Source: MTA

Fare-beaters beware! Or don’t, because if you need to travel along the B44 route, your delinquency is going to be encouraged.

As we’ve mentioned before, the B44 Express route along Nostrand Avenue, Rogers Avenue and Bedford Avenue will soon be replaced with with Select Bus Service / Bus Rapid Transit system, an experimental service aimed at speeding up the city’s notoriously slow bus routes and easing congestion. The system will feature dedicated bus lanes, larger capacity vehicles and off-board fare payment.

It’s that last bit that’s coming under fire across the city. A Manhattan spur of the service, the M15 Select, launched last month, and after a few weeks NYC Transit Special Inspectors began handing out about 40 farebeating tickets a day. Those inspectors are under instructions from hire-ups to be lenient and use common sense, not giving tickets to those who seem genuinely confused by the new system.

“This is not by any stretch of the imagination zero-tolerance enforcement,” Vincent DeMarino, agency vice president of security, told the Daily News. “We teach our people to use common sense, good judgment and discretion.”

To help fuel a crackdown on the rascals, the MTA has assigned an additional 30 inspectors and four supervisors to the M15 Select route alone.

But a crackdown hardly seems like a long-term deterrent. After all, the city’s test route in the Bronx – the Bx12 Select – was still plagued a year after its 2008 launch. When the MTA first rolled out the service, Daily News reporters found scores of riders riding without paying. A year later, after an MTA crackdown that saw 6,532 summonses carrying $100 fines, the reporters found little improvement.

So, it looks like a preposterous fare collection system is going to continue to cost this “innovative” initiative thousands a year – if not more. Meanwhile, the MTA is continuing to ram through the plan despite opposition from Southern Brooklyn’s communities about inefficiencies, increased costs and a decrease in available parking that will hurt local businesses.

Luckily, the MTA is holding an Open House on Monday, November 15, to show off their Nostrand Avenue corridor plans to locals and solicit input (6:30 p.m. at the Brooklyn College Student Center, Campus Road and East 27th Street, Bedford Lounge, 2nd Floor).

Because we all know how well the MTA listens to public input

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  • BrooklynBus

    The Daily News ran a third article (I don’t have the link) which stated that fare evasion on the Bx12 has dropped significantly, but a friend of mine with some inside information tells me that it still is significant, much more than the MTA is willing to admit publicly. (The MTA claims it is under 10%.)

    There are so many things wrong with this system that I don’t even want to get into it. For those who are interested, SecondAvenueSagas.com ran numerous stories on SBS, especially the new one in Manhattan. After you locate the articles, check out the comments section which is more informative than the articles since the author is obviously pro-SBS.

  • Lpollsnoop

    The Bus Drivers routinely allow riders to travel without paying the fare.
    They were instructed by their union to not put up any argument against
    riders who do not pay their fare.
    Fare evasion on bus routes is shameful and only encourages
    more evasion.

    • BrooklynBus

      The drivers fear for their safety. They only make a fuss when the passenger seems harmless.

  • http://www.chickenunderwear.com Chicken Underwear

    There needs to be enforcement.

    I take the Hudson/Bergen Light Rail from Exchange Place to Liberty State Park and it has the same kind of fare collection system and everyone pays. Everyone pays because about a one out of 4 times I rode an inspector asked for my ticket.

    The People who ride regularly did the math and pay their fare.

  • http://www.chickenunderwear.com Chicken Underwear

    Or they could just make the subways and buses free.

  • Pingback: B44 Select Bus Service – How To Make It Better | Sheepshead Bay News Blog

  • Anonymous

    SBS is going to make travel by bus a lot faster, and in a society where time is money, that’s a big savings for most people.  Focus on the big picture.