Unfortunately, Byford has shown no signs of relenting. Late last year he announced “fare evasion strike teams,” a partnership with the NYPD to target subway and bus riders who haven’t paid. Since then he has been pushing to expand that effort.
Penalizing people for their inability to afford transportation is a textbook example of what advocates call “criminalization of poverty.” Transportation is a basic human need and a public good. Richer residents can afford to pay their fares and easily get to work, school and medical appointments. But individuals who cannot do so face a hard choice between not getting where they need to go and risking arrest and a spiral of consequences.
Read the rest of the Op-Ed at Crain’s New York Business