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More Than 600 Citations Issued in MBTA Fare Evasion Crackdown

The Transit Police have released numbers for their "Operation Fare Game," a crackdown on people who jump the turnstiles or otherwise avoid paying to ride the T.

A crackdown on subway freeloaders has resulted in more than 600 citations being issued since July 9.

The Transit Police released numbers on Thursday for "Operation Fare Game." So far, 636 citations have been handed out.

There are various ways to avoid paying your fare. One tactic is "piggybacking," or walking in right behind someone who did pay. Another is holding the sensor open for people behind you, as are prone to do.

The citations carry fines. A first offense is $50, a second will cost you $100 and a third will set you back $300. If you don't pay up within a month, your driver's license could be put on "nonrenewal" status — the same as happens when you don't pay parking tickets.

Freeloading deprives the perennially cash-strapped system of revenue. The trips those freeloaders were trying to make that resulted in the 636 tickets would by $1,590 worth of rides at CharlieTicket prices.

Fare jumpers probably cost the T a few million dollars a year, an MBTA Advisory Board member told WBUR for a report they aired in March.

For concentrated fare evasion damage, nothing beats the inside job where a T contractor sold fake passes. The scam, which was exposed last year, cost the MBTA somewhere around $5 million in lost fares.   

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