By Philip Newman
New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli has announced that an audit of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority disclosed that the MTA failed to collect more than $13 million in fines and fees between Jan.1, 2013 and June 6,2015.
Napoli said roughly half the violation fines were not collected.
“New York City Transit can and should do more to collect fines from those who violate the rules’,” DiNapoli said. “With trains bursting at the seams and delays on the rise Transit needs every dollar it can get to improve the subway ride for straphangers,” the comptroller’s office said.
The MTA disputed some findings and accepted others. The transit agency said it had made numerous efforts to collect unpaid fines and that a newly adopted IT application should improve collections. The MTA also said it would explore the use of new software that may help identify respondents with multiple violations to make collections more efficient.
The Transit Adjudication Bureau Is a tribunal that processes and adjudicates summonses for violations of NYC Transit rules, including fare evasion ($100) graffiti or scratchiti ($75) and littering ($50). The bureau contracts out most of the collection work to a vendor who has about 40 employees.
The comptroller’s office said it found that in a sample of Transit Bureau records 40 percent of addresses were wrong.
“When Transit fails to enforce its own fines, it risks sending the message that its rule are made to be broken,” DiNapoli said.