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Via Garibaldi 8

A Breakdown of How and Why Farebeating Is So Prevalent

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How Rampant Is Fare Evasion? At Times Square, One Rider a Minute Sneaks In

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About 208,000 people take the New York City subway each day without paying, transit officials said.CreditCreditChang W. Lee/The New York Times

By Emma G. Fitzsimmons and Edgar Sandoval

Dec. 24, 2018

One woman was late to work. Another was rushing to class. A man who just moved to New York had trouble swiping his MetroCard.

All of them broke the law: They sneaked into the subway without paying.

While there have always been riders who try to avoid paying, the practice has become so widespread in New York that it is costing the Metropolitan Transportation Authority about $215 million in lost revenue this year, prompting subway officials to announce a crackdown.

Fare evasion has nearly doubled — from 1.8 percent of riders in recent years to 3.2 percent this year, contributing to the agency’s worsening finances, which could lead to fare increases or service cuts.

But it has not been clear exactly why fare evasion is up. New Yorkers, it turns out, have many reasons for not paying.

“I don’t feel like going all the way there to put money on my card,” Aicha Makanera, 18, of Brooklyn, said one recent morning as she walked in through an open emergency exit gate at the busy Times Square station, where The New York Times assigned a reporter to monitor fare beating at one series of turnstiles.

The nearest MetroCard vending machine was a block away.

“Sometimes it’s easier to use the door,” she said. “I don’t feel bad.”

During one hour that morning, someone entered through the emergency exit every minute, on average. Some were caught by the police and received a summons with a $100 fine.

Jamar Hester’s MetroCard was not working, so he followed other commuters through the exit gate. He got caught.

“I saw somebody else go through the gates so I walked right through there, too,” said Mr. Hester, 26, who recently moved to New York from the suburbs of Washington.

Transit systems across the world deal with fare evasion. But there is a growing sense that New Yorkers are feeling more emboldened to skip paying because the trains have become so unreliable. The subway fell into crisis last year and continues to be plagued by delays. And yet the fare could rise again in March.

The aggressive enforcement of fare evasion has also drawn criticism nationally over concerns that arrests target black and Hispanic riders.

When the Washington City Council recently approved lighter penalties for fare evasion, over protests from the city’s transit agency, one councilman said: “I’m sad that Metro’s losing money, but I’m more sad about what’s happening to black people.”

In New York, fare evasion was widespread in the early 1990s, when William J. Bratton, then the transit police chief, said it was “very, very pervasive, particularly in some of the poorer neighborhoods of the city.” The police cracked down on it as part of their “broken windows” strategy, believing it would help curb more serious offenses.

The M.T.A., which oversees New York’s subways and buses, released a report this month saying that about 208,000 people take the subway each day without paying. Using an emergency exit to avoid paying the fare has quadrupled since 2011, officials said.

The situation is even worse on buses: Nearly 350,000 people take the bus each day without paying, or about 16 percent of bus riders.

“Just like paying for goods in a store, paying the fare is not just a suggestion,” said Shams Tarek, a spokesman for the M.T.A. “Fare evasion is unfair to the vast majority of customers who do pay, and denies the M.T.A. critical funds needed to improve the system.”

The agency's eight-page report was quickly criticized by prosecutors and transit advocates for blaming poor New Yorkers for the agency’s mounting problems and for not providing more details about how the agency calculated the figures. But the M.T.A.’s acting chairman, Fernando Ferrer, said at a recent board meeting that riders could see the problem firsthand.

“You cannot deny the evidence of your own eyes,” he said after the meeting. “You see this all the time. This is a growing problem. It’s worrisome, and it’s having a financial impact.”

A recent video on the news site Gothamist showed M.T.A. footage of a parade of riders brazenly jumping and crawling under turnstiles with varying degrees of finesse.

The head of the subways, Andy Byford, suggested surveying New Yorkers to find out why they ride without paying.

“Is it some sort of protest vote?” he wondered. “Is it because you can’t afford it? Is it because you fundamentally disagree that you should pay for transit in the first place? Is it more of an opportunist thing — you didn’t set out that day to evade the fare, but because the gate happened to be open, you followed a bunch of people through?”

The rate of fare evasion on transit systems of similar size was typically between 1 percent and 7 percent, subway officials said, putting New York’s current rate of 3.2 percent near the middle.

