Think before you jump! NYC Authorities Announce More Action Against Subway Fare Evaders

The Subway, a vital service for New Yorkers and iconic in the world, closes again this year 2022 with the numbers of several of its lines in red. Even so, “new emergency routes” continue to be drawn up to allow overcome panic and anxiety of passengers to circulate through its stations and platforms.

Thousands of passengers are still “away” from this system due to fears pandemics and insecurity. A high profile crime for each month this year has been counted. The homeless and the Mentally ill They continue to raise many concerns. The “blood” of millionaire losses generated by those who manage not to pay for the trips continues.

The above list is just part of the challenges that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has been proposed to face in their plans for next year.

In the middle of this complicated “journey”, Janno Lieber, President and CEO of the MTAensures that despite the financial deficit of billions of dollars, there are reasons to believe that The future of the transportation system that moves five million New Yorkers every day can be seen with some optimism.

“Never before have we had such a strong working relationship between the State and the City. The police continue to increase their presence. As a team, we are devising new strategies to guarantee on several fronts a safer system, which is the transport model New Yorkers deserve,” Lieber said this week at a meeting with ethnic and community media in the Big Apple.

Officially, the total number of passengers for the entire public transport system is 22% higher than a year ago. And a 87% higher than in 2020. But it is still a long way from pre-pandemic numbers.

12.5% ​​of daily Subway commuters do not pay for the service. (Photo: F. Martinez)

¡Think about it to jump!

Although there is no reliable count of the number of people who evade paying fares, jumping through turnstiles or slipping through security gates, the MTA is certain that this is one of the “big problems” that they spell every year. , more $500 million loss.

It is confirmed that with the action of more surveillance on the platforms, the number of people that the officers of the New York City Police Department (NYPD) have also increased in recent weeks. they have caught ‘red-handed’.

In this particular, Lieber announced that they are listening to a special panel of experts to refine efforts to put limits on this “strainer” of hundreds of travelers who easily avoid paying the Metrocard. In particular, they plan to start an educational campaign to prevent teenagers from getting used to seeing rate evasion as something natural.

New recommendations could include a redesign of the emergency doors of the subway, so that they are impossible to jump.

For the future there has been talk of a complete redesign of the turnstiles, as the key to ending the problem, where the entrances would be covered from floor to ceiling, making them impossible to circumvent.

Other methods have been adopted at some “high” level evader stations. For example, officers covertly monitor access areas, i.e. without wearing uniforms.

In addition, private security guards have been deployed at stations where vandals they regularly attack MetroCard vending machines.

According to the surveillance videos, it is very common, at times that coincide with the departure of young people from schools, that open the emergency doors and large groups they enter without paying.

Only the last week of October 1,500 sanctions were applied, which means an 81% increase over last year.

In 300 stations where more complaints are registered, the number of police officers increased during peak hours. And that action, it seems, is beginning to work. to prevent these minor felonies.

“Our vision is to further educate the community. Obviously we never want to get somewhere where young people end up arrested for not paying the cost of a train. During the pandemic there was a certain relaxation of all the rules. But we must return to order,” said the senior MTA official.

All the recipes that will be put into practice in the future will aim to keep weapons out of the transport system, in addition to investing in more predictive and surveillance technology to avoid problems for users.

“We have a clear account, which helps us to have a vision of work with equity. Not everyone who walks into Subway without paying is a criminal. Although the vast majority of criminals who have caused harm to travelers, have entered without paying”he stressed.

cold days

As is almost normal when winter arrives, the complaints of the presence of homeless people in the vast majority of seasons, in many cases, with aggressive behavior tend to become more acute.

According to the observation of some journalists, the director of this transport agency is notorious as in stations like Jamaica, Penn Station, Grand Central, Corona, parts of the southern Bronx and northern Brooklyn, In recent days, the situation has become almost “hellish”, especially for the workers who they must board the trains at night.

“Since the beginning of this year, some actions have been implemented that allow a different intervention for this population. The focus has been placed on caring for people who are homeless, with severe mental illness, to direct them to care centers. There are concrete advances with dozens of people who have agreed to receive helpLieber concluded.

A Jackson Heights–Brooklyn line

Despite the fact that there are major problems in the coffers of this transport agency, future transformations of the system continue to be considered. Perhaps one of the most ambitious projects, the detailed project of which will be announced in 2024, is the idea of ​​building the Intercondado Express (IBX)which will provide rapid transportation service between Jackson Heights en Queens y Brooklyn.

This project would save the working class, at least 30 minutes of time per tourfor those who live and work respectively in these two counties, without the need to tour Manhattan.

This proposed IBX would run along a pathway that follows a semicircle between the southern and eastern parts of Brooklyn and central Queens, connecting ethnically and economically diverse neighborhoods such as Sunset Park, Borough Park, Kensington, Midwood, Flatbush, Flatlands, New Lots, Brownsville, East New York, Bushwick, Ridgewood, Middle Village, Maspeth, Elmhurst and Jackson Heights with several new stations in communities that currently do not have train service.

Evasion, fines and deficit:

  • 12.5% ​​of Subway riders and 30% of bus riders don’t bother to pay for their rides according to MTA projections.
  • 25% was the approximate weighting of those who avoided paying for buses in 2019.
  • 40,323 fines for fee evasion during the first six months of 2022, that’s about 2.5% more than in the corresponding period of 2019.
  • $100 is the applicable fine to people who are caught evading paying the fares of the NYC subway and bus system.
  • $2.5 trillion per year is the MTA’s annual deficit.

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