More get busted for fare evasion
The NYPD is cracking down on fare evaders with a new strategy: Waiting for them in stations where MetroCard vending machines are intentionally damaged.
“When someone damages the machine now the only way to get into the system is to pay a dollar to the swipers or avoid paying the fare,” said NYPD Transit Bureau Chief Raymond Diaz. “We’ve been more attuned to where the MetroCard machine damage is … and making more arrests at those locations.”
Undercover and uniformed police officers hide in rooms in stations known for fare evasion and watch for people trying to slip past the turnstiles without paying.
Utica Avenue on the 3, 4 and Church Avenue on the F, G are two stations the NYPD has been monitoring in the past few months, because of high amounts of MetroCard machine damage there, as well as fare evasion.
“What they do typically is get an old MetroCard and jam up the machines so it’s not operable,” said Diaz.
With the likely fare increase in January, MTA officials said they are also expecting an increase in fare evasion next year.
Keep your eye on your iPhone
Cell phones, iPods and iPhones are hot commodities to steal on the subway. The NYPD said smartphone theft is the No. 1 reason for a 15 percent spike in grand larceny on the subways this year compared to 2009. “What we see a lot of these young fellows do is, you’re sitting next to the door, and just as the doors are getting ready to close, they’ll snatch (the phone) and jump off the train,” said Diaz. “Be aware of your surroundings.”