Last year, the Manhattan district attorney’s office decided to stop prosecuting most people arrested in fare evasion incidents, a policy change that transit officials say has contributed to the increase.

Another factor: Subway emergency exit gates used to have loud sirens, but they were silenced in 2014. This seems to have led more people to leave via the exit gates, providing more chances for fare beaters to sneak in.

There are also fewer station agents — about 2,500 down from 3,500 in 1995 — now that vending machines handle most MetroCard purchases.

Getting caught jumping the turnstile can still have serious consequences for poor New Yorkers. Even if they are not arrested, they can receive a civil summons that carries a $100 fine. Or if someone lacks valid identification or has a history of similar arrests, they can be booked on a “theft of services” charge, a misdemeanor carrying up to a year in jail.

At the Times Square station the other day, a fashion student was left in tears after a police officer gave her a summons on her way to class.

“I’ve never done this before,” she said, declining to give her name. “I said I would go back and put in the money. He said, ‘No, what’s done is done.’”

A commuter who gave her name only as Janet was also unhappy after receiving a summons. She said she was late for work and it seemed easier to use the emergency exit.

“I wish they were as vigilant when it came to fixing all the issues they have, like delays,” she said. “They ruined my mood, but I did it. I won’t do it again.”

During the evening rush hour, a stream of riders entered through the emergency exit. At least 61 people were spotted in an hour. A 42-year-old Brooklyn woman scolded her daughters, aged 12 and 13, for sliding under the turnstile. “Don’t do that!” she said in Spanish.

“They were just acting silly,” said the woman, who also declined to give her name. “I’m trying to lead by example. They usually don’t do that."

That morning, so many people had entered through the emergency exit that one woman trying to leave was blocked by three entering commuters in a row. Eventually, she raised her hands in frustration and left through a turnstile.

Keon Malon, 22, of Brooklyn, said he received a summons for opening the emergency exit for a woman with a suitcase, even though he paid his fare. He plans to appeal the fine.

“They have nothing better else to do,” he said. “Next time I’m not opening the door to no one. It’s not worth it.”

At the customer service booth, a woman complained that she had purchased a $10 MetroCard but it showed only a $3.75 balance. An M.T.A. employee told her she had to mail in the card for a refund and instructed her to enter through the exit gate.

“See? This is why people do it,” she said, fuming. “But I’m only going here because she told me I could. It’s a mess.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/24/nyregion/subway-fare-evasion.html

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8
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I saw it Saturday night on the BxM4 express bus. Took a trip up to Woodlawn and back. On the way down I knew the driver and we picked up an older woman at 158th and Grand Concourse. She gets on with a shopping cart and a cane, tells the driver the stop she wants and thanks him. I was thinking she would come back and pay, but nope. Didn't even take out her wallet or anything. That's just how emboldened people have become. I talked about why she may not have paid with the driver. I said maybe she thinks that because she has a cane that she's entitled to ride for free. The B/O punched F5 to cover himself. He's like I don't say anything. I just hit F5 and keep it moving. 

A few weeks earlier, I took a QM4 to Manhattan. Woman gets on when she sees the bus with her child. Her boyfriend tells the driver that her car was towed and she needs to get to Manhattan. I'm thinking well what does that have to do with paying $6.50??  Driver doesn't say anything and she gets on and thanks him. It was pouring rain outside but still.  There's the bus to the subway or he could've taken them to the subway. Clearly he had driven them to the stop.

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8
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The last time I rode the subway and didn’t catch someone attempting to farebeat, seemed like 6 months ago (granted, I don’t ride the system every day, but enough to see it get worse and worse). The agency really needs something like higher turnstiles installed on more stations or else I suspect this issue will become bigger, rising fares and troubled financial woes aren’t going to slow the problem down either so it’s best time to find a solution now.

Edited by NoHacksJustKhaks
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1 hour ago, NoHacksJustKhaks said:

The last time I rode the subway and didn’t catch someone attempting to farebeat, seemed like 6 months ago (granted, I don’t ride the system every day, but enough to see it get worse and worse). The agency really needs something like higher turnstiles installed on more stations or else I suspect this issue will become bigger, rising fares and troubled financial woes aren’t going to slow the problem down either so it’s best time to find a solution now.

