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Via Garibaldi 8

Farebeating Crackdown Begins...

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6 minutes ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

On Staten Island... Express and local buses...

 

This will be very interesting. Bronx and Brooklyn are next. 

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17 minutes ago, Future ENY OP said:

This will be very interesting. Bronx and Brooklyn are next. 

Actually a couple of cops are riding along third Avenue in the Bronx. Not much, but it's there.

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15 minutes ago, XcelsiorBoii4888 said:

S52, S40, S44, S46, S48, S52, S59, S76, S74, S52, S78, and S52 MAINLY. 

 

They were pulling people off of the express buses this morning as well, some who had Metrocard problems and giving them a summons. That I don’t agree with. A malfunctioning Metrocard is not farebeating.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

They were pulling people off of the express buses this morning as well, some who had Metrocard problems and giving them a summons. That I don’t agree with. A malfunctioning Metrocard is not farebeating.

Malfunctioning MetroCards? Well if they did pay a driver should verify. No one should sit there and get a ticket if they clearly paid. 

I hope this doesn't turn into problems and stop them from actually catching the people who BLATANTLY don't pay. 

Edited by XcelsiorBoii4888
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After reading about all the transit woes on here, and now a large presence of enforcement due to malfunctioning Metrocards, I'd rather walk (or use the LIRR here and there).

Gotta say, it makes me appreciate the maturity of the full service routes on NJT where the driver makes change.

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1 hour ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

They were pulling people off of the express buses this morning as well, some who had Metrocard problems and giving them a summons. That I don’t agree with. A malfunctioning Metrocard is not farebeating.

Next on the news:

 

MTA gives summons to costumers with malfunctioning MetroCards instead of focusing on fare evaders.

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Posted (edited)
26 minutes ago, MysteriousBtrain said:

They were pulling people off of the express buses this morning as well, some who had Metrocard problems and giving them a summons. That I don’t agree with. A malfunctioning Metrocard is not farebeating.

 

26 minutes ago, MysteriousBtrain said:

Next on the news:

 

MTA gives summons to costumers with malfunctioning MetroCards instead of focusing on fare evaders.

Perhaps this is a 'perfect time' to let our elected officials know that it is not fair to improperly penalize passengers who might have a malfunctioning MetroCard through no fault of their own. I've been at bus fare-boxes and turn-styles where an error message pops up, and then the card will work a few moments later. Will we start to be seen as violators / criminals due to faulty MTA equipment? I hope not. Ideally, the police will use discretion.

Perhaps a form letter like this one can be used to let our elected officials know that while we are in favor of cracking down on fare evaders, we do not want everyday law abiding citizens to be turned into 'criminals' due to a legitimately malfunctioning MetroCard (or more likely, a malfunctioning fare-box):

Dear Honorable ((Insert elected or appointed officials name here)):

It has come to my attention that the Bridge and Tunnel Police have recently been placed in a position to enforce fare payment rules on local and express buses. While I support the crackdown on fare evasion, I do NOT support the issuing of summonses for those law abiding MTA customers who are deemed to have a malfunctioning MetroCard (one where the card otherwise works and is valid), but the fare-box is unable to read the card. Ordinary law abiding citizens should not be turned into criminals due to a malfunctioning MetroCard or fare-box. As a constituent of yours, I'm asking you to reach out to our law enforcement officials to direct them to prudently enforce outright fare evasion situations, but not go after citizens who would otherwise pay the proper fare, but are unable to due to a malfunctioning fare collection mechanism.

 

Thank you and kind regards, 

 

((Insert name and perhaps contact information here))

Edited by Uncle Floyd Fan
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Posted (edited)
39 minutes ago, MysteriousBtrain said:

Next on the news:

 

MTA gives summons to costumers with malfunctioning MetroCards instead of focusing on fare evaders.

Next thing you know, the (MTA) steps back on farebeating because of this malfunctioning MetroCard issue.

