St. Louis Transit finds first-last mile solution; New York Metro Transit losing millions to fare jumpers

Nov. 27, 2019

Metro Transit-St. Louis has announced a partnership with Lyft to offer MetroLink rail riders discounted ride-hailing options to make connections between select streets, transit centers, or bus stops, in an effort to provide first and last mile mobility solutions.

Beginning in January 2020 for a three-month running trial period, riders can use a promotional code on the Lyft mobile application to take eligible trips for just $1. Riders can be accompanied by up to three people on their discounted Lyft trip, and can use the discount code on a maximum of 40 Lyft trips per month, Metro Transit-St. Louis officials said on the agency’s website.

Metro Transit-St. Louis is covering the cost of eligible Lyft trips up to $12. If a rider schedules an eligible Lyft trip that exceeds $12 in value, the customer is responsible for the remaining balance overage in addition to the initial $1 charge.

On the East Coast, New York City’s Metropolitan Transit Authority is facing a severe curtail in its primary revenue source, and evidently it is not an entirely new development. According to the Transit Authority, more than half a million people push their way onto buses or breeze past the turnstiles every single day.

It happens a lot,” MTA bus operator William Rodriguez told ABC 7 News. “Out of 10 or 15 people, I'd say five people pay.”

Annual losses to the MTA were estimated to be $215 million, but of late that estimate has soared to $300 million.

MTA Chairman and CEO Patrick Foye said the agency has an obligation to report fare evasion, and bus drivers insist that the more people get away with it, the more other people will try do it. “I've had a few people ask me that, 'He didn't pay, why do I have to pay?”' Rodriguez said.

New York City MTA is facing an operating deficit of nearly $1 billion dollars, as well as large-scale staff reductions, and a belligerent unionized workforce. The pervasive fare evasion situation is only adding to the red.

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