Well I gave it to them at the CSI hearing.  To come out and basically propose service cuts when you're not taking care of your own backyard is just ridiculous. $215 million dollars for this year alone.  I'm sure they were pissed at my sarcasm because I was quite sarcastic and they knew exactly what I was saying.  I told them, "so you now you're telling us that you're facing a $215 million dollar deficit for fare beating this year alone, and only now are you looking to address the problem... Only now..." 

My point which I made very nicely was essentially calling them idiots for not collecting the fares and then having the audacity to not only propose fare hikes but then propose service cuts on top of that. It's absurd and they should be embarrassed for such incompetence to allow this to fester for this long.

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8

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1 hour ago, NoHacksJustKhaks said:

The last time I rode the subway and didn’t catch someone attempting to farebeat, seemed like 6 months ago (granted, I don’t ride the system every day, but enough to see it get worse and worse). The agency really needs something like higher turnstiles installed on more stations or else I suspect this issue will become bigger, rising fares and troubled financial woes aren’t going to slow the problem down either so it’s best time to find a solution now.

Well, there are a handful of solutions that the (MTA) can begin to look at now. 

* More Police enforcement to stop people from evading the fares. 

* An alarm system that activates when someone evades the fare. (and by someone, I mean everyone who attempts to evade the fare)

* A new fare payment system that actually considers the needs of the poor and Low-Income members of society (if such an idea like this one were to be implemented, it would have to be designed in a way where people are unable to abuse such a system) 

There are more ideas locked in my head, but they don't mean anything if there was no way to implement these ideas. 

 

2 minutes ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

To come out and basically propose service cuts when you're not taking care of your own backyard is just ridiculous. $215 million dollars for this year alone.  I'm sure they were pissed at my sarcasm because I was quite sarcastic and they knew exactly what I was saying.  I told them, "so you now you're telling us that you're facing a $215 million deficit for fare beating this year alone, and only now are you looking to address the problem... Only now..." 

That's (MTA) for you. One thing I've noticed about the system, and human nature in general, is that we wait for small problems to become big ones (or wait for something tragic to happen) before we even think about looking for solutions. If anything, its no doubt that the (MTA) must break out of this habit, but alas, poor management stops us from having certain necessities. 

 

Life Lesson learned here: If you can afford a bunch of Nike's or all those expensive Christmas presents that y'all just received, then there's no way in hell that you're unable to afford a Metro Card swipe of $2.75.

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This is a smokescreen for the actual problems at bay, from MTA contract policy to state funding and Cuomo's pet projects, but glad to see everybody's obsessing over it. 

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8 hours ago, MHV9218 said:

This is a smokescreen for the actual problems at bay, from MTA contract policy to state funding and Cuomo's pet projects, but glad to see everybody's obsessing over it. 

I don’t know if I fully buy it either to be honest, but I will say that if it’s true, it shows how inept the agency is at being efficient. They seem to believe that being “efficient” is being lean on service. That’s all they talk about when they talk about “cost savings” in the board meetings. Either service cuts, or cutting back on hiring or some other nonsense.

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Only problem is that people who are really poor and keep getting refused jobs because of it (it sometimes happens) now have nowhere to get around. That's the problem with a "get it yourself" attitude, you can't tell children to work in an office to afford their Christmas presents and expect them to actually get a job in one.

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14 hours ago, LaGuardia Link N Tra said:

Well, there are a handful of solutions that the (MTA) can begin to look at now. 

* More Police enforcement to stop people from evading the fares. 

* An alarm system that activates when someone evades the fare. (and by someone, I mean everyone who attempts to evade the fare)

* A new fare payment system that actually considers the needs of the poor and Low-Income members of society (if such an idea like this one were to be implemented, it would have to be designed in a way where people are unable to abuse such a system) 

There are more ideas locked in my head, but they don't mean anything if there was no way to implement these ideas. 

 

It is not so simple...for example, the cost of diverting police to fare evasion duty may not be worth it if it means fewer cops available to arrest people, etc.

They tried the alarm system, and it annoyed everyone so they disabled it. I also don't get the impression it prevented much farebeating

They already are developing the Fare Fairs program to lower the cost for low-income people. But I'm not convinced that it will change people's attitude of "I can just jump the turnstile". Like Byford said in the article, they really need to find out if people are farebeating because they otherwise can't pay for food and rent, or if it is more of a culturally accepted attitude. 

