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The Onion Satirizes New York's Fare Enforcement Techniques, Over Spending on Transit

Two jokes in one: The Onion reports a totally fake news story about New York builds a super expensive fake subway station just to bust fare evaders.
November 8, 2019, 6am PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Subway Turnstiles
Benoit Daoust

A lot of people get really angry when they see people jump fare gates or otherwise avoid paying for a ride. Other people get really angry when they see the surveillance power of the government expanded, and vulnerable people arrested and prosecuted for fare evasion. And yet other people get really angry when transit investments cost more than they do anywhere else in the world.

Enter the satirical news site, The Onion.

The Onion is clearly choosing sides in the ongoing debate about the consequences of fare evasion. While a few cities in the United States (e.g., Philadelphia, D.C., and Portland) are in the process of decriminalizing fare evasion, New York City has been attracting attention for news of a bolstered police force at subway stations, and additional surveillance technology, to deter fare evasion.

The Onion's response is to imagine a totally fabricated scenario that involves the NYPD spending big dollars on a fake subway station.

In a new effort by the MTA and law enforcement to crack down on fare evasion, New York City reportedly opened a $500 million decoy subway station this week to catch turnstile jumpers. 

The typical return on investment from transit infrastructure is clearly also under the microscope here:

“This sprawling, state-of-the-art station will have all the sights and sounds of a regular terminal, including turnstiles that will not accept MetroCards regardless of their available balance, increasing the likelihood of attempts to avoid payment,” said MTA project manager Greg Langdon, adding that the act of fare evasion would cause the floor to open up, sending the commuter down a chute connected to a windowless underground holding cell.

The rest of the jokes are available in the source article.

Full Story:
Published on Tuesday, November 5, 2019 in The Onion
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