NYCT: Select Bus Fare Beaters Were Expected

The Select Bus Service (which debuted in 2008 on the Bx12) has been plagued by one major issue since day one, fare beaters. The issue has been so rampant that soon after the service began, the MTA & NYPD announced an alliance to step up fare enforcement. However as the New York Daily News has reported on numerous times, fare beating continues to be a big problem.

Approximately two weeks ago, the aforementioned paper wrote a report about how fare beating is still prevalent as they went undercover to investigate the problem. Fast forward to this morning where the latest report focuses on the MTA’s attitude towards the problem. According to them, they expected these issues all along. Mike Jaccarino of the New York Daily News has more:

We’ll live with it.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority says the rampant fare-beating seen on a Bronx express bus line was not unexpected, even as the agency is about to expand the honor system to Manhattan.

The BX12 Select Bus Service along Fordham Road and Pelham Parkway allows passengers to board after buying tickets at bus stop kiosks.

But a Daily News investigation found large numbers of riders simply boarding without paying.

“The officers are out there every day, so we’re not going to do anything special,” said MTA spokesman Charles Seaton. “Cities all over the world have implemented rapid transit buses. It’s part of speeding the buses along.”

Recently, a reporter staked out three BX12 SBS stops in the Bronx and counted the number of riders who boarded without first purchasing a ticket.

Over the course of an hour at each stop, 40 fare-beaters boarded at Fordham Plaza sans tickets; 22 did so near the Pelham Bay IRT subway stop, and 27 at the stop on Pelham Parkway at Williamsbridge Road.

Seaton said there’s nothing strange with the number of people hitching free rides on the BX12 buses.

“Fare evasion on SBS is consistent with the system average for all buses,” he said.

Click here for the complete report.

Personally I feel the MTA’s attitude towards this is extremely concerning. While fare evasion is to be expected on public transportation systems, this does not mean everything possible to curb it should not be done. If they expected these problems all along, why were better measures not implemented to curb this prior to its debut? These are common sense aspects that should have been dealt with during the planning stages.

While the money earned from fares will never be enough to cover costs, it does not mean the MTA should not do more to collect every dollar it has earned. Considering the dire financial picture that hangs over the agency’s head, it has no business letting any money slip through the cracks.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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