Edited by Lil 57

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3 hours ago, XcelsiorBoii4888 said:

S52, S40, S44, S46, S48, S52, S59, S76, S74, S52, S78, and S52 MAINLY. 

 

Mostly Castleton lines with the lone Yukon and 2 Charleston lines. I wouldn’t want to mess with a TBTA officer. 

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Recently my card was malfunctioning after I used it twice on that same day it went boink! Maybe the mta should have rolled out a better payment system a long time ago than now. When that happened to me I missed out on my weekly metrocard and I was wondered how better it could have been if this was more high tech, like tap and go and I could refill it via any pharmacy. The mta needs to do better and stop having these slow pilot programs too. 

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5 hours ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

They were pulling people off of the express buses this morning as well, some who had Metrocard problems and giving them a summons. That I don’t agree with. A malfunctioning Metrocard is not farebeating.

So in the 20+ years of MetroCard, they never developed a portable scanner that could confirm if swipes were attempted?

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Posted (edited)
14 minutes ago, Deucey said:

So in the 20+ years of MetroCard, they never developed a portable scanner that could confirm if swipes were attempted?

The MetroCard is outdated technology. I don't think anyone realizes that it came out in the 20th century.  We're in the 21st century now and there are severe limitations with what can be done with that system, and the (MTA) knows this. Look at how long it took them to come up with a way to refill your MetroCard and add more than one pass on it.  With the newer systems, yes you have portable scanners.  When I buy Metro-North tickets on my phone or iPad, the conductors often times have scanners with them to scan the e-tickets.  With the express bus, you would have to dip again more than likely in order for the card to be read and I have never seen any sort of portable scanners for that.  What they do is they have undercover inspectors on the express buses listening to the sound that the farebox makes.  A read error will beep with the same beep as you not having any money on your Metrocard, so the inspector already knows that for whatever reason you did not pay.  The problem is it's easy for them to just assume that the beep is due to non-payment, even if it's really a read error which is just that... A read error... I have had that happen to me only to have the card go through after several dips.

SBS is easy because you usually get a receipt, which is what they go by, but that's a visual inspection, with no portable scanners used.  At this point in the game, they likely feel that it would be a waste anyway, even if they could.  Every conference call or meeting I have with them usually has some sort of mention about how they are "broke" and can't do this and that. lol Aside from that, they want to promote OMNY, which is a huge financial investment.  When I spoke with them in my first meeting about OMNY, even then they admitted that they were basically figuring out everything as they go along. At that time they were looking at security, reliability and how open the system could be in terms of its flexibility to be customized to their needs.  Now what they are doing is working in stages and testing the system offline before moving to make the next phase go live.  Clearly some issues still to be resolved given how unreliable OMNY has been with broken scanners or scanners completely offline. 

The only good thing about the MetroCard is that it has lasted this long, but otherwise it needs to go.

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8
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16 minutes ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

What they do is they have undercover inspectors on the express buses listening to the sound that the fare-box makes.  A read error will beep with the same beep as you not having any money on your MetroCard, so the inspector already knows that for whatever reason you did not pay.  The problem is it's easy for them to just assume that the beep is due to non-payment, even if it's really a read error which is just that... A read error... I have had that happen to me only to have the card go through after several dips.

I always thought there were 2 different audible sounds that the fare-box made when a payment was not deducted from a MetroCard. One sound was for errors; another sound was for insufficient funds. Did this change recently? Also, some fare-boxes don't make any sound. In the past, if there was an error, the driver would've waved me and other passengers on.

Also could a passenger receive a summons if the MetroCard produces an error message, but they then leave the bus? (I know this sounds like a stupid question, but I'm weary of over-enforcement, too.)

Lastly, how much is being spent on this enforcement endeavor? Are there really that many fare evasions on an express bus to justify the payment of the enforcement officer? It's like an accountant spending an hour looking for a $1.00 variance. 

In short, they should go after actual fare evaders and not everyday citizens who have probably already paid their fare by purchasing and possessing an activated unlimited MetroCard.

