No where is there any mention of a University policy nor GRT policy that student cards will be confiscated on the basis of faded pictures, only expired IDs can be confiscated per the GRT website. A faded picture ID can be deemed an invalid fare and thus subjected to a payment of a full fare, but no way should drivers be able to collect personal identification of students.

So watch out if you are using your student ID on the GRT, especially on a Friday night because you won't be able to get a new one until Monday morning at the earliest if GRT confiscates it (and you may have to pay the replacement fee). I am going to make a formal complaint in regards to the breach of confidential information (and privacy act) and if there is not a satisfactory result, this will be brought to the attention of the media.

This is an unacceptable practice by GRT when student IDs are relied upon for meal purchases, identification, library access, and admission into exams.

How is this a clear breach of privacy/confidentiality?...

1) The card is the property of the University who issued the card, NOT the student carrying the card, just in case some did not know that.

2) One can assume under reasonable circumstances that the driver, being a civil servant, would be honest enough to return the card (as per policy) to the transit supervisor and therefore it would be returned to the University who issued the card as per our UPASS agreement with the university.

3) Driver's do not have the ability to access the information on the card's magnetic strip, therefore the information is still as secure as it was in the hands of the student.

4) If you notice, ALL GRT ID cards include the name of the individual the card was issued to. Short of the student number on the One Card or WatCard (which has no relevance to the driver anyways) there is no more information provided to the driver than by means of any other pass.

5) If there is any issue as to whether or not the confiscated card will be misused in any way, student's do have the ability, AND INDEED THE RESPONSIBILITY, to call student services at their respective university ASAP and have the card cancelled/deactivated. I also highly doubt that any funds are stored on the card itself, the card likely just accesses an account at the university, and therfore once the card is deactivated the card should not be able to access that information even if an attempt is made on it.

The simple and plain fact of the matter is a faded card constitutes defacing of the card whether intentional or not, and according to our instructions by GRT management (a chart which which is on my desk as I'm typing this) it is therefore is subject to confiscation AS PER THE AGREEMENT WITH THE UNIVERSITIES. If you don't like the agreement talk to the university, they agreed to it! How is an operator to know whether or not a card was intentionally defaced or if the card has just been through the wash several times? The only way to address this issue is to get the cards out of circulation, and unfortunately this means that the ones that get sent through the wash get removed as well. In the end it is the student's responsibility to maintain a valid ID (and you'll also have to explain to me how such a faded card is valid as ID at the unviersity itself either when you can't see who's on the card), and since a great many of students treat the UPASS privlages like a joke, GRT drivers are left with two choices. Either completely give up trying to validate the cards as fare (and I'll be the first to admit, many drivers have done just that), or simply get the unknown's out of circulation.

My simply suggestion is this, keep a clear and valid student card AND THERE WON'T BE A PROBLEM, period! With all the university cards confiscated over the last year you would think that students would be starting to catch on to the fact that B.S. isn't being tolerated by many drivers anymore; and IIRC there was even an article in one of the university student newspapers on the topic sometime since September, when confiscation of cards began.

The other reality is that GRT and the universities agreed to use the student card as the bus fare (again note an agreement that the university signed!!), which in itself is not a bad idea; however, if there is no ability for GRT to confiscate the cards how is fraudulent use to be ever be minimized or stopped? Where would the check and balance be? If there was no mechanisim to remove invalid cards from circulation every single student who attempts to use an invalid or fraudulent card and gets caught would simply need to wait until a bus comes along where the driver doesn't catch it, and fraud would over run the system. The reality with the UPASS program is that a percentage of students do abuse the system, yet when they get caught, when the driver is just doing their job, the students cry foul and act like victims of a serious crime.

