Most Buses to Open Only Front Doors to Prevent Fare Evaders

Most Buses to Open Only Front Doors to Prevent Fare Evaders

By Yehudit Garmaise

Effective immediately: city bus drivers who operate local routes will no longer automatically open their rear and center doors, through which fare beaters are increasingly sliding in to avoid payment.

According to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (MTA) latest fare-evasion survey the number of city bus riders who do not pay their way is 30%, which increased from just more than 20% at the end of 2019. 

Fare evasion on the city’s subways, commuter rails, bridges, buses, and tunnels has caused the MTA to lose a whopping $500 million, said MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber in April.

The MTA’s new policy will force potential scofflaws to come face-to-face with bus drivers, but J.P. Patafio, the vice president for Transport Workers Local 100’s Brooklyn bus pointed out that bus operators should not have to haggle for fares from passengers who try to board unnoticed.

“The bus driver’s job is already very difficult, and we already know that enforcing fares leads to assault and fights on the bus,” Patafio told the New York Post.

Riders who want to exit through the center and rear doors will have to manually activate them on local routes.

The one exception is on Select Bus Service buses, where the MTA says it encourages rear door boarding because riders pay at a machine at the bus stop, not exclusively at the front of the bus. Those buses also have OMNY installed at all doors, which allows riders to pay at any bus door entrance as well.


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