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27 minutes ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

What they do is they have undercover inspectors on the express buses listening to the sound that the farebox makes.  A read error will beep with the same beep as you not having any money on your Metrocard, so the inspector already knows that for whatever reason you did not pay.  The problem is it's easy for them to just assume that the beep is due to non-payment, even if it's really a read error which is just that... A read error... I have had that happen to me only to have the card go through after several dips.

Also what if you dipped the wrong card with insufficient funds? Which could happen because most express bus riders are no where near a subway station or one of the few SI locations to check how much money is left on your cards. Should you receive a fine for dipping the wrong card? No! If they pay the rest of the fare with another Metrocard, they should be able to get on the bus. Not have someone jumping at you because of an error. 

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Posted (edited)
16 minutes ago, Uncle Floyd Fan said:

I always thought there were 2 different audible sounds that the fare-box made when a payment was not deducted from a MetroCard. One sound was for errors; another sound was for insufficient funds. Did this change recently? Also, some fare-boxes don't make any sound. In the past, if there was an error, the driver would've waved me and other passengers on.

Also could a passenger receive a summons if the MetroCard produces an error message, but they then leave the bus? (I know this sounds like a stupid question, but I'm weary of over-enforcement, too.)

Lastly, how much is being spent on this enforcement endeavor? Are there really that many fare evasions on an express bus to justify the payment of the enforcement officer? It's like an accountant spending an hour looking for a $1.00 variance. 

In short, they should go after actual fare evaders and not everyday citizens who have probably already paid their fare by purchasing and possessing an activated unlimited MetroCard.

No, the beeping is more or less the same, hence the problem with the guy that was pulled off earlier today.  The card had an error when it was dipped. Beeping noise made similar to the one that is made when the Metrocard is empty, which is what the undercover inspector went off of. The passenger had money on their card and didn't realize that it didn't go through and went and sat down. That then prompted the inspector to pull them off of the bus, believing that they were purposely trying to not pay.  After dipping the card on another express bus to see if the Metrocard worked and verify the passengers' account, the farebox showed a transfer was taken (you get a transfer in between express buses via Metrocard only), so then it became clear that the farebox had a problem showing that the fare had been deducted on the first bus.  Nevertheless, the inspector had already wrote the summons, so now this person has to go and try to get it tossed. 

Farebeating isn't a huge problem on express buses overall, but it can be a problem on Staten Island express buses because there are so few places to refill on the island. If the stores are out of Metrocards (happens often), and you can't get anywhere to refill or the places you can get to have their Metrocard machines broken (happens A LOT at the Eltingville Transit Center - people drive there to find out all of the machines are broken), that doesn't leave many options. There is OMNY now, but prior to that the machines didn't take coins either.  The other issue is OMNY may or not be working on that bus so that doesn't leave you with many options. If no one is willing to dip for you or you don't have cash on you or another Metrocard, not much else you can do.

The argument that the (MTA) has always made was that enforcing farebeating wasn't worth it, but now they are losing so much money that it is really hurting them.  They DO depend on fares for a portion of their revenue and they do analyze those things quarterly.  They have to make projections about their finances to create budgets for the future and if they keep having projections of losses well they have to find that money elsewhere, as they are LEGALLY required BY LAW to have a balanced budget.  That's why this becomes an even bigger problem. If they have to borrow more and more money just to operate, it becomes more and more expensive, hence the need for the fare hikes and the like.  

9 minutes ago, Lil 57 said:

Also what if you dipped the wrong card with insufficient funds? Which could happen because most express bus riders are no where near a subway station or one of the few SI locations to check how much money is left on your cards. Should you receive a fine for dipping the wrong card? No! If they pay the rest of the fare with another Metrocard, they should be able to get on the bus. Not have someone jumping at you because of an error. 

That's the problem though. The technology is not set up to pay the difference with another Metrocard (another example of how outdated the Metrocard is). If you dip a card that is short, before you would pay the difference in coins. Now that the fareboes no longer take coins on express buses, you can't do that, which means that the farebox will take off another $6.75, even if you are say $0.05 cents short. It can't just take off the difference.

