July 24, 2012

N.Y. MTA increasing bus patrols to catch fare evaders

In a stepped up effort to reduce incidents of fare evasion on Metropolitan Transportation Authority New York City Transit buses, the NYC Transit Department of Security will be increasing the Eagle Team force and deploying enforcement personnel along problem bus routes.

First employed along Select Bus Service (SBS) routes, which require off-board fare payment and proof of payment once on the bus, the Eagle Team have been credited with creating an atmosphere of minimal fare evasion as well as near zero operator assaults along those routes.

The idea behind the use of Eagle Team is two-fold: first to serve as a deterrent against fare evasion and second to assist the NYPD, particularly notifying them about “hot spots” — locations we have identified where fare evasion is a problem.

“This is very much a collaborative effort between NYC Transit and the NYPD, who have been doing a tremendous job of enforcement,” said NYC Transit President Thomas F. Prendergast. “The value of the Eagle Teams will be in helping customers understand that this is not a free service while alerting the NYPD to the areas where we are experiencing problems.”

Eagle Team deployment will be intelligence-based, using a system based on the NYPD’s COMPSTAT-style analysis, which will take a close look at trends throughout the system. Eagle Team members will write $100 Transit Adjudication Bureau (TAB) summonses. The enforcement enhancements will double the Eagle Team force, which currently stands between 60 and 70.

“As with the SBS routes, we will operate with a blend of enforcement and customer service,” said Vincent DeMarino, NYC Transit’s VP, security. “We will share our information with the NYPD and work with them towards our common goals.”

The stepped up enforcement is expected to be in place by the end of the year.

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