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Laser detector devices on the turnstiles: break the beam without rotating the turnstile in the exit direction and the alarm goes off/camera takes a picture. Keep some cops nearby to intercept the crook. Install in select stations with the highest rate of farebeating.

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6 hours ago, QM1to6Ave said:

I did not realize the farebeating on buses was at 16%, that is crazy

I can believe it. So many people just walk on now or have a sob story. Driver presses F5 and calls it a day, even on some express buses. Had two guys get on the BxM4 going to Woodlawn.  Their subway stop was out so they called themselves taking the express bus and then of course they have NO idea that the fare was $6.50.  You know that regular unlimited Metrocard covers that... <_<

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Until there is a Metro-Card that is not easily demagnetized and doesn't require 20 swipes to only have the screen read "just used"...

Until it takes less than 4 weeks to receive a replacement Metro-Card after you've filed a claim...

Until there are multiple self-service metro card machines at every station and at least one at every major bus hub...

...don't be fooled into thinking this is anything more than gaslighting.

Yes, fare beating is a massive strain...but aren't there bigger fish to fry?

 

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On 12/26/2018 at 1:49 PM, NoHacksJustKhaks said:

The last time I rode the subway and didn’t catch someone attempting to farebeat, seemed like 6 months ago (granted, I don’t ride the system every day, but enough to see it get worse and worse). The agency really needs something like higher turnstiles installed on more stations or else I suspect this issue will become bigger, rising fares and troubled financial woes aren’t going to slow the problem down either so it’s best time to find a solution now.

I see fare beating EVERY SINGLE DAY, starting from the hood in the Bronx with people hopping, to Times Square, where tourist refused to swipe. Its rampant EVERYWHERE. 

Its honestly ridiculous, I saw one person paying for essentially an entire tour of people (10-20 people) once via the emergency exit, and of course some regular commuter took advantage of that too.

On 12/26/2018 at 7:53 PM, MHV9218 said:

This is a smokescreen for the actual problems at bay, from MTA contract policy to state funding and Cuomo's pet projects, but glad to see everybody's obsessing over it. 

Still I paided my fare, why should the honest people who pay subsidize those that feel like they are better. Oh and the fares are increasing next year too.

Cuomo's pet project is an whole another subject, that should also be discussed.

16 hours ago, QM1to6Ave said:

I did not realize the farebeating on buses was at 16%, that is crazy

I thought it would be around 20-30% honestly. I bus fanned in the Bronx and the amount of fare beating I see was incredible.  I was at 149th- 3rd Av boarding a Bx15, roughly 3/4 of the SRO bus went in through the back door. The same is observed in Fordham. The artic routes in the city seems to be the worse. I seen it in Manhattan, I seen it in the Bronx. The sooner Proof of Payment come into effect the better (Which is why I think the increase in Bx41 ridership after SBS is actually because people actually started to pay) 

On Staten Island, they just don't pay by walking in through the front door.

Another thing that bugs me is the amount of people that are obviously not a senior citizen putting in only $1.25. They need to get rid of cash fare reduced fare and just get everyone to go to 8 Stone to get a reduced fare Metrocard or implement some sort of reimbursement strategy

8 hours ago, 40MntVrn said:

Until there is a Metro-Card that is not easily demagnetized and doesn't require 20 swipes to only have the screen read "just used"...

Until it takes less than 4 weeks to receive a replacement Metro-Card after you've filed a claim...

Until there are multiple self-service metro card machines at every station and at least one at every major bus hub...

...don't be fooled into thinking this is anything more than gaslighting.

Yes, fare beating is a massive strain...but aren't there bigger fish to fry?

 

Its honestly ridiculous how long they took. I put in the machine $20 once and the machine broke down but dispensed a receipt saying transaction not completed or something like that.  I had to mail in the metrocard, wait a month and a half to get my MetroCard back.  

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5 hours ago, Mtatransit said:

I see fare beating EVERY SINGLE DAY, starting from the hood in the Bronx with people hopping, to Times Square, where tourist refused to swipe. Its rampant EVERYWHERE. 

Its honestly ridiculous, I saw one person paying for essentially an entire tour of people (10-20 people) once via the emergency exit, and of course some regular commuter took advantage of that too.

Still I paided my fare, why should the honest people who pay subsidize those that feel like they are better. Oh and the fares are increasing next year too.

