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Bus freeloaders targeted in crackdown

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Bus freeloaders targeted in crackdown

BY ALISON GENDAR and PETE DONOHUE

DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS

September 3rd 2008

 

alg_buses.jpg

Maisel/News

Bus drivers of the B46 in Brooklyn have reported 'theft of service' at a rate of about 4,000 a week.

 

Fare-evaders who brazenly board buses without paying would be targeted in a crackdown being developed by transit and police brass, officials said Tuesday.

 

Approximately 130,000 riders a week board buses without dipping MetroCards, or plunking change into fare boxes, according to new transit data, suggesting the cash-strapped agency is losing millions of dollars annually.

 

"We've identified the worst routes, including the worst bus stops or hot spots," said Joseph Smith, NYC Transit vice president in charge of buses.

 

Smith said he hoped the crackdown would start in a week or two. An NYPD spokesman, however, said Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly has yet to sign off on a final plan. The two sides are in talks about how the Metropolitan Transportation Authority could defray costs.

 

Fare-beaters enter via rear bus doors that are opened by exiting passengers or by helpful riders on board. Some simply saunter past the driver and fare box up front. To reduce the risk of being assaulted, drivers are instructed not to confront or accost fare-beaters.

 

Above-ground fare-beating is most prevalent on 10 routes in Brooklyn and the Bronx, according to NYC Transit. The worst is the B46 in Brooklyn where drivers have reported "theft of service" at a rate of about 4,000 a week. The route runs the length of the borough, between Williamsburg and Marine Park, through Crown Heights, Bedford-Stuyvesant and East Flatbush and Flatlands.

 

Smith wouldn't speculate on why some routes have rampant fare evasion while others have none. But the agency now has a better understanding of where evasion is taking place, officials said.

 

In the spring, bus managers and union officials urged drivers to be more vigilant in tabulating fare evasion incidents. The agency then deployed surveillance cameras in buses on certain routes to zero in on times and bus stop locations, they said.

 

Fare-evaders "run the whole gamut," one transit manager said. "It goes from children in grammar school to adults, kids in high school to women with baby carriages."

 

In Brooklyn, fare-beating tends to happen the most during morning and evening rush hours, Smith said. Bronx fare-beaters are bolder, breaking the law at all hours.

 

"In the Bronx, it's more of an all-day kind-of thing," Smith said.

 

The MTA board in June raised the fare-beating fine to $100 from $60. Violators also face arrest. Police have aggressively targeted turnstile jumpers in the subways as a crimefighting tool for years, believing those who commit the offense are more likely to prey on subway riders. Enforcement on buses, relatively crime-free, has not been nearly as aggressive.

 

A police spokesman wouldn't immediately comment on the crackdown Tuesday.

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About damned time.

 

I've waited for buses that had empty seats when I began walking up the stairwell and dipped my card, only to see an entire class have ran up the back in that time to fill them all. When I mention this to the driver, they basically say they don't want to get knifed.

 

We need police on buses in a bad way. At least between the hours of 3PM-5PM.

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The Bx31 @ 233st (2) station is a REAL hotspot...And don't get me started on the Bx1,2,5,12 (especially with SBS),28,30,36,40,41, and 42.

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Them cops need to be at that Gun Hill Rd and White Plans Rd Stop on the Bx28 & Bx30. That spot is a HOT spot for fare beaters. Plus, they need them all along the Bx12, especially where a subway stop is. The cops need to go HARD on them f**kers for real. I don't care how old they are, from 1 to 100, well maybe not kids with parents but they need to lay the law of the land on them all them fare beating rats.

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I have a extension to the article. The routes (Top 10) farebeating are..

1) B46

2) Bx36

3) Bx41

4) Bx15

5) B44

6) Bx19

7) B41

8) B6

9) B15

10) Bx12

Most drivers, now-a-days close the backdoor immediately when the passengers are done getting off. But since some teenagers are so violent and unpolite, they push and squeeze in through the crowd.

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Its about time they're waking up about this and doing something.

 

And how convenient they put up a picture of B46 buses cause man, its ridiculous how many fare beaters just get right on through the back.

 

They really need to get up on the Bx12 +SBS+ though and have the fare inspectors around like its suppose to have.

 

I wonder how bad would it be if the MTA had a light rail line where the fare system is POP (Proof Of Payment)....

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I wonder how bad would it be if the MTA had a light rail line where the fare system is POP (Proof Of Payment)....
They need something that takes those tickets fast, only thing I can think of is a scanner...

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And yet here in LA we have a "Let them ride if they dont pay" policy.

