We all know this familiar scene, a bus pulls into a stop with a ton of would be passengers. Many grow impatient & board through the back of the bus & blend in with the crowd avoiding paying a fare. If it is not that scene, it will be someone being bold & entering through the front & ignoring any & all requests to pay the fare. Either way you slice it, fare evasion is a problem that plagues bus routes throughout NYC.
The MTA recently took steps to punish fare evaders when along with the introduction of Select Bus Service also introduced stiffer fines for fare evasion by raising each fine to $100 from the previous amount of $60. Now the agency hopes to do even more to curb fare evasion by teaming up with the NYPD to crack down on fare evaders. NY1 has more with this report:
Transit and police officials said Wednesday that they will begin cracking down on those who try to beat the bus fare, after a new study identifies where it occurs the most.
New York City Transit officials said that they are targeting the approximately 130,000 riders each week who get on the bus without paying fares – costing the Metropolitan Transportation Authority millions of dollars each year.
Transit officials say they have identified the routes and stops where the most freeloaders are getting on. The worst is the B46 in Brooklyn, where an estimated 4,000 people beat the fare each week.
Click here for the complete text along with video of this report.
I am glad to see the MTA attempting to do something which has been long overdue, cracking down on fare evaders. I feel most sorry for the bus drivers who are stuck between a rock & a hard place. If they choose to confront the fare evader, they are not following policy & risk getting attacked (more on that in the next entry) or being hated by riders for threatening to go out of service.
The other side of the coin is no better as they look like pushovers if they let it slide. When it comes to the reaction, it depends on who the driver is. I notice that the veteran drivers let it slide as they are of the belief I want to drive, stay out of harm’s way & go home to fight another day. A younger driver might be more brass & fight for that fare. Either way it is truly a no win proposition for the driver. I seriously hope the MTA & NYPD really stick with this potential partnership to crack down on fare evaders. While jail seems like a stretch since they are overcrowded as it is, some sort of swift punishment is in order especially for repeat offenders.
xoxo Transit Blogger