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NYC bus drivers will no longer open rear and center doors for passengers

City officials hope to curb fare evasions this way.

Anna Rahmanan
Written by
Anna Rahmanan

The MTA has officially asked bus drivers to stop opening center and back doors for passengers in an effort to crack down on rampant fare evasion. The instructions do not apply to Select Bus Service, which actually requires riders to board from the rear doors.

The memo was made public last week alongside the announcement that the MTA is on track to lose $500 million this year alone because of New Yorkers skipping on fares. 

It's worth noting that, technically, all ticket holders are supposed to enter the bus from the front doors while those exiting may do so from the middle and back of the vehicle. However, as all New Yorkers know, folks trying to skip on the fare hop on the bus as soon as they notice someone getting off the back of it. 

"The policy is intended to continue to offer customers easy exits while deterring fare evasion by reducing the time that rear doors are open while no one is exiting on local bus routes," MTA spokesman Aaron Donovan said in a statement to the New York Post.

Alas, although fare evasion is certainly an issue worth solving and the city's latest effort is a valiant one, New Yorkers took to social media to criticize the new plan. Most commenters highlighted the fact that, although drivers are now officially instructed not to open the back doors, passengers who wish to exit through them can still manually activate them—effectively allowing non-ticket holders to simply jump in.

"The only way to stop fair evasion is to relentlessly crack down [on it] and give [non-ticket holders] at least a $500 fine," suggest a Twitter user.

"NYC is trying to stop fare evasion by not opening the rear doors," another user wrote. "I learned of this yesterday and this morning I got on the bus with a person and they got on in the front, passed the driver and didn't pay. Good luck NYC."

Whether this new measure will actually work is yet to be seen, but one thing is for sure: New Yorkers will keep on being New Yorkers.

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