Gothamist: The NYPD issued more than 100K fare evasion tickets last year.

Gothamast fare evasion 16x9

Gothamist reports a sharp 2023 increase in fines and arrests by the NYPD for MTA fare evasion.

The piece details a massive surge of uniformed and undercover officers in the transit system from January - September 2023, enhanced tactics (such as officers disguised as MTA workers), and a resultant spike in stops and tickets. The New Yorkers most affected by this enhanced enforcement tended to be in high-poverty neighborhoods with predominantly Black and Brown residents.

Even accounting for the number of riders that use each station, the analysis found a huge disparity in the number of tickets and arrests for fare jumping at different stations. A majority of fare evasion tickets were issued at just a quarter of the city's stations — with Livonia Avenue, Far Rockaway-Mott Avenue and Aqueduct Racetrack in Ozone Park tallying between 50 and 60 tickets per 100,000 riders. On the other hand, at about half the city’s stations, police gave out fewer than five tickets per 100,000 riders between January and September 2023.

Many have questioned both the efficacy and fairness of these new fare evasion measures.

Jacqueline Gosdigian, senior policy counsel with Brooklyn Defender Services, said that paying officers overtime rates to enforce fare evasion and then prosecuting cases in the court system is a waste of the city’s time and money:

“Cycling folks through the criminal legal system is a complete waste of time,” she said. “Think of how much cheaper it would be to give someone a free Metrocard.”

You can read the full article here.

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