To the Editor,
Last year, New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Chairman Janno Lieber promised to make public a report on fare evasion. In 2022, the MTA lost $500 million in revenue to deadbeats who refused to pay their fare. In conjunction with the study, MTA officials would conduct discussions with all five NYC district attorneys — some of who previously publicly committed to reduce or eliminate prosecuting those who were found not paying their fare.
Law abiding taxpayers and honest commuters who pay should not have to tolerate this theft of service. Gov.
Kathy Hochul promised to conduct the most transparent administration in the history of state government. This commitment was also supposed to extend to the MTA. In the meantime, the MTA once again went hat in hand to Albany looking for several billion dollars in addition to billions more in annual state assistance to deal with the current multi-billion dollar, multi-year shortfall. A significant reduction in fare evasion during 2023 could raise several hundred million more in revenue.
Lieber has refused to commit a future date for release of this critical report. Making public this report is vital for taxpayers, riders, transit advocates, funding agencies and elected officials to understand how the MTA will go forward in dealing with fare evasion.