Well, to those who haven't figured this out yet, (and feel free to take offense if you want):

1) It's time to grow up, life isn't fair nor will it ever be;

2) The world does not owe you one, you will not get special treatment just because you think you deserve it;

3) Respect is a two-way street, if you act all obnoxious and 'holier-than-thou' you will be looked down upon by others, you are not "special" simply because "you go to university";

4) The bus operator has a job to do and it is your responsibility to have a VALID fare ready in hand when the bus arrives, plain and simple; this is not an unreasonable or difficult request to have of anyone, the bus is not free, never has been, and intentional fare fraud is technically a crime, it is not a joke when you get caught!

...and just to clear this up...no, the vast majority of students do not behave badly, or break the rules, use fraudulent fares etc. etc. etc.; nor do I want to paint everyone with the same brush. In fact the majority of students I've met say thank-you and are respectful, and I'm more than willing to return the courtesy; however, the ones who do abuse the system, boy do they ever stand out in a crowd, and they put the entire student population under a bad light.

P.S. What I find ironic is that most university students are my age, so why can I figure this out and others can't?

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This is an unacceptable practice by GRT when student IDs are relied upon for meal purchases, identification, library access, and admission into exams.

If the card is faded, how would it be considered identification if you can't use it to ID someone?

Could anyone provide a copy of whatever document the students presumably sign when they get these cards?

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P.S. What I find ironic is that most university students are my age, so why can I figure this out and others can't?

You assume (erroneously) that most university students your age have a brain in their head.

My experience tells me, sadly, that this isn't the case.

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Alright. Coming from a univeristy student, if you are a student and you are using an expired ID card then, yes it should be taken from them.

HOWEVER, both WatCards and OneCards have the expiry dates on them in clear view. It is not right to take a student's ID because the picture is faded. We are only issued ONE ID card unless we LOSE it. If this occurs, we must pay the fee to get a new one. If we were to go and say "my picture is fading, can I have a new one for the bus drivers?" they would probably tell us no as its a waste of materials. When you take a student's ID, you don't know what you're taking. Often, they have their meal plans on it and additional money. At some residences, the student card is the key to get in.

In this case, if the card had a date on it, then it shouldnt be taken. I honestly think this is just the GRT making an attempt to do their job properly. BUT, I think all drivers are great people. I dont mind when a driver asks to see my card. I give it to them and they give it back. BUT, theres a point where it becomes stupid. The example of this is just that. New guidelines must be written. If I made enough money, Id get a car and drive that. Much more convienent and less hassle.

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You assume (erroneously) that most university students your age have a brain in their head.

My experience tells me, sadly, that this isn't the case.

That is very sad. These people will be leading their generation and the next generation into the future. If things don't improve, then in the future, when those people talk about the past, they'll be saying "Do you remember those crappy old days?"

(Instead of 'do you remember the good old days?')

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Alright. Coming from a univeristy student, if you are a student and you are using an expired ID card then, yes it should be taken from them.

HOWEVER, both WatCards and OneCards have the expiry dates on them in clear view. It is not right to take a student's ID because the picture is faded. We are only issued ONE ID card unless we LOSE it. If this occurs, we must pay the fee to get a new one. If we were to go and say "my picture is fading, can I have a new one for the bus drivers?" they would probably tell us no as its a waste of materials. When you take a student's ID, you don't know what you're taking. Often, they have their meal plans on it and additional money. At some residences, the student card is the key to get in.

In this case, if the card had a date on it, then it shouldnt be taken. I honestly think this is just the GRT making an attempt to do their job properly. BUT, I think all drivers are great people. I dont mind when a driver asks to see my card. I give it to them and they give it back. BUT, theres a point where it becomes stupid. The example of this is just that. New guidelines must be written. If I made enough money, Id get a car and drive that. Much more convienent and less hassle.

Please don't take this the wrong way, but how is the card getting faded in the first place? If the fading is caused through the neglegence of the card holder (ie. the student) by sending it through the wash or otherwise not looking after it properly why then should the student not have pay for the replacement? The student is responsible for the upkeep of their ID and therefore if they wreck it IMO they should pay for the replacment (the "you break it you buy it principle"), is this not reasonable? I have seen countless university cards pass by me that are essentially in perfect condition which are 5 or 6 years old, yet there are cards less than a year old that are completely unidentifiable. If there was a manufacturing problem that reduced the lifespan of the card I could understand a little more, but if that were true all cards would fade essentially at equal rates, this is not the case.

