LIRR riders getting warning about fare evasion in TrainTime app

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Wednesday, June 19, 2024
LIRR riders getting warning about fare evasion in MTA's TrainTime app
N.J. Burkett has the latest on the fare evasion in MTA's TrainTime app.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- There is a new warning for LIRR riders to make sure they pay their fare.

The MTA's TrainTime app has started posting pop-up messages that say, "MTA police are enforcing fare payment. Passengers who don't pay the fare and don't show valid ID will be removed from the train."

Passengers have to press a button to acknowledge the message before they can use the app's features.

It comes as fare evasion has run rampant in the regional transportation system. According to the Transit Authority, more than half a million people push their way onto buses or breeze past the subway turnstiles every day.

Veteran commuters say it boils their blood.

"If I have to pay it, everyone else has to pay it," said one Metro North commuter.

The MTA has stepped-up enforcement in recent months, a crackdown that includes Metro-North and the Long Island Rail Road, where a peak ticket to Huntington costs $17.50, one way.

In the last two years, summonses were up by 120%. Arrests were up 270%. In just the first three months of this year, summonses went up an additional 437% and arrests nearly tripled.

Metro-North conductor Kord Henry says the crackdown is appreciated, and overdue.

"It's been a big problem, you know," Henry said. "People hiding the bathrooms, people avoiding the fares, people arguing with you. Then they refuse to get off. So, a lot of conductors are tired of it. And I think it's about time this happened."

The MTA said it loses $700 million a year to fare evasion.

Problem rail lines are being targeted for enforcement with officers under orders to eject anyone who refuses to pay the fare.

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