If a fare inspector were to catch you trying to skip out on your fare he or she could either: give you a warning, give you a citation, or exclude you from TriMet for up to 90 days.
In December 2011, TriMet issued 10 times as many citations as it did in December of 2010.
Basically the city has decided to replace warning riders who try to skip out on fares to citing them. The figures from TriMet show this trend—note how warnings and citations have been flipped from 2010 to 2011:
According to research done by the website Portland Afoot, in 2010 the city issued 6,469 citations but collected only $179,000, or about $ 28 dollars for every jumped fare. According to TriMet the city only receives about $69 out every $175 fine; the rest goes to the state and court fees. In other words, in 2010 the city could have made $ 446,361 form jumped fares.
This also means the city only has only a 40 percent success rate in getting cited jumpers to pay. But even if that rate stays the same, with 10 times as many citations being issued the city should see more paid citations. And in the very least, TriMet inspectors are now being paid to do more than just slap fare jumpers on the wrist.