Stopping and pre-emptive arrests of union members from Light Rail Transit (LRT) cars, disrupting routes and schedules and shutting down whole areas of downtown St. Paul to transit, Homeland Security and the Feds played with Metro Transit like a petulant 4 year old with a train set and model buses. As a result Metro Transit was basically unusable during the RNC and now it is a tool of "Homeland Security" (or state terror).
A question I have is how did the police and paramilitaries know to search the LRT cars to detain the union activists, were they looking for specific people, did they use the RFID chipped cards to trace people? Did they use LRT surveillance cameras? How and why did they stop the LRT?
The federalized paramilitaries seemed to have had lists of car descriptions and licenses that they targeted for preemptive stops of political activists on freeway ramps, did they use the freeway camera systems and did they have mass transit political surveillance tools too? At this time Metro Transit has the ability to trace the "GoTo" card to an ID of the card owner, can they do this in real time? Can the security paramilitaries track certain card users and pick them up? In an increasing surveillance environment of cameras and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology Metro Transit is becoming an instrument of civil control for use of the powers that control the security apparatus. Metro Transit has little interest in making a usable transit system for the taxpayers of Minnesota under Governor Pawlenty, and the warping of transit for security paramilitary games does not make the system more usable.
Obviously, when transit schedules and routes are disrupted or routes are banned from certain areas it makes transit unusable or difficult to use. I am sure this had the effect of dropping ridership during the 2008 RNC. When transit is used a surveillance tool and paramilitaries act on that information for political purposes it drops the confidence of the public in the integrity of transit systems. This is the neo-con "social engineering" at its finest, transit as a tool for paramilitaries to effect political goals. Meanwhile the public is left without a transit system that actually moves people to their own self-determined destinations.
Transit Usability Articles