Farebeater's Field Day

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Farebeater's Field Day

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Mon May 08, 2017 7:08 am

Today, The New York Times reports that an added NJT woe is an inability to properly "handle revenue":

http://nytimes.com/2017/05/07/nyregion/ ... fares.html

Fair Use:

New Jersey Transit, one of the nation’s busiest commuter railroads, has been flogged by riders who have suffered through a brutal stretch of travel upheavals. The railroad’s safety record is under scrutiny after a fatal derailment last year.

Now, questions are being raised about how it handles a basic task: ensuring riders pay their fares.

More than 240,000 fares were not collected on New Jersey Transit last year because trains were crowded and understaffed, according to a letter sent in March to the railroad’s executive director from the union representing conductors. The letter, a copy of which was obtained by The New York Times, said uncollected fares could represent more than $5.5 million in lost revenue


I'd like to think I would never wilfully evade a ticket lift or fare collection in this life. In common with likely every transit agency around, METRA (Chicago rail transit) has warnings about of the criminal penalties for fare evasion. But there are times that neither Conductor/Asst nor passenger can be held accountable. For myself, going into town taking my "poor man's way to O'Hare" Saturday morning April 23, there was also a "Science march" demonstration in town as well as nationally (found same in Atlanta that afternoon as well). There was no window open, so it was pay on train. The train was standing room only, but I had a seat. Here comes the Conductor; I had my Senior permit and the $3 fare ready to go. He gives me a hat check and forgets about the rest. I said "I owe you something". "all you owe me is to have a nice day", and he's gone.

Can a train crew be blamed if the agency does not properly call Assistants when they know they will have a herd aboard for an event like that?
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Re: Farebeater's Field Day

Postby EuroStar » Mon May 08, 2017 7:38 am

My observation has been that they fail to collect intrastate fares all the time. For example, on the pm peak Montclair trains I have never seen them issue seat checks from NYC. They just pass once before Newark Broad and collect the tickets, but no seat checks get placed. Anybody who boards at Newark Broad gets a free ride (unless they have a pass). And most of the time I see 30-40 people board. I was told that the same occurs between New Brunswick and Trenton.

$5 million in uncollected fares sounds about what would have been sufficient to avoid the service cuts on the Paskack Valley line a few years ago.
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Re: Farebeater's Field Day

Postby mohawkrailfan » Tue May 09, 2017 10:22 am

Anecdotally they seem to have become more strict since the "No Pay May" rumor went around. I used not to get ticketed when I was jammed into the corner of a vestibule on a standing-room-only train. Now they check every last person.
Make a little noise at the flag location.
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Re: Farebeater's Field Day

Postby JamesRR » Tue May 09, 2017 1:51 pm

mohawkrailfan wrote:Anecdotally they seem to have become more strict since the "No Pay May" rumor went around. I used not to get ticketed when I was jammed into the corner of a vestibule on a standing-room-only train. Now they check every last person.


I rode a fairly empty train the other day and was never asked for a ticket.
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Re: Farebeater's Field Day

Postby jamesinclair » Wed May 10, 2017 4:34 pm

EuroStar wrote:My observation has been that they fail to collect intrastate fares all the time. For example, on the pm peak Montclair trains I have never seen them issue seat checks from NYC. They just pass once before Newark Broad and collect the tickets, but no seat checks get placed. Anybody who boards at Newark Broad gets a free ride (unless they have a pass). And most of the time I see 30-40 people board. I was told that the same occurs between New Brunswick and Trenton.

$5 million in uncollected fares sounds about what would have been sufficient to avoid the service cuts on the Paskack Valley line a few years ago.


Yup, if I was riding suburb-suburb, I wouldnt buy a monthly pass. One ticket could buy you a week of rides.

The solution?

Well, NJ Transit already has them.

https://s3-media1.fl.yelpcdn.com/bphoto ... 4j4Q/o.jpg

Ticket not lifted doesnt matter because it cant be re-used.
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Re: Farebeater's Field Day

Postby JeffersonLeeEng » Tue May 23, 2017 10:36 am

I was at the Palmyra station along the Riverline around noon this past Saturday, and it seems like the NJT PD is really beefing up their presence to combat fare evasion. Granted, the ticket price of $1.60 which is good for the complete length of that line between Camden and Trenton is cheap enough as to make me wonder why anybody would be skipping out on paying the fare, but hey, if they want to slapped with a ticket for much more than amount...well, hey, big revenue source for NJT. :P
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