The MTA is coming for fare evaders and bus lane hogs

The MTA is making moves to help solve its declining revenue crisis by stepping up policing to catch fare evaders, which the MTA says cost $225 million in lost revenue in 2018, and by installing cameras on buses to automatically ticket cars and trucks illegally parked in dedicated bus lanes, NY Daily News reports.

In order to increase bus speeds by 25 percent by 2020 (current average speed is 8.7 mph), $6.2 million in cameras are set to be installed on the first round of buses including Brooklyn’s B44-SBS:

The technology, dubbed Automated Bus Lane Enforcement, or ABLE, will get a slow roll-out at first. It will be installed on 123 buses across three different select bus routes: the M15-SBS on Manhattan’s East Side, the B44-SBS in Brooklyn and the anticipated M14-SBS, which is poised to launch in lower Manhattan when repairs on the L train tunnel kick off in late April.

The cameras will capture license plate information via photos and videos of vehicles obstructing bus lanes. “Multiple pieces of evidence” will automatically be sent to the Department of Transportation, which will review the offenses and issue tickets to the owners of the delinquent cars.

The MTA is also stepping up the pressure on fare evaders with new warning signs and increased ‘MTA Eagle team fare enforcement units,’ the NY Dail News reports:

MTA board member Charles Moerdler called fare evaders “deadbeats” responsible for more than half of the agency’s latest round of fare hikes, which are set to go into effect next month.

He also discounted the idea that fare evasion occurs mostly in poverty-stricken neighborhoods — citing an instance in which an MTA official watched 10 fare cheaters board a Bx10 bus in the Bronx’s high-income Riverdale neighborhood.

So who gets prosecuted for fare evasion? According to the article, 93 percent of those prosecuted in 2016 for fare evasion were black or Latino.

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