Cuomo's pet project is an whole another subject, that should also be discussed.

I thought it would be around 20-30% honestly. I bus fanned in the Bronx and the amount of fare beating I see was incredible.  I was at 149th- 3rd Av boarding a Bx15, roughly 3/4 of the SRO bus went in through the back door. The same is observed in Fordham. The artic routes in the city seems to be the worse. I seen it in Manhattan, I seen it in the Bronx. The sooner Proof of Payment come into effect the better (Which is why I think the increase in Bx41 ridership after SBS is actually because people actually started to pay) 

On Staten Island, they just don't pay by walking in through the front door.

Another thing that bugs me is the amount of people that are obviously not a senior citizen putting in only $1.25. They need to get rid of cash fare reduced fare and just get everyone to go to 8 Stone to get a reduced fare Metrocard or implement some sort of reimbursement strategy

Its honestly ridiculous how long they took. I put in the machine $20 once and the machine broke down but dispensed a receipt saying transaction not completed or something like that.  I had to mail in the metrocard, wait a month and a half to get my MetroCard back.  

They have so many incidents that they are always backed up. Two machines in Grand Central have been “Cash Only” for days, and the card part of them haven’t worked right for weeks at a time. I tried using it the other night. Had to go to another machine by the (S) train. Simply could not read my card because the reader was not working. God help up if you need to refill at a big station on weekends...

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Farebeating is an issue the MTA largely brought upon itself when it designed beat-able turnstiles, eschewed NFP (and thus off-board fare payment), and kept conductors on the railroad. Now, they're coming to terms with the issue (which, as the article said, is completely within normal bounds for a transit system of this size), and they are, of course, blaming it entirely on enforcement (ie someone else) and not design. And this is coming at a time when all MTA properties are in an operational crisis of their own making. I find this obsession with farebeating shameful. It's just another way to divert attention away from the real issue here: namely, that the agency is being killed by myopia. 

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3 minutes ago, RR503 said:

Farebeating is an issue the MTA largely brought upon itself when it designed beat-able turnstiles, eschewed NFP (and thus off-board fare payment), and kept conductors on the railroad. Now, they're coming to terms with the issue (which, as the article said, is completely within normal bounds for a transit system of this size), and they are, of course, blaming it entirely on enforcement (ie someone else) and not design. And this is coming at a time when all MTA properties are in an operational crisis of their own making. I find this obsession with farebeating shameful. It's just another way to divert attention away from the real issue here: namely, that the agency is being killed by myopia

Here's the thing though.  Farebeating IS a problem. I don't care about what happens with other agencies.  The fact of the matter is the PAYING public gets stuck paying MORE and it has to stop. Every two damn years they want MORE money for service that continues to worsen and people have had enough.  Now they're waking up and saying OH we have a fare beating problem, $215 million dollars later this year.  The problem has been festering for years, and they've let it grow out of control. I don't find $215 million dollars to be small change when you look at the service cuts that would be on the table. Even if they recouped $100 million of that you could keep just about all of the service AND add more service to boot to try to turn this decline in ridership around. As it stands now, even with all of the advocacy groups popping up for subway and bus service started by fed up riders (I've joined quite a few of them to know), they still struggle to make scheduled service. It's really pathetic.  We've been monitoring several lines for the last few months that only have a handful of trips during rush hour and they cannot consistently fill them.  That in my mind is an even bigger problem and it says to me that they have a management problem.

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8 minutes ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

Here's the thing though.  Farebeating IS a problem. I don't care about what happens with other agencies.  The fact of the matter is the PAYING public gets stuck paying MORE and it has to stop. Every two damn years they want MORE money for service that continues to worsen and people have had enough.  Now they're waking up and saying OH we have a fare beating problem, $215 million dollars later this year.  The problem has been festering for years, and they've let it grow out of control. I don't find $215 million dollars to be small change when you look at the service cuts that would be on the table. Even if they recouped $100 million of that you could keep just about all of the service AND add more service to boot to try to turn this decline in ridership around. As it stands now, even with all of the advocacy groups popping up for subway and bus service started by fed up riders (I've joined quite a few of them to know), they still struggle to make scheduled service. It's really pathetic.  We've been monitoring several lines for the last few months that only have a handful of trips during rush hour and they cannot consistently fill them.  That in my mind is an even bigger problem and it says to me that they have a management problem.

