Blue-Ribbon Panel Unveils Multi-Layered Plan with Cutting-Edge Tech to Reduce Fare and Toll Evasion as Annual Losses Approach $700 Million
On Wednesday, May 17, 2023, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) released the Final Report of the Blue-Ribbon Panel on Fare Evasion, a group of education, social justice, and law enforcement experts convened in May 2022 to better understand the causes of rising fare and toll evasion across the transit system and recommend actionable solutions. According to the report, the situation has reached crisis levels, with the MTA losing an estimated $690 million in unpaid fares and tolls in 2022, threatening the economics of mass transit in the region.
To combat this trend, the report recommended a comprehensive plan to combat fare and toll evasion, including modernizing subway fare gates, better supporting low-income transit riders, and instituting a generational refresh of enforcement that commits to precision policing and civil enforcement for most evaders. The Blue-Ribbon Panel’s mission is to reduce fare and toll evasion rates and dollar losses by half within three years across the entire MTA while boosting paid ridership.
“This report is the product of over a year of intensive work taking a fresh look at the issue of fare and toll evasion, its causes, and potential solutions,” said Rosemonde Pierre-Louis and Roger Maldonado, Blue-Ribbon Panel Co-Chairs. “Fare evasion is a crisis that threatens the future of the MTA, and to solve it the panel believes a rigorous, comprehensive approach to tackle root causes is needed. By bringing New Yorkers together and centering education, equity, and changes to the physical entry experience along with a reimagined enforcement strategy, we can alleviate evasion and turn the tide.”