If the card is so importnat that it needs to be used for so many things, then maybe it should not be used as the UPASS fare media, and maybe that is something that needs to change. On the other side of the coin, bus operators are 100% aware of what the student card represents; last year Guelph Transit and the University of Guelph were quoted in the media as saying (paraphrasing here > ) "because the student card is their meal plan, and library access etc. etc., that very fact should be considered a deterant to using the card fraudulently as a UPASS because it will be confiscated by the transit operator". It was in response to this media coverage and driver feedback that GRT Management approached the universities and agreed to amend the UPASS agreements to allow the One Cards and WatCards to be confiscated by GRT Operators. Guelph Transit even went so far as to press charges on those caught using fraudulent passes, however GRT has not gone that far.

And again, we come to the 'it was simply faded' problem; there is simply no way for a bus operator to be 100% sure the card was not INTENTIONALLY defaced as to make the card so you can not identify the person on the card. It may very well be the case it was through wear and tear that the card is defaced, but how can you prove that for certain? You can't...therefore if the operator cannot take the card out of circulation by confiscation than anyone with a faded card can say "it's just faded" or if asked to pay a fare, just choose to wait for the next bus where the operator may not ask, then how to you keep check on the ones who DO intentionally abuse the system? IMO the only reasonable action is confiscation of the card, and maybe what needs to change is better informing the students of this policy so they looks after their ID's better.

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Please don't take this the wrong way, but how is the card getting faded in the first place? If the fading is caused through the neglegence of the card holder (ie. the student) by sending it through the wash or otherwise not looking after it properly why then should the student not have pay for the replacement? The student is responsible for the upkeep of their ID and therefore if they wreck it IMO they should pay for the replacment (the "you break it you buy it principle"), is this not reasonable? I have seen countless university cards pass by me that are essentially in perfect condition which are 5 or 6 years old, yet there are cards less than a year old that are completely unidentifiable. If there was a manufacturing problem that reduced the lifespan of the card I could understand a little more, but if that were true all cards would fade essentially at equal rates, this is not the case.

If the card is so importnat that it needs to be used for so many things, then maybe it should not be used as the UPASS fare media, and maybe that is something that needs to change. On the other side of the coin, bus operators are 100% aware of what the student card represents; last year Guelph Transit and the University of Guelph were quoted in the media as saying (paraphrasing here > ) "because the student card is their meal plan, and library access etc. etc., that very fact should be considered a deterant to using the card fraudulently as a UPASS because it will be confiscated by the transit operator". It was in response to this media coverage and driver feedback that GRT Management approached the universities and agreed to amend the UPASS agreements to allow the One Cards and WatCards to be confiscated by GRT Operators. Guelph Transit even went so far as to press charges on those caught using fraudulent passes, however GRT has not gone that far.

And again, we come to the 'it was simply faded' problem; there is simply no way for a bus operator to be 100% sure the card was not INTENTIONALLY defaced as to make the card so you can not identify the person on the card. It may very well be the case it was through wear and tear that the card is defaced, but how can you prove that for certain? You can't...therefore if the operator cannot take the card out of circulation by confiscation than anyone with a faded card can say "it's just faded" or if asked to pay a fare, just choose to wait for the next bus where the operator may not ask, then how to you keep check on the ones who DO intentionally abuse the system? IMO the only reasonable action is confiscation of the card, and maybe what needs to change is better informing the students of this policy so they looks after their ID's better.

The cards fade over time. Ive had mine since july and the picture is already fading. Should I pay the place another 20.00 to get a new one?

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The cards fade over time. Ive had mine since july and the picture is already fading. Should I pay the place another 20.00 to get a new one?