You do realize that recouping those costs has a cost too, right? NYPD isn't free. Again, the blame for the NYCT's coming season of cuts should fall squarely with the people who are actually the problem here (politicans and managers) not with some red herring, however shocking the stats may be. 

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43 minutes ago, RR503 said:

You do realize that recouping those costs has a cost too, right? NYPD isn't free. Again, the blame for the NYCT's coming season of cuts should fall squarely with the people who are actually the problem here (politicans and managers) not with some red herring, however shocking the stats may be. 

That's not the point. The point is the PAYING public should not keep paying for the people that aren't paying, and I made that point clear when I spoke at a hearing a few weeks ago on Staten Island before the (MTA) board.  Your question has an obvious answer. I for one am sick of my fare going up with nothing to show for it. If they're going to cry broke then they need to manage their damn costs better.  You can talk about how it's in line with other agencies all you want.

The people paying more every two years don't give a damn about that.  We all run households here and people have budgets and need to be fiscally sound.  Why should the (MTA) get a pass for pissing away money?  They've allowed farebeating to spiral out of control not just because of a lack of enforcement, but also by the design of the new stations where people can easily let themselves in through the gates. When you have people walking on buses and not even making an attempt to pay, that shows you that people feel entitled not to pay and that just encourages MORE people to do the same thing, so it comes down to a mentality.  No one said that they need to spend tons of money enforcing the fare.  It's a question of how you spread your resources. I for one don't think they need six to eight people checking tickets for one bus. Three guys get on, and then two or three more stand outside doing nothing. Waste of money.

The other day I saw a mini army of NYPD officers at 59th Street-Columbus Circle, and then two more officers in uniform inside of the station after the turnstyles. For what? Back in the day, you had two undercover guys that would work a station, and they did just fine.  

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8

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7 minutes ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

That's not the point. The point is the PAYING public should not keep paying for the people that aren't paying, and I made that point clear when I spoke at a hearing a few weeks ago on Staten Island before the (MTA) board.  Your question has an obvious answer. I for one am sick of my fare going up with nothing to show for it. If they're going to cry broke then they need to manage their damn costs better.  You can talk about how it's in line with other agencies all you want.

 The people paying more every two years don't give a damn about that.  We all run households here and people have budgets and need to be fiscally sound.  Why should the (MTA) get a pass for pissing away money?  They've allowed farebeating to spiral out of control not just because of a lack of enforcement, but also by the design of the new stations where people can easily let themselves in through the gates. When you have people walking on buses and not even making an attempt to pay, that shows you that people feel entitled not to pay and that just encourages MORE people to do the same thing, so it comes down to a mentality.  No one said that they need to spend tons of money enforcing the fare.  It's a question of how you spread your resources. I for one don't think they need six to eight people checking tickets for one bus. Three guys get on, and then two or three more stand outside doing nothing. Waste of money.

The other day I saw a mini army of NYPD officers at 59th Street-Columbus Circle, and then two more officers in uniform inside of the station after the turnstyles. For what? Back in the day, you had two undercover guys that would work a station, and they did just fine.  

I think my point was unclear. There's a law of diminishing returns with farebeating. You're never going to be able to enforce away all of it; that's an inefficient use of resources and frankly a waste of the police's time (do you *really* want an officer manning the turnstiles at Broad Channel?). Of course we should be doing a better job than we are now, but I believe the trick there is changes in turnstile design and fare payment policy. The latter is, of course, important because bus farebeating goes down when there isn't an operational incentive to do it, ie you have off-board fare payment or tap readers at all entrances. 

In terms of savings realized per advocate-hour or MTA-hour spent, where resources should be going is analyzing operational incompetence and inefficiency. Speak on how they should learn to properly dispatch buses and trains, how they should hold to schedule, how they should run things faster (remember, faster service generally costs less). Then speak on the burden of bureaucracy without any internal accountability, speak on wasteful work practices, on misguided initiatives (cough Subway Action Plan cough), on poor debt structure (and simply too much debt), and on the fact that there has been a systemic misdiagnosis of the problem. $215 million is a paltry 1.4% of the MTA's operations budget. I daresay the things I've listed above would save more. 

