The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority Police Department (MPD) arrested 538 fare evaders during a recent six-week effort.
In 2017, MPD developed a Fare Evasion Task Force dedicated to reducing fare evasion throughout the system. “Our fare evasion task force has worked around the clock to focus our attention to those seeking to avoid paying fare at our stations,” said MPD Chief Wanda Dunham. “We have watched riders piggyback behind a person when the fare gates open and some even attempt to go over or under the gates.”
Over the last six weeks, plain clothes officers have actively monitored fare gates across MARTA’s 38 rail stations. To date, the effort has led to hundreds of arrests and suspensions from the MARTA system.
“We take fare evasion extremely seriously and will continue to work to ensure the safety and security for all of our customers,” said MARTA GM/CEO Keith Parker. “Every year, transit authorities across the nation lose millions of dollars in revenue due to fare evaders. We are actively working to curb this behavior through the efforts of our Fare Evasion Task Force.”
Individuals arrested for fare evasion automatically receive a 60-day suspension from using MARTA’s bus and rail services. If a fare evader is arrested and fails to produce valid identification, then the suspect is lodged in jail.
The fare evasion effort is a part of MARTA’s Ride with Respect initiative, which focuses on passenger safety and the transit agency’s customer code of conduct.