Next month, the NYPD will start patrolling some bus routes to help the MTA’s fare enforcement team get riders to pay their fares.
According to the MTA, it lost $315 million last year to fare evasion.
“Buses have become the number one fare evasion problem,” MTA Chairman Janno Lieber said.
What You Need To Know
- The NYPD is creating a new unit to deploy police officers to local bus routes, alongside the MTA’s bus fare enforcement team
- The MTA says it lost $315 million last year to fare evasion
- The Eagle Team will check in with bus drivers to make sure there are no issues on board
- The enforcement will also target routes in Kips Bay, Manhattan; Downtown Brooklyn and the ferry terminal on Staten Island
MTA officials say it’s only getting worse, with roughly one in three bus riders skipping the fare.
“That money could be used to run more buses,” Lieber said.
The MTA will deploy to local bus routes its Eagle Team, which is made up of unarmed security personnel who check fare stubs for people on the select bus service routes.
“It will be about reorienting our customers that paying their fare is expected and there are programs available to them as well, if they have a certain income level,” NYC Transit President Rich Davey said.
The NYPD is creating a unit dedicated to patrolling buses with MTA’s Eagle Team.
“A uniformed police presence at our subway turnstile adds to riders confidence and soon the same can be said for our city’s buses,” NYPD Transit Bureau Chief Michael Kemper said.
Union officials say they have been calling for police officers to pay attention to buses — arguing that bus routes with a lot of fare evasion have more cases of bus drivers being harassed and assaulted.
The Transport Workers Union says this year through June, there have been more than 700 bus operators who have been harassed, threatened, assaulted and spat on.
Before the crackdown on bus fare evasion starts in mid-September, there will be an education campaign, with members of the Eagle Team handling out pamphlets about discounted fare programs and why it’s important to pay the fare.
The enforcement will target three areas: 25 routes in Kips Bay, Manhattan; 12 routes in Downtown Brooklyn; and 22 routes at the ferry terminal on Staten Island.