Subway, bus fare evasion causes loss of 215 mln dollars in New York

2018-12-05 11:08:00
Summary:The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) of New York City is expected to lose over 215 million U.S. dollar...
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) of New York City is expected to lose over 215 million U.S. dollars in 2018 due to fare evasion on the city's subway system and buses, local media reported on Tuesday.

MTA officials said at a presentation to board members on Monday that 3.8 percent of subway riders, or 208,000 people, do not pay for the ride each day during the fourth quarter of this year.

The most ordinary way to evade a ride fare on subway is to jump over the turnstiles. Some simply pull the emergency door, which stopped giving alarms in 2014.

Officials said Monday that the rate of fare evasion has soared since around midway through last year, when the office of Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. decided to stop prosecuting most of the fare beaters.

The office of Vance Jr. rejected the claim, according to the Wall Street Journal. A spokesperson for the office said police can still issue civil and criminal tickets for fare beating and less prosecution could free more officers into patrolling the subway.

The situation on buses is even worse, with 16 percent of bus riders, or 348,000 people, evading fare each day during the same period.

Bus drivers are often hesitant to confront fare-beaters due to fear of being assaulted, said MTA officials.

In response to the situation, the city is considering using police to physically block fare-beaters at subway turnstiles and on buses, according to the New York Post.

Andy Byford, president of the New York City Transit Authority, told the MTA board on Monday that the police would be "on a random basis, go and either ride buses or stand at gate arrays and provide a physical block to make sure that you have a ticket before you go into that station or onto that bus."

The fare evasion has contributed to a worsening financial strain for the MTA, which is often criticized for poor management, including constant delays of trains and the messy condition in most of the subway stations.

The MTA is mulling over a new round of fare hike, which is expected to be in effect in March 2019.

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