Penalties for Fare Evasion Not a Good Look

Stiff penalties for transit fare evasion have come under fire as a tool of discrimination, and cities have taken notice.
December 13, 2018, 6am PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Benoit Daoust

Washington, D.C. is the latest in a growing collection of local governments to decriminalize fare evasion, according to an article by Daniel C. Vock.

Fare enforcement on public transit is often portrayed as a crackdown on criminals. But that's not the way cities approach other, similar infractions, such as drivers who fail to pay tolls, notes Jon Orcutt, a spokesman for Transit Center, a New York-based advocacy group that supports lower penalties for fare evasion. The goal of toll road enforcement is simply to make sure drivers pay, not to arrest them.

Cities like New York, San Francisco, and Portland have taken up the issue. Orcutt predicts the issue will continue to boil up in other cities around the United States.

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Published on Tuesday, December 11, 2018 in Governing
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