Advocacy organizations and subway riders in New York are pointing a finger at TV’s Inside Edition for a report that outed subway fare beaters but did not dig deeper into why they might be skipping the fare.
The Inside Edition piece pointed out people who jump the turnstile cost New York City $215 million last year. A reporter for the program confronted farebeaters and asked them why they weren’t paying.
One person said they didn’t have a MetroCard — which gains entry into the subway system for riders. Another said they left their MetroCard at home and one man told the news organization he was broke.
But critics are saying that the piece did not take into account the fact that 800,000 New York City residents live below the federal poverty line, New York news website Gothamist reported.
“In the past several years, the fare has gone up repeatedly as service has deteriorated,” Danny Pearlstein of the Riders Alliance told Gothamist. “Indisputably, the overwhelming majority of fare-paying New Yorkers are paying more for less.”
An unidentified spokesperson at the Community Service Society told Gothamist that public transportation is unaffordable for many low-income New York City residents.
One Twitter user went in on the piece, firing off a series of posts that attacked the condition of New York City’s trains.
“The MTA (Metropolitan Transit Authority) is a high speed death trap urinal on rails,” tweeted @kyalbr, or Kyle A.B. “Where are the idiots that actually pay for a monthly pass to use it?”
I’d be here for a story about people sneaking on to the Acela, maybe.
I’d definitely be here for a story on my landlord deciding not to charge other tenants for rent.
But, people who cheat the MTA?
The MTA????????? pic.twitter.com/ITONEwr8RQ
— KYLE A.B. (@kyalbr) February 12, 2019
Author Carolina Moss chimed in too, tweeting: “Why don’t you grab your camera and investigate why (Gov. Andrew) Cuomo keeps hiking the subway fare event though the product continues to decline, thank you!!!”
Why don’t you grab your camera and investigate why Cuomo keeps hiking the subway fare even though the product continues to decline, thank you!!! https://t.co/7UZQhS1J8l
— Caroline Moss (@CarolineMoss) February 12, 2019
Gothamist reported that many of the fare evaders caught on camera by Inside Edition were students from Hunter College High School who have to report to the affiliated college on East 68th Street for gym class, but their student MetroCards limit them to three rides a day, including trips to and from home. This means that on gym day, they told Gothamist, they must make four trips, and they wind up having to skip fare for one of those trips.
Inside Edition had not responded to the critics as of early Wednesday afternoon.