SEPTA is now susceptible to a new kind of fare evasion since its iconic tokens disappeared.
Scammers have been using key cars to give cash-paying buyers discounts on Broad Street Line and the El, Inqurier.com reports.
Rich Burnfield, deputy general manager and treasurer, told Inquirier.com that SEPTA does not track or estimate revenue loss from fare evasion.
It was reported that once cashiers spot someone evading fare, they call the police, but lately, it’s been happening a lot more than usual.
When it comes to the key card, riders are paying $2 per ride, but riders who are paying with cash are charged $2.50. Inquirier.com reports that a person accepts $2 cash to swipe a person through, and then the travelers get a $0.50 discount on the ride.
Key cards have certain restrictions, so someone cannot use the same card within a specific time period after a trip is purchased. Scammers/Hustlers have multiple cards, which allows them to continue.
These hustlers might not be your image of a criminal. It was reported that elderly citizens have taken money to swipe people in since they ride for free. Student have also been known the abuse the privileges.
These hustlers selling the cheaper fares have become very pushy, basically not giving riders an option other than to use their cards. Of course, some of them are moving away if asked.
Transit Police Chief Thomas J. Nestel III told Inquirer.com that SEPTA increased enforcement on the subways. It was also reported that it is a $25 fine for fare jumpers, and selling these discounted trips is classified as a misdemeanor charge, and they can be fined $500 for a first offense.
Not only are they struggling with fare evasions, reports show that ridership is down as well.