What to Know
- As the MTA continues its measures to crack down on fare beating, one group is using some covert means to fight the enforcements
- Instead of ads reading “Together, we can make a better system” which the agency has been posting, the guerilla ads use the exact same look
- The sneaky anti-MTA posters end with the slogan “Don’t snitch. Swipe,” asking riders to swipe others in if they’re waiting by the turnstiles
As the MTA continues its measures to crack down on fare beating, one group is using some covert means to fight the enforcements.
Riders on any New York City subway may notice new or an increased number of signs from the transit agency, urging commuters to pay for their rides and discouraging them from jumping turnstiles and walking onto platforms using the service doors at stations.
However there is a group confronting the MTA’s efforts, putting up signs in subway cars that look exactly like the agency’s — only their message is far different.
Instead of ads reading “Together, we can make a better system” — which the agency has been posting — the guerilla ads use the exact same font and look, but read “Together, we can make a better world.” It goes on to list reasons why a person may be evading the fare, including “Maybe they don’t have $2.75. Maybe they were laid off. Maybe there’s an emergency and no time to refill. Maybe the ticket machines are broke.”
The sneaky anti-MTA posters end with the slogan “Don’t snitch. Swipe,” asking riders to swipe others in if they’re waiting by the turnstiles. There is also a link provided to a study — authored by an MTA board member — that shows black and Latino communities being targeted in particular. David Jones, the author of the study for the anti-poverty Community Services Society, said they “understand the motivation behind [the opposing ads], but that’s not our campaign.”
Despite the new campaign from the opposition group, the MTA says it has no plans to stop their crackdown.
“Fare evasion is real. It costs the MTA hundreds of millions of dollars a year, reducing service we can provide across the system,” an MTA spokesperson said. “It is unfair to the vast majority of New Yorkers who pay the fare. Therefore we are taking appropriate action.”
The transit authority said it will continue projects aimed at farebeating, which they call a $200 million problem, like raising low gates at subway stations that allow people to easily open it from the outside, and adding hundreds of cops to the system.
Mayor Bill de Blasio introduced a half-price fare program as a way to help those who said they couldn’t afford the $2.75 fare, which advocates said led to further attempts to avoid paying. But so far, only a tenth of low-income New Yorkers have been enrolled in the program.