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MBTA general manager takes fare evasion personally
By adamg on Thu, 12/09/2010 - 1:39pm
MBTA General Manager Rich Davey collars a fare jumper at Park Street yesterday. Davey explains to WBUR what happened in the video.
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I wish all T employees would follow suit. I can't stand riding the Green line and seeing people playing the not so clever "oh I thought when all the doors opened that means the ride is free" game. Not to mention the "lurk near the turnstile and jump in after some other paying customer" dodge.
The T might not be the best run/most efficient public transport system, but that doesn’t mean you get to ride free.
Almost as annoying as paying
Almost as annoying as paying a for a monthly pass and having to either wait in line or enter an open door and then fight your way to the front.
I have to say, that "open all
I have to say, that "open all the doors" move is stupid on the T's part. First, they're just inviting fare evasion by doing that. And second, it doesn't present any more convenience for passengers because of the aforementioned slog to the front through the front-boarding crowd. It's presumably to just cram everyone on and leave the station as fast as possible, and "to hell with the people inside the train, let them struggle," but it certainly doesn't engender any love of the overall T experience.
It's supposed to be for
It's supposed to be for people with passes.
But the whole proof of payment system sort of falls apart when they never check to see if people paid.
Only for stored value cards
At least on the B line, you should only need to go up front if you have a "stored value" card and have to actually pay your fare. That seems to be pretty consistantly the announcement, though admittedly it often sounds more like Vogon poetry...
I have a monthly pass and I never go up front. The undercover cops doing fare control have never complained to me about this.
Usually it's ok, but
Usually it's ok, but yesterday everyone entering through the back doors was told that the train would not move until people came up and paid their fares. So as a monthly pass holder, I was given the stink eye until I went to the front to prove it.
As much as I hate fare evasion,
it shouldn't be the responsibility of the streetcar operator to insure that people entering through the rear doors are legitimate pass holders.
I also have to wonder if that Barney Fife stunt made the train so late that it had to be short-turned at Park Street, thus inconveniencing both the people trying to continue eastbound to Government Center (or beyond) and the masses waiting westbound at Government Center for a train that will now not arrive.
I'm happy that the GM
I'm happy that the GM actually takes the T for official business.
There's always people lurking
There's always people lurking at that entrance waiting to tail someone in for free. I can't even begin to count the number of times I saw it happen when waiting for the E line. Happened to me every time I used that entrance too, someone would always come behind me on my swipe.
(As for why I never did anything about it? Never any MBTA police around in that part, and I tend to not want to get my ass kicked, I put my own safety before MBTA revenue.)
Globe article on MBTA GM and fare evasion
is here. The lady who enters the left gate, and then waits around in front, is MBTA spokesperson Lydia Rivera.
Maybe they shouldn't invite fare evasion
I mean, these are the worst "gates" and over-engineered systems. They do next to nothing about fare evaders and can be bypassed by the dumbest of riders....sometimes even completely unintentionally!
If they didn't want people evading the fare, maybe they should have put in better systems in the first place.
If they don't want people skipping the fare on the street trolleys, maybe they should fix the scheduling so people don't feel it's only fair to not pay since they had to wait 30 minutes in the freezing cold to catch a fully-packed B Line car.
Maybe if people felt less alienated and assaulted by the T and instead felt invested in the success of the MBTA, they'd do more to make sure everyone did their part.
Old turnstiles were even easier to fare-evade
as you could pull them backward a half-turn and squeeze through, or even climb on top of them without any of the athleticism shown in this video. I sometimes had to do this when my monthly pass didn't read correctly.
Sorry Ron, I respectfully disagree
that fare evasion has gone down since the Charile system was introduced.
I've ridden the T on a daily basis now for almost 35 years. With the old turnstiles, I would ocassionally see a fare evader (using the subtle 'cock the turnstile backwards' method you described) an average of once every two weeks. Since the Charile faregates, I have seen examples of fare evasion, mostly the "piggybacking" method, several times a week.
Also, the problem I have with the T's figures are that the "before Charlie" fare evasion estimates are not based on any hard data - because the T didn't keep fare evasion records in the "bad old days" of turnstiles and tokens.
Gates are a sham. As you
Gates are a sham. As you point out, they do absolutely nothing to stop fare evasion.
All they do is collect money, something that could just as easily be done with a tap pad, or modified bus fare box.
But instead we pay millions and millions because some corporation sold the idea to the T that gates are wonderful.
All we need is a white line on the floor to differentiate the free area and the paid area, touch pads, and T cops checking fares and actually bringing in revenue by handing out tickets.
If the T moved to a gateless proof-of-payment system
at least three things would have to change:
- Riders who use paper tickets would be required to hold onto the tickets until they exited the system. Right now, riders often discard used-up tickets right past the gate, sometime into special recycling bins that the T has placed in the fare-paid lobby or on platforms
- Using the same CharlieCard or ticket to pay for for multiple riders could no longer be allowed, since those riders could later split up and go separate directions, with only one of the riders continuing to carry the card or ticket
- Green Line fareboxes would have to issue paper tickets to people who pay cash fares
1. Riders are currently
1. Riders are currently required to keep their paper tickets for the bi-annual e-line fare check
2. The amount of people who enter with one card and split up must be close to zero. And since the charlie card is free, there's very little reason to rely on one card.
3. They always have, again due to the bi-annual fare check