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14 minutes ago, RR503 said:

I think my point was unclear. There's a law of diminishing returns with farebeating. You're never going to be able to enforce away all of it; that's an inefficient use of resources and frankly a waste of the police's time (do you *really* want an officer manning the turnstiles at Broad Channel?). Of course we should be doing a better job than we are now, but I believe the trick there is changes in turnstile design and fare payment policy. The latter is, of course, important because bus farebeating goes down when there isn't an operational incentive to do it, ie you have off-board fare payment or tap readers at all entrances. 

In terms of savings realized per advocate-hour or MTA-hour spent, where resources should be going is analyzing operational incompetence and inefficiency. Speak on how they should learn to properly dispatch buses and trains, how they should hold to schedule, how they should run things faster (remember, faster service generally costs less). Then speak on the burden of bureaucracy without any internal accountability, speak on wasteful work practices, on misguided initiatives (cough Subway Action Plan cough), on poor debt structure (and simply too much debt), and on the fact that there has been a systemic misdiagnosis of the problem. $215 million is a paltry 1.4% of the MTA's operations budget. I daresay the things I've listed above would save more. 

Yes, but $215 million goes a long way in staving off service cuts that's for sure, and leaving some neighborhoods with either limited or no bus service that lack subways, which will then lead to more people not using the system, and the agency hemorrhaging even more money due to lost revenues previously projected.  And no, you cannot stop it entirely, but you can deter some of it.  I don't think $215 million annually is acceptable, not when you're asking riders to pay more for less service.  You're right about your other comments, but my point is it all adds up, and the only thing that the (MTA) focuses on when it comes to "cost analysis" and "cost savings" is cutting service.

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8

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15 minutes ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

Yes, but $215 million goes a long way in staving off service cuts that's for sure, and leaving some neighborhoods with either limited or no bus service that lack subways, which will then lead to more people not using the system, and the agency hemorrhaging even more money due to lost revenues previously projected.  And no, you cannot stop it entirely, but you can deter some of it.  I don't think $215 million annually is acceptable, not when you're asking riders to pay more for less service.  You're right about your other comments, but my point is it all adds up, and the only thing that the (MTA) focuses on when it comes to "cost analysis" and "cost savings" is cutting service.

You say it yourself — you’re not gonna get all of that money back. What I’m not following is why you aren’t trying to pin the burden of internal savings on truly internal matters that can be rectified without the level of complex inefficiency that fare evasion work requires. Simplifying procurements? Dealing with debt? Changing work rules? Restructuring the bureaucracy? Forcing some ops competence upon the agency? I’d argue that those are in some ways lower hanging fruits than fare evasion (and are unequivocally more impactful/important) so why don’t you work on those issues instead of playing into their obfuscatory game? This isn’t to say I think fare evasion is unimportant — I just think it has to be contextualized among other priorities. 

Edited by RR503

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2 minutes ago, RR503 said:

You say it yourself — you’re not gonna get all of that money back. What I’m not following is why you aren’t trying to pin the burden of internal savings on truly internal matters that can be rectified without the level of complex inefficiency that fare evasion work requires. Simplifying procurements? Dealing with debt? Changing work rules? Restructuring the bureaucracy? Forcing some ops competence upon the agency? I’d argue that those are in some ways lower hanging fruits than fare evasion (and are unequivocally more impactful/important) so why don’t you work on those issues instead of playing into their obfuscatory game? This isn’t to say I think fare evasion is unimportant — I just think it has to be contextualized among other priorities. 

Uh I have spoken before the board about their waste in other areas and have been critical of their incompetence when it comes to fiscal accountability for years, so I'm not sure how you've arrived at such conclusions. 

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3 minutes ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

Uh I have spoken before the board about their waste in other areas and have been critical of their incompetence when it comes to fiscal accountability for years, so I'm not sure how you've arrived at such conclusions. 

I know you have. But it seems farebeating has become a big focus, too. I don't believe it merits that level of attention.

 

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8 minutes ago, RR503 said:

I know you have. But it seems farebeating has become a big focus, too. I don't believe it merits that level of attention.

 

It's become a big focus because the agency claims it's a problem. My position is that IF it is that big of a problem, then they need to 1) address it in some fashion to reduce such a deficit, and 2) stop asking the paying riders to pay more for their incompetence.  To me the fact that they're only now claiming it's a problem is just an example of an overall bigger problem, which is that they can't get their house in order, not that I somehow think that THIS is the reason why they're hurting so bad.  

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8

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