Fare evasion especially on Select Bus Service is a topic I have opined on in numerous entries. Most of those entries focused on reports from the New York Daily News which highlighted how fare evasion on the Bx12’s Select Bus Service has been a problem since its inception. So with that in mind, I find it very interesting how the same newspaper prints a report about how MTA Bus Inspectors are regining in on fare beaters. Pete Donohue has more:
The 26-year-old woman rolled the dice – and lost.
She boarded a Bx12 bus in the Bronx last week without first paying the $2.25 fare at a curbside machine. A few stops later, an NYC Transit inspector stepped on, asked riders for receipts – and wrote the woman a $100 ticket for fare-beating.
Welcome to the honor payment system – with teeth.
The Daily News got an inside look at how Transit’s Eagle Team of inspectors keep fare evasion in check along the Select Bus Service route in the Bronx – and how they’ll soon do the same on Manhattan’s East Side.
Some straphangers suspect the system, designed to speed bus travel by having riders pay at the curb, will encourage more rampant fare-beating. Transit officials and Mayor Bloomberg, though, disagree, pointing to their special team of inspectors.
Every day, at least two pairs of inspectors ask riders along the Bx12 line for their receipts. And several times a week, they perform a “surge,” stopping a string of buses at a stop and asking every passenger for proof they paid.
Transit officials say fare evasion has dropped on the line since Select Bus Service started, from 13% to 10%, due to the roaming inspectors and the greater threat of fines.
Click here for the complete report.
I have a huge problem with this report. How does the New York Daily News print report after report on their undercover investigations highlighting fare evasion problems with the Bx12’s Select Bus Service yet turn around & print a report highlighting how it is not that big of a problem. Either it is or it is not, so which is it? The investigative reports & official statistics show it is a problem. One fare lost is too many even if it is unrealistic to expect 100% payment success.
The paper clearly saw it was a problem on numerous occasions & the MTA expected it to be a problem all along. This kind of journalism comes off more as a press release versus actual reporting of the issue at hand. I think that is a huge mistake & undermines a serious problem that needs to be addressed.
xoxo Transit Blogger