Staten Island Council Members Want Crackdown on Fare Evaders

By Nicholas Rizzi on August 22, 2012 8:48pm 

Staten Island City Council members Debi Rose and James Vacca announced legislation aimed at cracking down on subway and bus fare evaders. Staten Island has the highest percentage of riders who skip fare on buses.
Staten Island City Council members Debi Rose and James Vacca announced legislation aimed at cracking down on subway and bus fare evaders. Staten Island has the highest percentage of riders who skip fare on buses.
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Daniel Barry/Getty Images

CITY HALL — Two City Council members want the city to keep better tabs on fare beaters on subways and buses.

At a City Hall press conference on Wednesday, council members Debi Rose and James Vacca introduced legislation that would require the NYPD to send lawmakers detailed reports twice a year about subway and bus fare evaders.

"No one rides for free, and I want all those who are evading fares to know that your free ride is over; your days of stealing from your fellow New Yorkers have come to an end," said Rose in a statement. "We must address this issue now and this legislation is the first step in ensuring that everyone pays their fair share."

The MTA estimates that over $50 million in fares are lost every year from bus evaders, and $100 million in losses from subway and bus far evasions, according to a press release.

"Fare evasion is inexcusable," said Vacca, chair of Council's Transportation Committee. "No straphanger should have to subsidize free loaders who try to beat the system, but that’s exactly what’s happening."

Staten Island has the highest rate of bus fare evasion in all five boroughs, the New York Daily News reported earlier this year.

Nearly 20 percent of all Staten Island riders skip their bus fare, with the S44 and S75 being the top two worst routes for evasion, the Daily News said.

If passed, the bill will require the NYPD to report to the City Council twice a year about the fare evading on public transportation.

The reports would contain the number of arrests, summons and number of personnel who are designated to combat fare evasion, according to the release.

MTA officials on Staten Island are in favor of the new laws, according to the release.

"The City of New York and the MTA need to monitor this effort regularly to minimize lawlessness and maximize revenue," said Allen Campbell, a member of the MTA board from Staten Island. "This legislation is an important part of that effort."

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