MANHATTAN, N.Y. — The MTA says 4 percent of subway riders each and every day choose not the pay their way. Is it lack of enforcement? Fewer station agents? Protesting riders peeved over poor service?
It’s not known what drives people to jump the turnstile, but it is costing New Yorkers in a big way — and no place is it happening more than in Times Square, where people skip out on paying once a minute, the New York Times reports.
This means big bucks — $165 an hour is lost, or $4,000 a day. This translates to $118,000 a month or a whopping $1.425 million each year.
Gwen Lytle, who commutes from Monroe, said the MTA should follow in the footsteps of other countries.
“In Europe, they have barriers. You would think for that kind of money they would want to prevent it,” Lytle said.
Most people sneak in through the service gate, and systemwide, the problem has multiple factors driving it.
The MTA estimates at least $215 million is stolen by fare beaters.
The spike matches a decline in enforcement arrests, which were down 78 percent compared to last year, despite the offense doubling from numbers in 2012.
“I don’t think the NYPD is really into catching these people,” Michael Coco, from Throggs Neck, theorized.
A summons can be issued by cops that comes with a $100 fine, but the Manhattan District Attorney announced the crimes will not be prosecuted any more.