 

I guess no paying customer out there needs a seat or expects one. B)

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I guess no paying customer out there needs a seat or expects one. B)

 

This rule is mostly there (In theory) to eliminate the possibility of a fare dispute that may escalate to violence against the operator of the bus.

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I don't see a problem with cops making a TOS (theft of services) collar off of these leaches but, I don't want to see any B/O or any other (MTA) employee get hurt because of this. As, it is impractical and a bad idea to have NYPD officers on many buses, I think that it would be a great idea to have Axillary Officers on these specific routes at certain time.

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I'm sorry to put it this way, but people need to believe there's force behind the badge in this particular instance. Auxies are great, but against school kids who literally act as one entity to farebeat, they are just at risk of attack as the drivers are.

 

What should happen, is what doesn't. A driver refusing to leave a stop until they get off. I wait for that day, and I'm ready to literally applaud when it happens.

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I'm sorry to put it this way, but people need to believe there's force behind the badge in this particular instance. Auxies are great, but against school kids who literally act as one entity to farebeat, they are just at risk of attack as the drivers are.

 

What should happen, is what doesn't. A driver refusing to leave a stop until they get off. I wait for that day, and I'm ready to literally applaud when it happens.

 

Me too.

 

Wait... wasn't there a video somewhere on this site where the driver shut off the engine and sat there until the cops came?

 

But for high school students who beat fares, this needs to happen now. I mean they have student MetroCards. Would it hurt to enter by the front and dip the card? Especially if it's the full fare card.

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It's no excuse, but you're limited to 3 trips and transfers per orange and green unlimited student cards. Then there are 2 trip ones for weekends (I guess), and just reduced fare ones. (for the moderately poor?)

 

From what I've seen, it's not always about the fare, though. Nearly every time I see the "mass" entice an actual farepaying youth to leave the line upfront and join them. It;s disgusting.

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It's no excuse, but you're limited to 3 trips and transfers per orange and green unlimited student cards. Then there are 2 trip ones for weekends (I guess), and just reduced fare ones. (for the moderately poor?) Actually it's based by distance. If you live relatively closer to your school then you get a half fare card. I don't know the exact distance though.

 

From what I've seen, it's not always about the fare, though. Nearly every time I see the "mass" entice an actual farepaying youth to leave the line upfront and join them. It;s disgusting.

 

Yeah, it is. Which is why I never do that, unless the dispatcher actively herds people through the rear door just to let the bus load faster.

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That reminds me....more and more often I'm getting on buses on which the driver has blocked the farebox with his hand or cardboard. I always assume it's a glitch, but I wonder.

 

Anyhow, in those cases, and in the case of shuttle buses, I have actually entered through the rear.

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That reminds me....more and more often I'm getting on buses on which the driver has blocked the farebox with his hand or cardboard. I always assume it's a glitch, but I wonder.

 

Anyhow, in those cases, and in the case of shuttle buses, I have actually entered through the rear.

Problems with the farebox, if its not a shuttle or something. I ran into like 2 buses alone, one of the S53, and one on the S79 on sunday that the farebox wasn't working so the driver just let everyone on for free.

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Problems with the farebox, if its not a shuttle or something. I ran into like 2 buses alone, one of the S53, and one on the S79 on sunday that the farebox wasn't working so the driver just let everyone on for free.

 

I've seen that on the Q53, Q11 (pre-(MTA) Bus on both of those), and M42. Too bad (NJT) doesn't have that policy.

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One time, I was on the Bx41 and I was about to get off at Bedford Park Boulevard. This particular driver had his own little way of combating fare-beaters: He told all of the passengers who were getting off to exit through the front door because he would not open the back door. Now that's smart!

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About the Bus Driver covering the slots of the farebox with there hands. 9 out of 10 times they are running super late and there is noone there to put them in place.It takes 30 second to load 30 people in this manner as the regular way takes 3-4 mins.

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One time, I was on the Bx41 and I was about to get off at Bedford Park Boulevard. This particular driver had his own little way of combating fare-beaters: He told all of the passengers who were getting off to exit through the front door because he would not open the back door. Now that's smart!

That is smart for a line in the Bronx, not practical in Manhattan. Will slow things up big time. :D

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I'm sorry to put it this way, but people need to believe there's force behind the badge in this particular instance. Auxies are great, but against school kids who literally act as one entity to farebeat, they are just at risk of attack as the drivers are.

 

What should happen, is what doesn't. A driver refusing to leave a stop until they get off. I wait for that day, and I'm ready to literally applaud when it happens.

Driver does it every single day on the Bx31 and Bx8.

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