Whether it is lowlifes deciding to not pay, or similar individuals jamming MetroCard Vending Machines to sell rides for cash, fare evasion is a problem that continues to cost the MTA. A report that should appear in today’s New York Daily News looks at how 15,700 people have been arrested so far this year for fare evasion. Pete Donohue has more:
A police crackdown on fare evasion has netted 15,700 arrests so far this year – an 11% increase over last year.
Undercover cops and uniformed officers have been targeting stations where vandalism to MetroCard vending machines is most frequent, NYPD Transit Bureau Chief Raymond Diaz said.
So-called swipers try to attract customers by jamming vending machines, often in unstaffed areas of a station.
They then offer discounted entrance into the system.
Some riders encountering vandalized machines jump the turnstile rather than walk to another part of the station to buy a MetroCard from a token booth clerk, Diaz said.
The MTA this summer laid off about 450 token booth clerks, but Diaz refused to say whether the staff cuts had any impact on the frequency of fare evasion.
Click here for the complete report.
One can argue that fare evasion is like prostitution, a crime that is old & unlikely to ever completely go away. Even with saying that, it is refreshing to see a full effort being executed to cut back on it. While the money from actual rides is just a drop in the agency’s financial picture, it adds up in the long run. One day it would be nice to see this type of crime be done away with completely.
xoxo Transit Blogger