MBTA Cracking Down on Fare Evaders

(NECN: Jackie Bruno) – The MBTA is cracking down on fare evaders in the New Year, and commuters are glad to hear the news.

MBTA Transit Police are cracking down on people who try to ride the T for free.

In 2012, they caught 40-percent more fare evaders than in 2011. Superintendent Joseph O'Connor says that's due to increased patrols and surveillance cameras.

"We can't be everywhere at all times, but we can be anywhere at any time," he said.

This week, on their blog, transit police put up video of 43-year-old Rosa Madrano of Salem, who clearly tries to waltz through the turnstile without paying. Police nabbed her and found she also had a warrant out for her arrest.

Superintendent O'Connor says when you crack down on fare evaders, you also crack down on crime.

"It's a mindset that some individuals have that they're going to beat the system. Whether it's evading or committing some other crime. It just goes to what they're all about."

Marcus Williams of Boston said he's happy with the increased vigilance.

"If I'm going to pay for it, I want everyone else to pay for it, as well," he said.

"The T and all the transportation system is hundreds of millions of dollars in deficit, so they need to pay the bills," said Philip Coleman of Pittsfield, Mass.

Superintendent O'Connor admitted that fining fare evaders doesn't bring in enough revenue to solve the T's fiscal problem, but he said "every little bit helps."

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