Bus

Transit Implements Control Tactics to Combat Fare Evasion

Posted on September 24, 2012 by Nicole Schlosser, Senior Editor - Also by this author

Page 1 of 3

In June, the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) upped its estimate of what it loses in revenue each year from bus fare evasion from $14 million to $50 million and may increase police enforcement. The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) recently discovered that riders are often not tapping fare cards and moving ahead through the turnstiles without paying. An age-old problem, fare evasion prompts an ongoing struggle to stay ahead of people who are trying to beat the system, says Kim Green, president, GFI Genfare.

Evasion tactics
The most common fare evasion method, says Transit Police Chief Paul MacMillan, Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), is piggy-backing or tailgating: following somebody who has paid the fare through the gates.

Other fare evasion tactics MBTA has encountered include jumping on the gates and climbing over them; pulling the gates apart; forcing them open and squeezing through, which often damages the gates; and blocking the outgoing sensor, causing the fare gate to open so people can slip through.

Assessment challenges
What complicates the problem is that fare evasion is difficult to assess through data, since there’s not a reliable metric to adequately determine if you have a good fare evasion rate, Green adds.

“Does your [rate] look good if it’s based on total ridership divided by the number of people you issue citations to?” Green asks. “If that’s the case, all you have to do to have a low fare evasion rate is put one inspector on [one out of] your 200 trains. You haul 200,000 people, issue three citations a day. It will look like you had no fare evasion, but there are a lot of people on those other 199 trains that are riding for free. You just don’t know it.”

Green adds that there are also jurisdiction issues with proof of payment. Many cities treat fare violation the same way they handle unpaid parking tickets, which brings up the question of how to make them pay the fine.

“Let’s assume you catch an offender,” he explains. “What do you do with them? Across the nation they have all kinds of different laws, and some of the fines can be really high.”

Proof of payment generally is based on the honor system and overall works well for most transit systems, Green says. There may be occasional fluctuations in compliance rates because of increased ridership, but most people are honest and pay their fares. “There always has been debate about how much to spend and what kind of a system to [use] to make sure you get most of the people to pay most of the time,” Green says.

View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More News

AVTA to become nation's first 100% electric bus fleet

BYD Motors will build and deliver a variety of all-electric bus models including a 40-foot low-floor transit bus, a 60-foot low-floor articulated bus, and a 45-foot commuter coach.

Bridj, KCATA, Ford partner for urban mobility pilot project

The transformative program is the first U.S. public-private partnership that brings together a major U.S. transit agency, an automaker and an urban technology company with the aim of enhancing Kansas City’s existing mass transit system by providing greater access and mobility to residents.

L.A. Metro opens new 'green' bus facility

Division 13 will serve as a bus maintenance, operations and service facility with a multi-level parking garage that accommodates 200 CNG buses, fueling equipment, transportation offices and support areas.

Starcraft Bus named Ford's top volume pool account for 10th year

The company has purchased and sold more Ford E-Series chassis than any other bus manufacturer in North America since 2006.

Cummins announces new 'SmartEfficiency' initiative

The product improvement plan focuses on improved fuel efficiency, lower total cost of ownership and improved uptime.

See More News

Post a Comment

Post Comment

Comments (0)

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment

TruckingInfo.com

THE COMMERCIAL TRUCK INDUSTRY’S MOST IN-DEPTH INFORMATION SOURCE

Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational truck fleets

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

LCT Magazine

Global Resource For Limousine and Bus Transportation

Please sign in or register to .    Close