Select Bus Service Honor System Fails

One of the best transit innovations to come to NYC in recent memory was Select Bus Service. Select Bus Service (which is currently running on the Bx12) is “a new type of rapid bus operation employing advance fare payment, dedicated travel lanes and traffic signal priority.” The service initially debuted to knee jerk reactions by a select few but for the most part was well received by transit advocates & riders.

However as is usually the case in life, everything is not as picture perfect as people would like it to be. One of the major issues that faced SBS from day one was fare evasion. The MTA realized this & initially planned to step up fare payment enforcement. They even announced that they were teaming with the NYPD to crack down on fare evaders.

Unfortunately it seems clear that their efforts have not been enough to deter fare evaders. According to a recent report in the New York Daily News, the “honor system” of fare payment has failed miserably. Mike Jaccarino has more:

Fare-beaters are running rampant over the honor system that governs Bx12 Select Bus Service buses in the Bronx – at the very time the cash-strapped MTA needs the money most.

Bronx Boro News counted five farebeaters within one hour on a recent day, 23 more in a half-hour another day, and 15 more within an hour another day, all at the Williamsbridge Road stop on Pelham Parkway.

“They’re not checking, so why should I pay?” said one man. “I pay enough for everything else in this world.”

A youngster who beat the fare at first protested that he had purchased a ticket – but only grinned when asked to show it.

Click here for the complete report.

I support Select Bus Service & other initiatives like it that improve mass transit in our region. However with saying that, I feel the MTA & NYPD have dropped the ball here. We as riders have a legal responsibility to pay for our fares when we board some form of public transportation.

While it would be nice to live in a world where people do the right thing & pay their fare, it is unrealistic to think this will happen 100% of the time. So it then becomes the responsibility of the MTA & law enforcement officials to enforce proper fare payment. Anything less is completely unacceptable to the MTA & the riders it serves who do the right thing & pay their fare.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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