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NYC Fare Evaision

MTA & NYC Fare Evaision Enforcement

It doesn’t take an economist or social scientist to see that the Metropolitan Transit Authority’s & NYC fair evasion initiative against public turnstile jumping inordinately targets poor people. It’s not like Wall Street bankers and New York Yankees are the people jumping the turnstiles every day. But, while the City of New York is busy blaming the poor, its favorite scapegoat, for the cities many problems there is a much more realistic answer as to why MTA seems to be an ever-widening money pit blowing through taxpayer dollars.



First, and this is possibly the most important aspect of understanding the lie the MTA is trying to perpetuate, about how much income they are losing to fair hoppers. Most of the people who are hopping those turnstiles or trying to stealthily enter the backdoor of buses would never pay the fare in the first place. I can admit that there are probably still a few people avoiding the fee for a gag, a dare, or even no reason at all. But, most people hopping those turnstiles have no other choice. So while the MTA claims they are losing millions to these fare jumping scofflaws, the truth is they aren’t losing anything because they would not have it.


Enters the Legal System

nyc turnstile jumping



Enters the legal system. So now there are cops being tasked with no other mission than discouraging and punishing fare jumpers. A lot of people who make decent hourly wages and get health benefits are being sent out into the streets to stop the poorest New Yorkers from using a service that they pay for every single day, with their purchases, every single paycheck when their taxes are removed, and every single year when state taxes are due. How many times a year do they need us to pay the fare? So, now the poorest New Yorkers are being targeted and criminalized by the NYPD just for being too poor to pay for transit, and what does the NYPD do? They dole out a $250 ticket as if a person who just took a huge risk to avoid a $2.75 fare can afford to give up $250 of their hard-earned money. It might beat a dead horse in 2020, but fining the poor and the homeless is not just a waste of taxpayer money, it’s cruel and unusual punishment.


Where Does the Money Go?

mta fair evasion


But, where does the money go you might ask? The MTA wouldn’t be hiking the fares and dispatching thousands of cops if the transit system wasn’t losing money. Well, if you keep up with the news of the day, you would have seen that just a short time before the new fare enforcement became the policy du jour, MTA employees were caught defrauding the city for 10s of millions of dollars. One of my favorite stories was the brazen transit elevator inspector who was using sick days at MTA to go work for the City of New York doing the same job.



So, lets put our thinking caps on. Who do we think has cost the city more? The poor and homeless just trying to get a free ride home from work, or the MTA employees who were caught siphoning millions of dollars out of our transit system and into their pockets? Then, to make the fact that the City of New York hates the poor even more obvious. The amount of money spent on the apparatus for heavier fare jumping enforcement comes it at about $5million more than the city stands to save by doing it. As a member of the working poor here in the Empire City I would just like to thank the MTA for always looking out for my best interest.

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