With MTA losing $100M, cops making bus visits to bust fare beaters
The NYPD has been boosting its presence on city buses and subways to battle a surging number of fare-beating riders, officials said Monday.
Rookie cops hopped on buses approximately 1,000 times over the last month, according to NYPD and MTA officials, resulting in 160 arrests. That doesn't include undercover cops acting as decoys on buses.
"This increased uniformed police presence on buses has resulted in additional fare evasion arrests and we believe deters other crimes in transit," Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said Monday.
So far this year, more than 1,200 people have been arrested for not paying before boarding a bus, according to police. That's a 102% increase in arrests when compared to the same period last year, when there were just over 600 arrests.
The overwhelming majority of those arrests were in the Bronx, NYPD statistics show. It was unclear if that was due to higher fare evasion in the borough, or if the majority of inspections by cops were done there.
At subway stations, transit cops have arrested nearly 12,000 people for hopping a turnstile or sneaking through emergency doors -- a 19% increase over the same time last year.
MTA officials now believe losses from fare beaters add up to about $100 million on subways and buses, they said, translating to more than 61 million stolen rides each year.
During a discussion about stolen rides at yesterday's transit committee hearing, New York City Transit President Tom Prendergast said, "a lot of the fare evasion may be students."