The MTA is evidently cracking down on those scoundrels who ride the bus without a MetroCard swipe. Fare jumping bus riders are responsible for nearly $50 million a year in lost revenue, according to an anonymous MTA employee, and as such, police officers have stepped up their enforcement game, doubling the number of fare evasion arrests in the last year. That is to say, upwards of 1,200 people have been arrested for evading bus fares this year alone––June of 2011 saw fewer than 600 such arrests.

The numbers, which the MTA announced yesterday, break down as follows:
The Bronx: 992 arrests, (412 in 2011)
Manhattan: 123 arrests, (75 in 2011)
Staten Island: 60 arrests, (three in 2011)
Queens: 10 arrests, (one in 2011)
and, curiously, the number of arrests in Brooklyn dropped to a measly 43 from the 118 last year.

In a statement to reporters, commissioner Ray Kelly said that having a uniformed police presence on public transportation “deters other crimes” that might take place in transit. For their part, bus drivers are not supposed to confront fare jumpers directly beyond one demand for payment, as the results of these confrontations has sometimes included assault. (Photo: Vincent/Flickr)