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S44 bus in Staten Island has highest fare-evasion rate of all routes surveyed by the MTA

Posted by Gold_12TH on Mon Jul 2 14:51:11 2012


Fare evasion is plaguing the bus network all across the city — but no route is more frequently a free ride than the S44 in Staten Island.

The line, running between the St. George Ferry Terminal and the Staten Island Mall, has the highest fare-evasion rate of all routes surveyed by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, a knowledgeable transit source tells me.

The source wouldn’t specify the specific percentage of S44 riders who were observed boarding without paying in the MTA’s most recent round of surveys.

But the average rate of fare evasion for all routes covering Staten Island is nearly 20% — higher than those in all other boroughs, another transit source said.

Following the S44, the second-worst route for fare evasion was the S74, which connects the St. George neighborhood to the Bricktown Mall.

Rounding out the top five were three routes linking the Bronx and Manhattan: the Bx19 (Botanical Garden/Riverbank Park); the Bx36 (Soundview/George Washington Bridge bus station); and the Bx11 (West Farms Road/Southern Blvd./the GWB bus station).

The good news, if there is any, is the NYPD is taking some action. Cops arrested 1,205 bus cheats between January and mid June, up 102% over the same period last year. The bad news, of which there is plenty, is that the triple-digit increase also highlights how anemic enforcement has been.

The MTA now estimates that fare evasion — on the bus and the rails — deprives it of approximately $100 million in revenue per year. More than half of those losses occur on the network of bus routes, even though buses carry far fewer riders than the subway.

It’s a staggering amount of money. If all those fares were paid, the bus and subway service cuts that were imposed two years ago wouldn’t have been necessary. In fact, $100 million would have been enough to restore all of the axed service

and leave more than $30 million that could have been used to improve bus and subway system.

MTA board member Allan Cappelli, a lawyer from Staten Island, wants the City Council to shine a spotlight on the issue. The Council should mandate that the NYPD provide periodic updates on fare-evasion enforcement.

“The problem is so pervasive it’s really going to require a sustained and publicized effort,” Cappelli said. “In order to eradicate it, we need to change people’s perception that they can get away with not paying, and that there’s no penalty for doing it.”

Unless that happens, the MTA — and, by extension, all of us paying straphangers — will continue to be taken for a ride.
Fare evasion is plaguing the bus network all across the city — but no route is more frequently a free ride than the S44 in Staten Island.

The line, running between the St. George Ferry Terminal and the Staten Island Mall, has the highest fare-evasion rate of all routes surveyed by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, a knowledgeable transit source tells me.

The source wouldn’t specify the percentage of S44 riders who were observed boarding without paying in the MTA’s most recent round of surveys.

But the average rate of fare evasion for all routes covering Staten Island is nearly 20% — higher than those in all other boroughs, another transit source said.

Following the S44, the second-worst route for fare evasion was the S74, which connects the St. George neighborhood to the Bricktown Mall.

Rounding out the top five were three routes linking the Bronx and Manhattan: the Bx19 (Botanical Garden/Riverbank Park); the Bx36 (Soundview/George Washington Bridge bus station); and the Bx11 (West Farms Road/Southern Blvd./the GWB bus station).

The good news, if there is any, is the NYPD is taking some action. Cops arrested 1,205 bus cheats between January and mid-June, up 102% over the same period last year. The bad news, of which there is plenty, is that the triple-digit increase also highlights how anemic enforcement has been.

The MTA now estimates that fare evasion — on the bus and the rails — deprives it of approximately $100 million in revenue per year. More than half of those losses occur on the network of bus routes, even though buses carry far fewer riders than the subway.

It’s a staggering amount of money. If all those fares were paid, the bus and subway service cuts that were imposed two years ago wouldn’t have been necessary. In fact, $100 million would have been enough to restore all of the axed service

and leave more than $30 million that could have been used to improve bus and subway system.

MTA board member Allan Cappelli, a lawyer from Staten Island, wants the City Council to shine a spotlight on the issue. The Council should mandate that the NYPD provide periodic updates on fare-evasion enforcement.

“The problem is so pervasive it’s really going to require a sustained and publicized effort,” Cappelli said. “In order to eradicate it, we need to change people’s perception that they can get away with not paying, and that there’s no penalty for doing it.”

Unless that happens, the MTA — and, by extension, all of us paying straphangers — will continue to be taken for a ride.

---http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/s44-bus-staten-island-highest-fare-evasion-rate-routes-surveyed-metropolitan-transportation-authority-article-1.1106148#ixzz1zUavkDdd

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