Skip to content
MTA & NYC Fare Evaision Enforcement

MTA & NYC Fare Evaision Enforcement


It doesn't take an economist or social scientist to see 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 city's 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 possibly the most crucial aspect, is understanding the lie the MTA is trying to perpetuate about how much revenue they are losing to fair hoppers. Most New Yorkers hopping the turnstiles or trying to stealthily enter the backdoor of buses would never pay the fare in the first place. There are probably still a few people avoiding the fee for a gag, a dare, or for no reason at all. However, most New Yorkers hopping the turnstiles have no other choice. So while the MTA claim they are losing millions to fare-jumping scofflaws, the truth is they aren't losing anything.

Enters The Legal System

NYPD Subway Patrol
NYPD Subway Patrol

Now NYPD are tasked with no mission other 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 daily purchases, with every single paycheck when their taxes are removed, and every single year when state taxes are due.

How many times a year does the MTA need us to pay the fare? 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 someone 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, but fining the poor and the homeless is not just a waste of taxpayer money, it's cruel and unusual punishment.

MTA fare evasion

The MTA wouldn't be hiking fares and dispatching thousands of cops if the transit system was losing money. So, where does the money go you ask? If you kept 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 millions of dollars. One of my favorite stories was about the brazen transit elevator inspector using his MTA sick days to work for another City of New York job. You can't make this up!

Let's put our thinking caps on. Who 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? The amount spent on the apparatus for heavier fare-jumping enforcement costs approximately $5 million more than the city stands to save. As a member of the working poor here in the Empire City, I would like to thank the MTA for always looking out for their my best interest.that's sarcasm

More New York Reads