Jumping the Fare

The Story

MTA chairman Joseph Lhota acknowledged recently that the authority’s dismal finances are likely to get even worse. Declining ridership means less revenue. But Lhota also confirmed the existence of a phenomenon that many have suspected: more people are choosing to evade paying subway and bus fare. With police making far fewer arrests for fare-beating, it should not be surprising that this illegal option has become more attractive. 

The Facts You Need to Know

  1. Down: After decades of growth, subway and bus ridership have declined in the last two years. Read more.

  2. Fares: Arrests for “theft of service,” or fare-beating, are down more than 70% since last year. Read more.

  3. Up: Para-transit usage — for people with disabilities — has increased, indicating that demand for public transit is still high among the most easily tracked segment of riders. Read more.

"Whether you have money for the fare or not, cheating it isn't fair to fellow New Yorkers.”

Austin Finan, mayoral spokesman

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The Past is Present

Why We Need Broken Windows Policing By George L. Kelling and William J. Bratton (Winter 2015)

“It has saved countless New York lives — most of them minority — cut the jail population, and reknit the social fabric.”

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