NYC Transit Increases Fare Evasion Penalty

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

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A Huge Mistake

I was browsing some of my favorite blogs & came across an entry about the MTA shelving the planned third track at the 72nd Street station on the Second Avenue Subway. My first suggestion is to check out the entry I am referring to on Ben K’s Second Avenue Sagas which in my opinion is the best blog for extensive opinions & updates on the Second Avenue Subway project.

Benjamin nails it perfectly in regards to the city, & MTA regretting not making this a 4 track line in the future. He is also correct in how eliminating the third track from this station would lead to issues with traffic & connecting transfers.

In the long run it is painfully obvious that the Second Avenue Subway will be a project that will always have the “what it could have been” syndrome attached to it. How different would our transit infrastructure be if all projects were planned with the current & future ridership increases in mind. One can dream right?????

xoxo Transit Blogger

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5 & 6 Train Service Alert

The MTA has posted a service alert regarding service on the & . The service alert states:

Due to a smoke condition at the 28th Street Station:

Brooklyn Bridge-bound trains are running on the express track between the Grand Central-42nd Street Station and the 14th Street-Union Square Station.

Selected Brooklyn College-bound trains are running on the 2 line from the 3rd Avenue-149th Street Station to the Nevins Street Station.

Customers are advised to avoid using the Lexington Avenue line. As an alternate the following buses may be used: M1, M2, M3, M5, M101, M102 and M103.

Please expect delays in 4, and 6 train service at this time.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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MTA Revokes Travel Perks

As expected, the Metrpolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) voted to revoke the free travel perks to current & past board members at today’s board meeting. The new policy strips all former board members of their free E-Z Pass tags, MetroCards, & railroad passes. Current members will still receive these items but with restrictions which state they can only be used on official MTA business trips.

While this is all fine & good, are they going to actively monitor the use of these perks? I am sure that we will see an increase in official MTA business trips now which would defeat the purpose of this new policy. I feel an independent review board should oversee the usage & report their findings. For any board memeber caught abusing the perks, should be forced to reimburse the MTA for the non-business trips made.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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E-Z Pass Scandal Should Calm Down

Later this morning the MTA Board will hold their scheduled meeting at their headquarters. Many items are on the agenda but the one I will discuss in this entry is the vote that will hopefully bring an end or at least calm down the E-Z Pass scandal that has been big news lately. The board is expected to approve the action of revoking free E-Z Pass tags to former board members. As far as current board members are concerned, the use of the tags will be limited to trips for official business.

I sincerely hope measures are put in place to track which members use their tags properly & whic ones abuse it. We shall see………….

xoxo Transit Blogger

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