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MTA EAGLE Teams Begin Bus Stop Hub Approach as Part of Enhanced Fare Enforcement

MTA Bus Company
Updated August 3, 2023 4:30 p.m.
MTA EAGLE Teams Begin Bus Stop Hub Approach

Targeted Education and Enforcement are Part of Blue-Ribbon Panel’s Recommendations on Fare and Toll Evasion  

Governor Hochul’s FY24 Budget will Allow MTA to Hire 100 New EAGLE Team Staff 

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The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today announced the start of its Bus Stop Hub approach as part of the Authority’s initiative to implement the recommendations of the Blue-Ribbon Panel Report on Fare and Toll Evasion. The MTA will deploy EAGLE teams to local and Select Bus Service (SBS) bus stop hubs with high rates of fare evasion. With NYPD support, officers will both educate members of the community on fare payment options and issue summonses. 

“The hundreds of millions of dollars the MTA loses to fare evasion every year could be used to reinvest into the transit system in the form of more service that’s instead totally lost. It’s not fair to the millions of riders who do the right thing and swipe or tap in every day,” said MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber. “I want to thank the NYPD for their support and Governor Hochul and the State Legislature for their investment so we can take this modernized approach to combating fare evasion at its root causes.” 

“This approach involves reorienting our customers, so they know that paying the fare is expected, while also educating them on programs that are available for reduced fares,” said New York City Transit President Richard Davey. “I want to thank Chief Kemper and the NYPD for being open to new ideas to keep both customers and bus operators safe.” 

“The NYPD and MTA have a longstanding partnership with safety being the top priority,” said NYPD Chief of Transit Michael Kemper. “Instilling order is key to safety and the perception of safety, and we are in the process of creating a dedicated NYPD unit to support the MTA and its EAGLE teams to deliver riders quickly and safely to their destinations.” 

“This initiative is great news for our bus operators, because we know fare evasion and assaults go hand in hand,” said TWU Local 100 Secretary-Treasurer John Chiarello. “The EAGLE teams are a welcome sight on our buses, and we believe that this will help deter crime towards the men and women who keep this city moving.” 

“Public transit is a lifeline for everyday New Yorkers, and we are aware that everyone needs to have access without being forced to make sacrifices elsewhere,” said NYC Department of Social Services First Deputy Commissioner Jill Berry. “More than 300,000 New Yorkers are currently enrolled in Fair Fares, and we are constantly working with the MTA to enroll even more.” 

In 2022, the MTA lost an estimated $315 million to fare evasion on buses. Customers evade the fare on buses by walking past the farebox without paying, boarding through a back door, short-changing the farebox, or failing to purchase a ticket for Select Bus Service.     

New strategies are also recommended to encourage better distribution of information about ways to save on fares with the Fair Fares and Reduced-Fare programs.  

The goals of the Bus Stop Hub approach are to improve bus customer awareness of opportunities to pay lower fares, raise visibility and improve equity of fare evasion inspection on buses in all five boroughs and increase the effectiveness of Eagle Team fare inspectors. Bus stop hubs were chosen with an approach that balances data and equity, as recommended by the Blue-Ribbon Panel and includes density of bus stops within an approximate 10-minute walking radius, ridership of at least 10,000 riders per day, fare evasion rates, and presence within equity areas. 

Earlier this week, the MTA began deploying a high concentration of EAGLE Team inspectors to Bus Stop Hubs to engage with customers on ways to save when paying the fare. This effort ensures better distribution of information about ways to save on fares with the Fair Fares and Reduced-Fare programs.  

EAGLE Team inspectors are charged with inspecting fares on local and SBS bus routes. The Authority is also partnering with the NYPD to ensure safety of EAGLE Team staff and has seen a decrease in bus operator assaults on lines that have enforcement. Governor Hochul’s FY24 budget allows the MTA to hire over 100 new EAGLE Team staff in the next year. Currently the MTA has 140 EAGLE Team members involved in Bus Stop Hub efforts . 

In addition to enforcement throughout the city, the Bus Stop Hub approach is launching at the following locations before expanding throughout the five boroughs: 

  • Monday, July 31: Downtown Brooklyn along Fulton St, Jay St, Livingston St, and Smith St 

    • 12 Bus Routes: B25, B26, B38, B41, B45, B52, B57, B61, B62, B65, B67, B103

    • Bus Transit Talk: Tuesday, August 8 at 4:00 p.m. 

  • Monday, August 7: Staten Island Ferry 

    • 22 Bus Routes: S40, S42, S44, S46, S48, S51, S52, S61, S62, S66, S74, S76, S78, S81, S84, S86, S90, S91, S92, S94, S96, S98

    • Bus Transit Talk: Monday, August 7 at 4:00 p.m. 

  • Monday, August 14: Kips Bay along 34 St, 1 Av, 2 Av, and 3 Av 

    • 25 Bus Routes: BM5, BXM1, M101, M102, M103, M15, M34, M34A, M9, QM1, QM10, QM12, QM15, QM16, QM17, QM18, QM2, QM20, QM24, QM3, QM4, QM5, QM6, SBS15, X68 

    • Bus Transit Talk: Tuesday, August 15 at 4:00 p.m.