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Bus Fare Evasion Arrests up 72 Percent, NYPD Says

By DNAinfo Staff on June 25, 2012 6:14pm

Riders board the B61 at the Columbia and Carroll Streets bus stop.
Riders board the B61 at the Columbia and Carroll Streets bus stop.
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Dnainfo/Heather Holland

MANHATTAN — Bus fare evasion arrests were up 72 percent this year compared to the number of arrests made in 2011.

The increase resulted from strategic deployment of officers, with 996 inspections on various bus routes throughout the city, NYPD officials said Monday.

Police officials said there were 1,228 arrests made for bus fare evasion to date this year. In contrast, only 609 arrests were made last year during the same time period for avoiding fare payment.

Operation Impact, a crime-fighting strategy that was launched by the NYPD in 2003, recently added a transit component, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly noted in a statement.

Officers, during regular tours of duty, are conducting ongoing checks of city buses, amping up the presence of uniformed cops to the MTA, which Kelly said can help catch fare-dodgers in the act and deter others.

“This increased uniformed police presence on buses has resulted in additional fare evasion arrestsm and we believe deters other crimes in transit,” said Kelly in the statement.

The NYPD has also dispatched plain clothes officers to transit in order to bust fare evaders, Kelly said.

In January, the New York State senate passed a law hiking fare evasion fines from $100 to $500. The measure must still be approved by assembly and Gov. Andrew Cuomo in order to become effective.

Subway scofflaws alone reportedly cost the state $31 million in 2010.

In 2011, an average of 7 crimes a day were committed in transit, in general, with more than 5 million riders each day. That number was down from the 50 crimes a day that were being committed in 1990, with fewer riders in the system, police said.