Tuesday, March 25, 2008

MBTA Fare Evaders Watch Out

First - the Red Sox just won the first game of the season. Woo-hoo!!!

Now on to more train news. The Boston Herald published an article this morning about how the MBTA has been running undercover stings to catch fare evaders. This is great news for those of us who either purchase commuting passes (both commuter rail passes and CharlieCards) and for those of us who are taxpayers. I know that part of the T's job is to collect fares, so it seems silly to praise them for doing their job. But since fares aren't always collected (especially sometimes on the commuter rail lines), then maybe we need to continue to positively reinforce the issue to ensure that every cent is collected.

The T's Transit Police have already issued 262 fare evading citations this year, compared to just 99 for the same period last year. A fare evader receives a $15 citation for their first offense. Second offenses are billed at $100 and third offenses cost $250. That's a steep increase compared to the $1.70 fare (if you have a CharlieCard) or $2.00 fare (if you don't have a CharlieCard).

The T claims that prior to the CharlieCard, 3-5% of all riders failed to pay for their trip. Fare evaders cost taxpayers $13.5 million annually.

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