Home Buses In need of dough? How about delinquent bus fares?

In need of dough? How about delinquent bus fares?

by Benjamin Kabak

So the MTA may need some money for that whole Second Ave. subway thing. Maybe they should start enforcing bus fare collection.

According to reports released on Monday, bus fare hopping is becoming a growing problem in the City. The Post tracked down some delinquent bus riders and interviewed their drivers on Monday.

Grandparents, baby boomers and even mothers with carriages are becoming the city’s new scofflaws by using the rear exit doors on buses to get a free E-ZPass aboard. “It’s out of control!” said one 44-year-old Brooklyn driver who operates the B41 bus along Flatbush Avenue…

The Post recently saw dozens of kid-toting, shopping-bag-carrying folks aggressively hopping onto crowded buses through rear doors at the busy Fordham Road and Webster Avenue stop – sometimes preventing passengers from getting off.

One well-dressed, 57-year-old office worker and grandmother of two told The Post as she sneaked onto a bus that she does it because “everyone else is doing it.”

So, grandma, if everyone jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge, would you do that, too?

The MTA had little information about the problem because they can’t really track the fares they don’t collect. The NYPD is in the same boat. While the police have stopped over 205,000 turnstile jumpers since 2005, the Boys in Blue have ticketed a whopping 21 people for ducking out on their bus fare.

According to Transit Spokesman Charles Seaton, fare-cheaters are common at busy stops and on the long accordion buses where the driver doesn’t have a very good view of the back door.

While any effort to ticket fare-jumpers on the bus system would probably cost more to implement than it would draw in, it’s just not cool to avoid paying for the bus. So don’t do it. Pay up, man. The MTA, after all, needs that money to build a new subway line.

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Marsha April 18, 2007 - 8:30 am

A few things:

1. Nice logo variation. Love the subway map.
2. Love the old transfer too. Did you still have one from your youth?
3. The solution–eliminate the rear door exit. Let’s face it, half the people on the bus go out the front door anyway, so why not make everyone go out the front door? I know people will say it will just slow down the bus even more, but anyone who takes the bus is already prepared for an endless ride. And if the MTA wants to speed up the bus, how about eliminating some stops instead? Busses simply do not need to stop every other block.

Benjamin Kabak April 18, 2007 - 2:28 pm

I am of mixed opinions on eliminating the rear door. The first thought that came to mind was London. The buses in London have just one door for everyone, and that seems to work ok.

But then I thought about the big buses – the accordion buses in particular. Can you imagine taking an M86 at rush hour that’s crammed with people trying to get home? And then imagine having just one door. Not only would it slow down an already painfully slow ride. But the front of the bus would become so packed because everyone would surge forward in an effort to get out the door.

It’s a nice idea, but I think it would only work on less crowded buses which aren’t the problem spots when it comes to fare-jumpers on surface transportation.

Todd April 18, 2007 - 7:41 pm

I don’t ride the bus very often, but when I do, I hate when people exit at the front door. It disrupts the whole flow. I’ve never seen anyone get on via the back door, but I’d be willing to help if such a situation arose:

Let me kick people off the bus. Literally.

If there was no fear of prosecution, I’d gladly ride the bus home, kicking offenders in the chest with glee.

sarah g April 19, 2007 - 12:53 am

What if the MTA hired someone to sit at the rear door and collect fares? If bus hopping is such a problem then surely this would pay for itself fairly easily, once the extra booth things were installed for them to sit in?

mancunian1001 April 19, 2007 - 3:51 am

I’m a regular bus user in the UK, and in my area, Greater Manchester, only a handful of buses are dual doored. These are bendibuses operated by First Manchester on the 8 and 135 Bolton and Bury to Manchester routes. Most of them go to the front door to pay the driver, but few use the second door to exit the vehicle.

Between 1965 and 1970, some buses in the Manchester area had fareboxes and fixed fares. Known as the Minimax system, some passengers deliberately underpaid their fare (6d at the time), getting a 6d journey for one penny on the 170 from Newton Heath to Didsbury. These buses, double deckers, also had dual doors.

Marsha April 19, 2007 - 8:22 am

Like Todd, I hate it when people exit out the front door. If I’m waiting to get on (and also like Todd, I rarely ride the bus), it really slows things down. However, I offered that as a suggestion to avoid the fare beaters who are even more annoying than the front door exiters. And I second the idea of a fare collector in the back of those extra-long busses.


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