NBC: Close to 1 in 4 NYC Bus Passengers Evades Paying Fare, MTA Statistics Show

By Andrew Siff and AP
June 21, 2019

Statistics released by the MTA Friday shed light on the fare evasion problem that the transportation agency has been trying to deal with in recent months.

According to the data release, 24 percent of passengers -- almost 1 in four --who travel on city buses are not paying their fare – that’s up for 21 percent last quarter.

Additionally, 4 percent of subway riders are not paying – up from 3 percent last quarter, according to the MTA statistics.

On Monday, state and local officials said they were assigning an extra 500 police officers to New York City's transit system amid a jump in fare evasion and assaults on workers.

Top Tri-State News PhotosTop Tri-State News PhotosGetty Images During a press conference Monday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said 100 hot spots will be the primary locations of the extra officers.

During the press conference, NBC 4 New York asked officials about the MTA's brand new multi-million dollar renovated subway stations that include computer screens, cameras and other bells and whistles. Additionally, the new renovations also called for lower entry gates.

Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr., who stopped prosecuting most subway fare evasion cases last year, says his office will contribute $40 million to the policing effort by upgrading security.

"Part of the money is going to be used for increased gate heights," MTA Chairman and CEO Patrick Foye told NBC 4 New York.

Under a revised policy, the NYPD now issues summonses to most fare evasion suspects instead of arresting them.

Meanwhile the Legal Aid Society is concerned that the new crackdown on fare beating is cruel and unfairly targets law income New Yorkers.