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"It's not right": MBTA passengers frustrated by number of fare evaders

MBTA passengers frustrated by number of fare evaders
MBTA passengers frustrated by number of fare evaders 02:11

BOSTON - The WBZ-TV cameras were in plain sight when a man walked through the MBTA's Back Bay Station and squeezed his body through a tiny space between two doors at the gates leading to the Orange Line. His backpack got caught in the door, setting off an alarm, before he finally made it through without paying the fare.

"You'll hear it, it beeps, it goes off," said commuter Justin Chao. "They just keep going through." He said it feels unfair that he pays while others don't. "We're all here together... Just pay like everyone else does," he said.

Another passenger waited until someone walked out, to quickly sneak in as the door opened. "You know the rest of us are paying for our fares," said Northeastern student Zane Ayres. "They should be paying the $2.40 like the rest of us."

One WBZ viewer was so frustrated, he sent 21 videos he took of fare evaders. Some can be seen throwing clothing to the other side of the gate to trip the sensor.

An MBTA spokesperson tells us transit ambassadors were deployed to Back Bay station just this week to discourage fare evasion, and there are bigger plans.

"The MBTA takes fare evasion seriously... The MBTA is designing a fare verification team as part of the Fare Transformation project," said a statement. New regulations call for fines between $50 and $150.

At a board meeting Thursday, the T approved a $2.72 billion budget. "It's obvious that the budget is under stress and projected costs outweigh revenue," said board member Chanda Smart. The T does not have an estimate of how much money is lost to fare evasion.

"It's not right," said Brian Johnson, a passenger from Boston. "But you've got to understand too, some people just can't afford to pay the fare." 

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