‘No Ticket!’

The NYPD’s patrol services bureau arrested 1,228 people for fare-beating between Jan. 1 and June 24, an MTA spokesman said on Monday, compared with 609 arrests in the same period last year. That represents a 102% jump in fare-beating arrests, which have risen in every borough except Brooklyn.

Speaking to the MTA’s Transit Committee ahead of the authority’s monthly board meeting, New York City Transit President Thomas Prendergast said projected losses from unpaid fares had increased sharply. An MTA official later said the new estimate was $100 million a year.

I’ve never had the guts to jump a subway turnstile, or get on a bus without paying a fare in NYC, but I did get on a bus in San Francisco with an expired pass once because my friend told me people did it all the time and that I’d be fine. I was terrified the entire time.

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16 Comments / Post A Comment

selenana (#673)

I did it in Boston once and got caught by T cops but they let me go after they found out I lived in Southie. They were from there. Dorchester represent!

Megano! (#124)

I have never done it because I know that the one time I do will be the one time when they get on the bus to check everyone’s tickets and passes.

@Megano! The one time I convinced my girlfriend to ride the bus without paying is the one time the driver has EVER called me out on it.

When I went to Rome to see my friends in May, the ticket validation machines on the trams kept being out of order, and I kept freaking out about the fact that I hadn’t validated my dinky 1 euro ticket even though there wasn’t any way I could have. Not following rules where there’s a fine for punishment makes me SO nervous. My friends thought I was being silly though, because apparently no one in Rome follows rules, functioning machinery or not.

Non-anonymous (#1,288)

@Kate Amann@twitter Hey, the one time I skipped a fare was in Rome too. Mine was entirely my own fault though. I took the airport train to Fiumicino but missed my plane and decided to stay in Rome for another night. But I was too pissed off to feel like paying for another 15-euro ticket, so I rode back into the city without one. Of course two minutes after we left I decided I was being stupid, but by then it was too late. Fortunately I didn’t get caught.

atruck (#1,312)

Mike, I know what you mean! I rode the subway in Vienna with an expired subway pass (from the day before), and I was totally scared the entire time. I figured I’d just plead ignorance, since I was in a foreign country. Then one time I actually didn’t know I was supposed to validate it (I think I was in Italy) and I almost got kicked off the train. The stress is not worth it; I have resolved to just pay it like a law-abiding, non-cheap citizen.

My best story about this was when we were riding the S-Bahn in Berlin without tickets. It’s an honor system and the fine is pretty steep, maybe 80 euros? Anyway, conductors in crisp uniforms get on at both ends of our car and start making their way in methodical, German fashion down the rows of people. I was sweating bullets.

When they got to me, they handed me a chocolate and said something in German. Apparently they were just handing out candy to all the riders because it was Sunday (?).

that is amazing. those folks scared me, too. and i always had a pass!

@stuffisthings One of the scariest moments of my life was getting bawled out (in German, after I had already exhausted my own German by explaining that I didn’t speak it) by a Berlin train conductor for buying the *wrong* ticket. (It was a Kurzstrecke ticket, which is only good for short distances, but I thought my trip counted!) I remember pathetically repeating “kein Deutsch, kein Deutsch, tut mir leid” until he switched to English, crossing his arms at the wrists in front of his chest to indicate handcuffs and saying “I see you again– I lock you up!”

It’s funny *now*…

@mirror_father_mirror When I visited the Netherlands I accidentally got on the wrong train at the airport and was halfway across the country before I realized that it shouldn’t take 40 minutes to get into Amsterdam. I got off and managed to explain my situation to a station employee, who printed me a correct ticket FOR FREE and sent me on my way.

I guess European train conductors find me sympathetic or something.

Katzen-party (#219)

@mirror_father_mirror Unrelated, but…your username!!!! So great.

Katzen-party (#219)

@stuffisthings I did the same thing in Frankfurt–got on a train going the wrong way at the airport. In my defense: it was dark, and I had flown from Munich to Berlin to Frankfurt in one day so by that point I didn’t know which way was up, and I confused “Frankfurt am Main” with a train going in the direction of “Mainz.” But still, DUH. Fortunately, I had bought a ticket that was good for 24 hours and could easily get me back into town and to the airort the next morning for my flight back to the US, no worries. UNfortunately, I was so preoccupied with trying to look like I meant to take the train to the middle of nowhere that I didn’t notice until I had stepped off the train and it started pulling away that I had dropped my wallet, which carried not only my license, credit & debit cards, and my last 40 euros, but also that precious 8 euro train ticket. So I rode back into Frankfurt (after waiting half an hour for the next train) without a ticket. And that is the story of the only time I dodged a fare–I’m too much of a nervous and not-that-lucky goody-two-shoes to ever attempt it unless I’m pretty much forced to by über-shitty circumstances…

jfruh (#161)

When I lived in Berlin my ex got her pocket picked halfway through the month and lost her monthly transit pass but refused to buy a new one because she had already paid for the month, damn it. We spent much of the next two weeks jumping off the train and stations that were not our destination. (You were actually much more likely to see fare inspectors later in the month because there are monthly quotas they have to meet, or so I’m told.)

e (#734)

I live in LA and there is a perfect coffee shop/deli place near my work that does egg and cheese in a wrap or roll. It is divine. And there is a NY style pizza place that delivers about a block from my apartment, and it hardly sucks at all. So my life is great! The end.

thejacqueline (#799)

I ducked under the turnstile the other week because it was late and I was about to miss the L train and the swiper would not read my card despite the fact that I had bought a new unlimited card THAT MORNING.

Later I realized that I still had my expired card in my wallet and I had just been swiping the wrong one. But with an unlimited card I technically had paid for that ride anyways? I did not feel guilty.

hellonheels (#1,407)

I did this in San Francisco once legitimately by accident – it was my first time getting on MUNI not in a station and didn’t realize my pass didn’t scan properly when I boarded. I got a $75 fare evasion ticket! I tried to contest it but no dice. To this day it is the only time I have ever seen MUNI officers checking passes/transfers (but then I am a car commuter so I only take it a few times a month).

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