Jump turnstile; pay a higher fineBy
Over the past twenty years, New Yorkers have seen their subway fares increase by 100 percent from a base fare of $1.00 in 1988 to the $2.00 we pay today. Meanwhile, fines for breaking the subway rules have stagnated, and a perp caught jumping the turnstile today pays the same $60 today as he or she would have doled out in 1988. Now, considering law-abiding passengers are getting held up for more money, those fines just don’t seem, well, fair.
At least, that’s what New York City Transit thinks, and the agency is trying to increase fines levied on everything from subway vandalism to fare-jumpers and weapons charges. Brooke Naylor and Pete Donohue had more in the Daily News:
Fines for all bus and subway rule violations will likely go up, some doubling to $200, the Daily News has learned. Smoking, littering, vandalism, taking up two seats – you name it – NYC Transit wants the fines to go up since they haven’t risen in two decades.
NYC Transit President Howard Roberts on Thursday said he wants a stiffer penalty for fare-beating to serve as a deterrent. One source said fare-beating fines – now $60 – likely will be upped to roughly $100.
Sources said the authority is drafting higher penalties for all 45 types or categories of violations. Roberts said he’d like to double the maximum penalty of $100 now applied to four offenses: vandalism/obstructing train or bus traffic, committing “harmful acts,” carrying weapons and carrying explosives.
According to Naylor and Donohue, the MTA board will have to approve the higher fines, and some may require legislative action as well. It’s hard to see anyone voting against higher fines for quality-of-life violations in the subway.
While the MTA is doing all it can to draw in more revenue from the limited options available to it, this move seems to me like a no-brainer. And I can only wonder why it’s taken the transportation authority twenty years to act on this issue. After all, $60 in the 1988 is now worth nearly $109. We’re letting fare-jumpers off cheap these days.
Recycled MetroCard artwork photo by flickr user dM.nyc.