That's between you and the univesity, and has nothing to do with GRT. If indeed the unversity cards are not holding up then maybe they should pay to replace them. The student cards are expected to be bus fare media, and if the university cannot provide something that will last they should replace it, if the student wrecks the card then they should replace it...but that's all just my opinion. As far as being a GRT Operator is concerned we are looking for valid and legible fare media, plain and simple, we have no control over how the cards are issued and produced nor is that our concern. It's up to the student to maintain their ID, and if that includes complaining to the university itself that their cards aren't holding up to regular wear and tear, and therefore aren't being accepted on the bus, then so be it.

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They don't charge $20 to replace a faded card...they only charge $20 if you lose your card. I got my faded card replaced in 5 minutes for free.

Please don't take this the wrong way, but how is the card getting faded in the first place? If the fading is caused through the neglegence of the card holder (ie. the student) by sending it through the wash or otherwise not looking after it properly why then should the student not have pay for the replacement? The student is responsible for the upkeep of their ID and therefore if they wreck it IMO they should pay for the replacment (the "you break it you buy it principle"), is this not reasonable? I have seen countless university cards pass by me that are essentially in perfect condition which are 5 or 6 years old, yet there are cards less than a year old that are completely unidentifiable. If there was a manufacturing problem that reduced the lifespan of the card I could understand a little more, but if that were true all cards would fade essentially at equal rates, this is not the case.

Some students need to slide their cards to get into residence buildings or to buy food while other students don't. From what I've experienced, having to slide your card tens of times per day causes it to fade out very quickly.

And again, we come to the 'it was simply faded' problem; there is simply no way for a bus operator to be 100% sure the card was not INTENTIONALLY defaced as to make the card so you can not identify the person on the card. It may very well be the case it was through wear and tear that the card is defaced, but how can you prove that for certain? You can't...therefore if the operator cannot take the card out of circulation by confiscation than anyone with a faded card can say "it's just faded" or if asked to pay a fare, just choose to wait for the next bus where the operator may not ask, then how to you keep check on the ones who DO intentionally abuse the system? IMO the only reasonable action is confiscation of the card, and maybe what needs to change is better informing the students of this policy so they looks after their ID's better.

Oh come on...how many people are going to intentionally deface their cards just to get on GRT? I think it's a lot more likely that the cards are fading from use rather than intentionally being defaced.

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P.S. What I find ironic is that most university students are my age, so why can I figure this out and others can't?
You assume (erroneously) that most university students your age have a brain in their head.

My experience tells me, sadly, that this isn't the case.

So true! Most of them can't even figure out how to open the rear doors and exit through them! (Or read, "Please Exit Through Rear Doors") Seems the Engineering & Math students are the worst! :lol:

Alright. Coming from a univeristy student, if you are a student and you are using an expired ID card then, yes it should be taken from them.

HOWEVER, both WatCards and OneCards have the expiry dates on them in clear view.

I've yet to see one of those, with the expiry date "in clear view"! (The type in the phone book is larger!)

Guelph Transit even went so far as to press charges on those caught using fraudulent passes, however GRT has not gone that far.

Yet!

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The cards fade over time. Ive had mine since july and the picture is already fading. Should I pay the place another 20.00 to get a new one?

This is not a GRT issue. This is a university issue and students should be holding the University accountable for poorly made student IDs. Personally I have an issue with the University developing all these wonderful designs for their cards which makes it difficult to see whether the card is valid or not. Not very practical!

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As far as I can tell, the WatCard policies include no mention of a faded card not being valid. I think the GRT driver's response is probably appropriate given their circumstances, and in this case it appears that the university's policies (or the lack thereof) are to blame. It's useless to talk about what students "should" and "ought" to do without a basis for it.

And as for general ranting about students: Keep in mind that students, particularly with the U-Pass, are very likely to be new and casual riders. I think it would be prudent if we were respectful of those who are using transit by choice and not just the "hardened" transit users.

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