Earlier today, the MTA Board approved the increase of the fare evasion penalty from $60 to $100. The increased penalty will start as of July 7th. The MTA’s New York City Transit division issued a press release:
MTA New York City Transit today announced that the penalty for fare evasion has been increased from $60 to $100. This increase, the first in 20 years, was approved by the full MTA Board at its June meeting held today. The increased fine will go into effect on summonses for fare evasion issued on or after July 7, 2008.
Last year alone, officers of the New York City Police Department’s Transit Bureau issued close to 85,000 summonses for acts of fare evasion, from which NYC Transit recouped an estimated $7.2 million in payments. This is despite the fact that we have added anti-tampering software to turnstiles in the subway system to prevent people from manipulating MetroCards to avoid paying their fare, or selling ‘swipes’ using doctored cards.
Also, in light of the introduction of Select Bus Service on the Bx12 route on Sunday, which is basically an honor system wherein customers pay their fares and obtain receipts before boarding the bus, it is essential that we ensure that we collect fares. The monetary liability for willful fare evasion has to be sufficient to deter individuals who might otherwise be tempted to abuse the new fare collection procedure associated with Select Bus Service, which is designed to speed up boarding and as a byproduct travel times.
“We wanted to institute a penalty stiff enough to make it a losing proposition for anyone who was even contemplating boarding a bus or subway train without paying the fare,” noted NYC Transit President Howard H. Roberts, Jr. “Once a fare evader gets hit with $100.00 fine, maybe it will dawn on that person that saving two dollars just isn’t worth it. Individuals contemplating fare evasion should also consider the fact that violations of NYC Transit’s Rules of Conduct can result in arrest in lieu of a TAB summons.”
As such, the penalty is being increased from the current $60 per violation to $100 per violation. This is the first increase in the penalty in two decades. Virtually all other forms of civil fines in the region have increased since the 1980’s, quite substantially in many cases.
I completely support the increase as people should pay the price for trying to steal a ride. In the tough economic times the MTA faces, every dollar it can get has to be seen as a good thing.
xoxo Transit Blogger