Fare evasion cost MTA nearly $700M last year, panel says, recommending new turnstile design


The MTA lost nearly $700 million to fare evasion last year and should replace subway turnstiles with glass doors, an agency panel said in a long-awaited report.

The agency’s estimated losses from farebeating have climbed considerably in just a few years, from about $200-300 million before the pandemic, to $500 million last year, and now $690 million, said MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber on Wednesday, including $315 million on city buses and $285 million on subways.

Lieber has called the existing turnstile “too porous,” singling out the emergency exit gate he calls the “superhighway” of fare evasion where one rider propping the door open can enable scores to walk through to the platform without paying. The MTA would still have to approve any new turnstile design, but on Wednesday unveiled potential designs that all, in essence, make vaulting over the subway fare array far more difficult, if not impossible.