NYC dismisses ‘punitive’ efforts, hires psychiatrists to stop subway turnstile jumping

Recognizing the limitations of the “controversial” approach of enforcing the law, New York City is embarking on an innovative path of using psychiatrists to delve into the complex motivations behind subway turnstile jumping.

Then again, the most reasonable answer is likely the cause as seen in Willie Sutton’s response when asked why he robbed banks, “Because that’s where the money is.”

In this case, they do it because they can do so without worrying much about the consequences of their actions — former Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance announced in February 2018 that his office would decline to prosecute most cases of subway turnstile jumping and his successor, Alvin Bragg, who has been busy persecuting former President Donald Trump, continued that policy.

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New York City’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) is looking at paying up to $1 million for a psychologist to analyze the motivations of turnstile jumpers, saying that “historic approaches” like increased policing have had “limited success” in reversing record-high losses due to fare evasion.

Of approximately 5 million daily riders on New York City’s subways and buses, about 900,000 skirt their fares, according to the MTA; 13.6% of subway riders jump the turnstile or sneak through emergency doors onto the platform, while nearly half of all bus riders skip paying.

The MTA does not buy into “punitive” enforcement and penalties as an effective solution to a problem that reportedly adds up to a projected loss of $700 million this year.

“Historic approaches to solving this problem have identified punitive enforcement as the antidote to rising fare evasion. Physical barriers, fare inspection, penalties, and messages emphasizing the potential consequences of evading the fare are the most common tactics used,” the agency wrote, according to Fox News. “However, these costly and sometimes controversial methods have had limited success in reversing the upward trend in riders who do not pay.”

New York City Mayor Eric Adams called for fare evasion to get more attention from police and be prosecuted by district attorneys, Fox 5 reported.

“If we start saying it is alright for you to jump the turnstile we are creating an environment where anything and everything goes,” Adams said at the time.

Ya’ think?

Paul Mauro, a retired NYPD inspector, and Fox News contributor, likened the development to “a parody.”

“Up to a million bucks for a six-month study to tell us that people beat the fare because they can? The MTA has morphed into a ‘Saturday Night Live’ skit, and unfortunately, is about as funny,” Mauro told Fox News.

Tom Tillison

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