MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A new report claims the Twin Cities is losing over a million dollars every year due to “fare dodgers,” meaning people who don’t pay for a ride on the light rail.
The idea should be simple: You buy a ticket, you get a ride.
But a new audit, prepared for the Metropolitan Council, found up to 1 in 10 people aren’t doing that.
The audit, obtained by the Star Tribune, found the Blue and Green lines are losing about $28,000 each week in unpaid fares. Add that all up and that means $1.5 million lost each year.
The report also found more people skip paying for their ride on the Green line than on the Blue line.
The audit predicts this could be because the Green line is newer and people are still getting used to the rules.
The report does address the fact that, unlike other major cities with rail transportation, the Twin Cities doesn’t have turnstiles or a conductor to show a ticket to. But the audit states that the high price of creating physical barriers may still not be worth it.
Metro Transit told the Star Tribune that right now there are 200 full and part-time police officers whose duties involve riding trains, looking for fare dodgers.
And they expect to increase that number this coming year.
Just remember, if you get busted for not having a ticket the fine is $180.