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The Metropolitan Transportation Authority has created a blue-ribbon panel that will develop strategies to reduce fare evasion across the New York City transit system.
Panel members will focus on approaches to encourage fare payment through education, equity and enforcement initiatives, MTA officials said in a press release. Those initiatives will include improving communication across all platforms, expanding access to low-income riders and scaling back law enforcement presence to instead allow civilian MTA staff to conduct fare compliance checks.
Farebox and toll revenue account for half of MTA’s operating budget. But in recent years, fare evasion has nearly tripled on the New York City Transit subway from 3% to over 12%, officials said. Only 200,000 of the 800,000 New Yorkers who qualify for a reduced fare program take advantage of it, they said.
The panel will partner with the five boroughs’ district attorneys to seek a uniform approach to criminal charges related to fare evasion.
Panelists include MTA Board Member David Jones and Transit Innovation Lab Founding Director Natalia Quintero.