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Fare Beaters Cost City $100M Annually: MTA

Monday, June 25, 2012

Fare beaters cost New York City $100 million a year – and it’s worse on buses than on subways, MTA officials say.

MTA head Joe Lhota said he met last month with NYPD commissioner Ray Kelly, who said the police are stepping up enforcement and spot checks on buses.

“This new effort has just started,” Lhota said, “and I think we’ll see the fruit of this relatively soon.”

As of Tuesday, police have made 1,228 “theft of service” arrests on city buses this year. That’s up 72 percent compared to the same period last year.

Thomas Prendergast, the president of New York City Transit, said he was a former bus operator in Chicago, and called it  “one of the most difficult jobs.”

“If you want to work midnight to eight, by yourself on a bus, and challenge somebody for a fare … versus sitting in a booth and calling someone if someone doesn’t pay a fare — it’s a very, very complicated issue,” he said.

And it’s not a financially insignificant one: In 2010, the MTA cut 38 bus lines — and reduced service on 76 more — to save $93 million a year.

 “Every dollar we can save from fare evasion is a dollar we can spend for other things,” he said.

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Comments [2]

Nick from NYC

What is this study based on? Has anyone seen it or are we just taking the MTA's word for it? Call me skeptical...sounds like more price hikes are coming to cover the shortfall.

Jun. 26 2012 10:48 AM
HipHopSays from Brooklyn (Fort Greene/Clinton Hill)

If music programs were still an integral part of public schools I would be able to play the world's smallest violin for MTA...If the MTA was truly concerned about the costs of fare shirkers then it would have not under priced the atlantic yards deal. Maybe instead of squeezing jane and joe blough perhaps MTA and hizzoner (that's alot worthier than soda 'policy') can get together and actually come up with a funding scheme for the shortfall.

Jun. 26 2012 09:19 AM

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