by Leah Herring
Hop! Duck! Slide! Fare evasion is at an all time high in the Big Apple. People are getting fined for hopping over turnstiles, getting arrested for ducking the police, and caught as they slide through the emergency door. With citizens protesting in these crowded subway stations, it’s becoming a prominent ongoing battle. A battle between the police crowding the MTA and the citizens just trying to get from place to place. Hopefully the citizens win!
Over the years the MTA has gradually raised their prices. From $1 to $1.50, from $1.50 to eventually $2.25, from $2.25 to $2.75. The rise of prices is not random. The city is more money hungry than ever. Children taller than 44 inches are required to pay for bus and train fare.
But the real question is, where is our fare money going to? According to Patch.com, “the transit agency estimates that it lost 36 million to bus fare-beating,” 36 million dollars. This is a considerable amount of money but it makes you wonder, where would this 36 million have gone? As New Yorkers we’ve all been in the rat infested train stations, and we have all been standing outside wondering when the bus will arrive. Is it really worth a $5.50 fare in these over crowded and irregularly scheduled busses and trains? All for one round trip?
I interviewed a few 10th grade students about our NYC transit system. “How much should fare be?” That was the question of the hour. They responded very passionately and very fast. “It’s should be $1, we’re kids.” Isabella Reyes responded. Alyse Rivera added, “yeah, it should be $1 in general. But students free. Because since I live near the school I don’t get a student metro card.” Shahana Kamal jumped upon hearing what Alyse said. “Yeah and the student metro cards expire after 8:30, which kinda sucks.” We continued the conversation and got into the consequences of fare evasion. “How much is the fine? $100? It should be way less than that!” Shahana expressed her distress, and I know many New Yorkers agree with her.
Thousands across the city are protesting this economic injustice, by holding protests in the subway station. This issue has become so popular and widespread that the police and MTA are having trouble regulating the rush of people who are hopping the turnstile, and stepping through the doors to get their message across clearly. The city needs to lower the fare!
Protesters are proposing that New York residents should be allowed to travel freely, and to leave the MTA fare to the tourist. They suggest that New Yorkers get specific proof of residency that allows them to waive the fare.