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The MTA is losing Boku bucks and for good reason. A common service New Yorkers are expected to pay for is not only any longer worth it; it isn’t safe, it’s gross, and overall not something most people would willingly get on anymore ((if they had options they’d probably choose a different form of transportation.) But because New York is New York and most people don’t own a car the MTA is about as common as ordering a coffee at Dunkin Doughnuts.

According to recently released estimates, the MTA has lost more than $119m since 2022 started to none other than New Yorkers refusing to pay for something that is no longer worth it at all. Rising crime; sexual harassment, strange men following women across platforms, nudity on the subways (I’ve seen my fair share of Onlyfans content being filmed on the platform and even inside of the subway cart.)

What the MTA doesn’t want to talk about is why people are evading the fare. Instead of taking bold community action to address the real concerns of New Yorkers on the train system (including people actually jumping in front of the subway there’s been a few of those over the past year) they’re trotting out more police and even weaponizing gate agents. The New York Post notes that gate agents have apparently been given instructions on how to count in a formal manner so-called far evaders. The same can be said for most New York City services including the Mayor’s office (who is wildly among the young known as “The Sellout”.)

As I’ve always argued as a teacher in the New York City area the MTA is about as useful to me as a dead AA battery as it is to my students. Half of my students on a regular basis have wild stories about their encounters on the subway to or from school with some opting to walk to school together with their siblings or families instead.

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