NEW YORK (PIX11) — The MTA deployed unarmed guards at six subway stations in a pilot effort to combat fare evasion, transit officials said at a Wednesday board meeting.
It was launched in “the last few months without much fanfare,” NYC Transit President Richard Davey said. He said there’s been a “dramatic increase” in fares paid at those six stations in the last six to eight weeks, but idn’t provide specific numbers.
“This is something we’re going to scale across the system to not only provide more eyes and ears for security purposes, but also to see if we can push on fare evasion in the system,” Davey said.
The guards are uniformed, MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber said. They stand next to the emergency gates. The MTA plans to have 50 of those guards over the next few months as part of the Cops, Cameras and Care initiative recently announced by Gov. Kathy Hochul and Mayor Eric Adams.
Fare evasion has seriously been hurting the transit agency’s bottom line. In the first three months of the year, the MTA lost $62 million in revenue from turnstile jumpers and an additional $57 million from passengers taking free bus rides, according to the agency.