Fare Evaders Are Costing the MBTA Millions of Dollars

Officials are looking into ways to curb the practice among commuters.

Green Line Photo By Olga Khvan

Green Line Photo By Olga Khvan

If you’re one of those people who likes to sneak onto the back of Green Line trains during rush hour, just stop it.

According to the Associated Press, the perpetually cash-strapped Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority is losing up to $42 million a year thanks to fare evaders.

Keolis, the private transport group which operates the MBTA’s commuter rail, found that between 15 and 20 percent of riders weren’t paying the correct amount for their fares, according to a two-day survey conducted in March. Officials for Keolis informed the MBTA’s control board on Monday that fare evaders on the commuter rail may cost the agency $35 million this year alone.

To the surprise of no one, the Green Line has some serious issues with fare evasion. The T estimates that Boston’s oldest subway line loses $4.5 million annually due to those sneaky riders who board the trains through rear doors at above-ground stops.

Fare evaders on bus routes are also costing the MBTA money, to the tune of up to $2.5 million a year.

While officials continue to look into ways to mitigate the practice, such using as automatic ticket gates, hopefully they won’t bring back that annoying “pay your fare, it’s only fair” announcement.