Skipping Subway Turnstiles Saves Money, Even When Caught

Tuesday, Jul 26, 2011  |  Updated 8:13 AM EDT
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Skipping Turnstiles Saves Money: Report

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Jumping the turnstiles regularly may pay off for scofflaws, even when they get caught, according to a new analysis.

Fare-beaters only get caught every six to 13 weeks, analysts found, and when they do, they're issued a $100 fine, the Daily News reports.

With weekly MetroCards now costing $29, that means turnstile jumpers are saving at least $62 in a six-week span after paying the $100 fine.

The calculations are based on 2009 data from the MTA showing that fare-beaters entered without paying 18.5 million times in 2009 -- an average of 50,684 a day. Cops issued just 120,000 summonses that year.

Fare evasion cost the MTA $31 million last year, according to the Daily News.

Between January and March of this year, 1.5 percent of all subway rides were taken by fare evaders, compared with 0.9 percent in the corresponding period a year earlier.

MTA spokeswoman Deirdre Parker told the Daily News, "New York City Transit takes fare evasion very seriously and is continually working with the NYPD on cost-effective to combat it, such as targeting high-incidence locations and placing cameras in key areas."

Parker told the News that officers have issued 37,825 summonses to evaders so far this year, a 1.7 percent increase from the same period in 2010.

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