Measuring and Managing Fare Evasion

Fare evasion impacts transit agency revenue, ridership, perceptions of fairness from paying passengers, and perceptions of safety. Accurate fare evasion measurement can improve ridership data, inform policy decisions, and prioritize resources for fare enforcement. Fare evasion involves traveling on public transit without deliberately purchasing or possessing the fare media required to travel. It is a criminal offense in many jurisdictions, although some are now examining decriminalization of the offense. In some jurisdictions, equity concerns have been raised. Fare evasion has been examined in the media with questions about how the fare evasion rate is calculated and how fare evasion can be deterred. Fare evasion has also received the scrutiny of the Federal Transit Administration and could affect the counting of non-farebox passengers in National Transit Database ridership figures. Research is needed to understand the various aspects of fare evasion. This research will inform the actions of transit agencies to better measure and manage fare evasion and its implications. The objective of this research is to prepare a report on the state of fare evasion and agency initiatives on fare evasion measurement, deterrence, and enforcement. The report will include definitions of fare evasion used by transit agencies across the United States; describe the methods transit agencies use to calculate fare evasion rates; describe how transit properties deter and enforce fare evasion; and include the penalties for fare evasion. The final deliverables should assist transit agencies to better understand and communicate the methods used to calculate fare evasion and its costs, the implications of fare evasion, and the effectiveness and impact of fare evasion policies.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $150000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project A-45

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Transit Cooperative Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC    20001

    Federal Transit Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Parker, Stephan

  • Performing Organizations:

    Four Nines Technologies

    San Francisco, CA  United States 
  • Principal Investigators:

    Wolfgram, Laura

  • Start Date: 20191015
  • Expected Completion Date: 20210630
  • Actual Completion Date: 20210630

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01690652
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project A-45
  • Files: TRB, RIP
  • Created Date: Jan 8 2019 6:50AM