HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Veteran bus driver Jerry Teves was near the end of his route when he showed us a handful of counterfeit bus passes he confiscated in a matter of minutes Wednesday morning.
"It has a ridge right there and it has a thin blue line," he said.
He pointed out the differences between the fakes and legitimate monthly passes held by a lot of his riders.
Someone is making and selling the counterfeit passes for half the price of a genuine adult monthly pass.
Teves said three of the riders he stopped boarded with fake passes on Wilder Avenue.
He asked one of them how much he paid for the fraudulent card.
"He says he got it from Chinatown for twenty bucks," Teves said.
Teves confiscated the fakes within minutes at three consecutive stops.
"I think a lot of them they're not aware that they bought a counterfeit bus pass," he said. "When you confront them and take the bus pass away, their jaws kinda drop."
Officials with Oahu Transit Services said drivers are being coached on the counterfeits.
OTS began spotting the forgeries two weeks ago. It instructed bus operators to be more vigilant.
Teves scrutinizes passes closely when passengers board even if it means falling behind on his schedule.
"A lot of what they're doing is they're putting it under laminate or they put it in their wallet where it's behind of a plastic sheeting. So we have to ask them, 'Can you please take it out. I want to see your bus pass,'" he said.
Differences in the counterfeit are color, the placement of the images and lettering, and the thickness at the silver strip on the bottom of the card.
Anyone caught using one to board TheBus could face a fine and jail time.
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