MTA board member proposes publicly shaming fare evaders to recoup lost money
With fare evasion remaining a big issue for the MTA, one board member has a controversial idea on how to try and stop it -- public shaming.
The MTA estimates it lost more than $225 million last year from riders jumping turnstiles at subway stations or riding the bus without paying. Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently announced the addition of 500 uniformed officers at bus and subway stops to address the problem.
Newly appointed MTA board member Sarah Feinberg likes the idea as part of a larger plan, which would utilize capturing the behavior on camera and posting it publicly. She admits it's a hard sell.
"At the end of the day do I think we're going to get approval to do this? My guess is we probably won't," says Feinberg.
Nonetheless, Feinberg says she's going to give it a try, saying that if fare evaders had their photo out for anyone to see, it would lead to more people paying.
Commuters are mostly not on board with the idea.
"I don't think it's going to work. I don't think people are really that embarrassed or ashamed of what they're doing. They fine with jumping the train and getting in for free," says one commuter.
Feinberg believes the rise in fare evaders stems from a bigger issue.
"People think that the service isn't up to par, so why should they pay for it?" says Feinberg. "We have all kinds of issues we need to address, if we address those issues, we're not going to have a fare evasion problem."