Is an MCTS Policy Encouraging People to Steal Bus Rides?

The Milwaukee County Transit System's handbook for bus drivers includes the following provision for non-payment of fares:

Milwaukee County Board Member Dan Sebring believes that this policy is encouraging people to refuse to pay bus fares, knowing that the driver is essentially powerless to stop them. He discussed this issue with Dan O'Donnell.

 

"MCTS currently collects more than $30 million in fares each year, there is no evidence fare evasion has increased in recent years," Milwaukee County Transit System spokesman Brendan Conway said in a statement.  "MCTS Drivers are trained to ask for a fare from every rider and we know the vast majority of riders do the right thing and pay."

However, Sebring believes that far too many of them don't, and his suspicion is backed by anecdotal evidence from Milwaukee County bus riders and current and former drivers, who have contacted News/Talk 1130 WISN to report that this policy has been abused for years.

Essentially, they note, a policy that allows people to ride without a fare without an immediate and tangible consequence emboldens them to abuse that policy and ride for free.

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