Subway Fare Evaders: There Are More, and They Have Really Good Reasons

Fare evaders cost the New York City Metro Transit Authority $215 million this year. The number of fare evaders is up from 2017: 1.8% of riders to 3.2% for 2018. How do they do it? Use the open emergency exit door. Enter as passengers exit via this unauthorized means. About 61 people per hour do that. Vault over the gates — gymnasts do well with jumping the turnstiles. Children slip under the turnstiles. Why do they do it? The rationalizations abound:
1. “My Metro card was not working.”
2. “I don’t feel like going all the way there (one block to a machine) to put money on my card.”
3. “Sometimes it’s easier to use the door.”
4. “I’m sad that the Metro is losing money, but I’m more sad about what’s happening to black people.”
5. “They don’t fix the lights. They are not doing what they are supposed to do.”

There is the problem with enforcement. The Manhattan district attorney’s office decided to no longer prosecute fare evaders. Metro agents faced with people whose cards are not working often tell riders to just get on through the emergency exit. The emergency door exit alarms were disabled in 2014, so riders getting off the subways use that door to exit and then leave it open, a temptation for the fare evaders. The influx at the emergency door is so great that those exiting have to go back to using the normal exits — they cannot get through.

If it’s any consolation, the evaders interviewed do not feel bad about their evasion. For further consolation, evasion is worse for buses, about 16% of riders do not pay.

About mmjdiary

Professor Marianne Jennings is an emeritus professor of legal and ethical studies from the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, retiring in 2011 after 35 years of teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in ethics and the legal environment of business. During her tenure at ASU, she served as director of the Joan and David Lincoln Center for Applied Ethics from 1995-1999. In 2006, she was appointed faculty director for the W.P. Carey Executive MBA Program. She has done consulting work for businesses and professional groups including AICPA, Boeing, Dial Corporation, Edward Jones, Mattel, Motorola, CFA Institute, Southern California Edison, the Institute of Internal Auditors, AIMR, DuPont, AES, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Motorola, Hy-Vee Foods, IBM, Bell Helicopter, Amgen, Raytheon, and VIAD. The sixth edition of her textbook, Case Studies in Business Ethics, was published in February 2011. The ninth edition of her textbook, Business: lts Legal, Ethical and Global Environment was published in January 2011. The 23rd edition of her book, Business Law: Principles and Cases, will be published in January 2013. The tenth edition of her book, Real Estate Law, will also be published in January 2013. Her book, A Business Tale: A Story of Ethics, Choices, Success, and a Very Large Rabbit, a fable about business ethics, was chosen by Library Journal in 2004 as its business book of the year. A Business Tale was also a finalist for two other literary awards for 2004. In 2000 her book on corporate governance was published by the New York Times MBA Pocket Series. Her book on long-term success, Building a Business Through Good Times and Bad: Lessons from Fifteen Companies, Each With a Century of Dividends, was published in October 2002 and has been used by Booz, Allen, Hamilton for its work on business longevity. Her latest book, The Seven Signs of Ethical Collapse was published by St. Martin’s Press in July 2006 and has been a finalist for two book awards. Her weekly columns are syndicated around the country, and her work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the Chicago Tribune, the New York Times, Washington Post, and the Reader's Digest. A collection of her essays, Nobody Fixes Real Carrot Sticks Anymore, first published in 1994 is still being published. She has been a commentator on business issues on All Things Considered for National Public Radio. She has served on four boards of directors, including Arizona Public Service (1987-2000), Zealous Capital Corporation, and the Center for Children with Chronic Illness and Disability at the University of Minnesota. She was appointed to the board of advisors for the Institute of Nuclear Power Operators in 2004 and served on the board of trustees for Think Arizona, a public policy think tank. She has appeared on CNBC, CBS This Morning, the Today Show, and CBS Evening News. In 2010 she was named one of the Top 100 Thought Leaders in Business Ethics by Trust Across America. Her books have been translated into four different languages. She received the British Emerald award for authoring one of their top 50 articles in management publications, chosen from over 15,000 articles. Personal: Married since 1976 to Terry H. Jennings, Maricopa County Attorney’s Office Deputy County Attorney; five children: Sarah, Sam, and John, and the late Claire and Hannah Jennings.
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