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8
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10 minutes ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

No, the beeping is more or less the same, hence the problem with the guy that was pulled off earlier today.  The card had an error when it was dipped. Beeping noise made similar to the one that is made when the Metrocard is empty, which is what the undercover inspector went off of. The passenger had money on their card and didn't realize that it didn't go through and went and sat down. That then prompted the inspector to pull them off of the bus, believing that they were purposely trying to not pay.  After dipping the card on another express bus to see if the Metrocard worked and verify the passengers' account, the farebox showed a transfer was taken (you get a transfer in between express buses via Metrocard only), so then it became clear that the farebox had a problem showing that the fare had been deducted on the first bus.  Nevertheless, the inspector had already wrote the summons, so now this person has to go and try to get it tossed. 

Appreciate your response on this issue. I also appreciate all the advocacy you've provided on behalf of the express bus riders.

I gotta say, though, its issues like this that have me using the LIRR (with the paper CityTicket) much more often. And while I know it is not germane to the MTA thread, it makes me appreciate the NJT full service routes and the independent Hudson County vans much more (I'm pretty sure there are lower rates of fare evasion on these routes). Here in NYC, there is always a passive-aggressive tone from the MTA and some officials. No wonder why many opt for Lyft or their own personal cars.

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2 hours ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

The MetroCard is outdated technology. I don't think anyone realizes that it came out in the 20th century.  We're in the 21st century now and there are severe limitations with what can be done with that system, and the (MTA) knows this. Look at how long it took them to come up with a way to refill your MetroCard and add more than one pass on it.

That’s what bugs. Granted, it’s an oversized mag stripe, but when people can take payments on an iPad or iPhone using Square, there’s no reason that tech couldn’t be adapted for MetroCard - although it should’ve been years ago that that happened.

And somehow, dipping on the bus still sends a signal somewhere to make sure that the correct fare is deducted and transfer added - so the tech to do spot verifications was already there back when MetroCard started in the 90s.

Outdated? Yes. But think of how many now and in the past got summonses and fines because someone at (MTA) chose not to do due diligence on the tech when it was still “current.”

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I'm surprised the TBTA cops' union didn't put up a fight about this. I didn't know they had jurisdiction outside of bridges and tunnels. 

TBTA seems to be a pretty sweet gig...sit in the car all day by the entrance to the tunnel and do nothing. Almost as hard working as the court officers that watch movies in the jury duty room all day ;)

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15 minutes ago, paulrivera said:

Question... if a TBTA cop writes a summons on an MTA bus, who gets the money from the fine?

I believe (MTA) NYCT.. I could be wrong.

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30 minutes ago, QM1to6Ave said:

I'm surprised the TBTA cops' union didn't put up a fight about this. I didn't know they had jurisdiction outside of bridges and tunnels. 

TBTA seems to be a pretty sweet gig...sit in the car all day by the entrance to the tunnel and do nothing. Almost as hard working as the court officers that watch movies in the jury duty room all day ;)

Yeh.. sweet job until you have to pull someone over.

They tend to do traffic stops on the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel and Queens Midtown Tunnel...

Tailgating infractions (most serious), speeding in/out of tunnel, and in the past E-Z pass violations

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Don't "READ ERROR" and "INSUFFICIENT FUNDS" make different beeps? I know for a fact insufficient funds make a click noise after the beep which is the coin acceptance activating.

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Posted (edited)
18 hours ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

They were pulling people off of the express buses this morning as well, some who had Metrocard problems and giving them a summons. That I don’t agree with. A malfunctioning Metrocard is not farebeating.

Not only do I not agree with it, I personally think it's a chicken shit move to target those that are more likely to pay & then hit those with a metrocard issue with a farebeating charge as some sort of a "gotcha" moment..... Target the sons of bitches that are deliberately skipping out of the fare on these local buses.

Edited by B35 via Church
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