MTA loses $119 million on fare evasion charges, officials say

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Ascending Fare evasion on subways and buses cost the MTA $119 million in the first three months of the year, according to new statistics — and officials want the transit workers to help them stem the costly problem.

A memo sent to the city’s bus drivers on Friday urged them to “politely quote the fare” to passengers who attempt to pay without paying.

Fare thieves make up 31.5% of all bus drivers, according to figures released ahead of this week’s MTA board meetings – up from 29.3% in the last three months of 2021.

Tube fare evasion is also on the rise, with 9.8% of passengers waiving the fare at the end of 2021, up from 12.5% ​​in the most recent survey.

Overall, the MTA claims to have lost $62 million on subways and $57 million on buses due to fare overruns. That’s on the way to nearly half a billion dollars in losses for the year.

The rising fare rates were accompanied by an 18.3% increase in NYPD “enforcement actions,” according to MTA documents.

explained MTA Managing Director Janno Lieber War on fare dodging Promising that a “Blue Ribbon Panel” earlier this month would find ways to combat the problem – including possible new hub designs, an awareness campaign and increased enforcement.

Metro workers have been asked to help enforce fares at stations, according to a source.
Christopher Sadowski for the NY Post
The surge in farebeating has also seen the NYPD surge 18.3% "enforcement actions," according to MTA documents.
The rise in fare extortion has also led to an 18.3% increase in NYPD “enforcement actions,” according to MTA documents.
AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews

Subway employees were also seconded to help enforce fares and given orders to count turnstile jumpers, according to a source.

For their part, bus drivers resent — and fear — that the MTA is asking them to play a role in fare collection, some 13 years after the Brooklyn driver Edwin Thomas was fatally stabbed on a bus transfer.

“Edwin Thomas is remembered pretty well,” said Transport Workers Union Local 100 vice president JP Patafio.

“The operator’s job is not to collect fares,” Patafio said. “It’s about driving people safely from one point to another.”

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