Nearly Half of Turnstile Jumpers Are Kids, Cost MTA Millions: Report

Wednesday, Jul 20, 2011  |  Updated 8:47 AM EDT
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Rogue subway riders are becoming an increasingly bigger problem for the MTA, though the turnstile-jumping cheaters tend to be on the smaller side.

Children taller than 44 inches, which is the MTA’s height limit for free rides, comprise nearly 45 percent of fare beaters, according to an informal agency report obtained by the Daily News.

Most of these kids beat the system by ducking under the turnstiles. Once on the other side, some of the kids even open the emergency exit gate so their mothers can enter for free, too.

The MTA says these fare-beaters, along with the individuals who ride for free by leaping over the turnstiles or pushing two people in with one swipe, cost the agency millions a year. But plenty of parents don’t seem to mind skirting the system to get their kids in for free.

“We pay for every little thing, and the fare is too expensive to begin with,” Janet Carrion, a mother of two who lives in Harlem, told the News. “I don’t feel guilty.”

Another mother told the paper the MTA doesn’t enforce the height limit for free rides, so she plans to keep taking advantage until they do.

Meanwhile, the MTA recognizes some straphangers may not be aware of the height regulations because the signs are posted in booths that patrons may no longer use, reports the News. The agency is considering posting the signs near turnstiles to make them more visible. 

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