2007_04_busfare.jpgEarlier this week, the Post reported on a new trend that even "grandparents, baby boomers and even mothers with carriages" are getting in on: not paying bus fares by using the back door. Dunh dunh DUNH!

Now, bus drivers tell the Post that fare-ducking riders have become more common because more people are using mass transit. Which makes some sense - sometimes those lines just to get on a bus are insane!

One bus driver lamented the problem, "The part that bugs me is that I have a 92-year-old woman who keeps coming in through the back, and when I call her to the front, she tells me, 'Shut up! I'm a senior citizen. I'm supposed to ride for free.'" Ha! Not so ha: A Queens bus driver was beaten in February when he tried to confront a "habitual bus hopper. "

The police tend to focus on subway fare jumping, versus bus fare duckers, but something is out of whack when people are giving excuses like "I'm doing it because everyone else is doing it." We bet unlimited Metrocard holders don't feel it's necessary to swipe, but we suspect some bus-only commuters might not even have Metrocards, when they can game the system so easily.

Have you ducked paying a bus fare?

Update: Free Metrocards near Grand Central tomorrow, as per the MTA:

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority will celebrate public transportation’s role as the “pollution solution” at an Earth Day celebration. MTA Executive Director and CEO Elliot G. Sander will kick off Earth Day by discussing the agency’s sustainability achievements and directing transit riders to the agency’s exhibit – a working hybrid-electric NYC Transit bus – where a limited number of free MetroCards will be distributed. The event will take place at 44th Street and Vanderbilt Avenue at 12 noon on Friday April 20, 2007.

Photograph by specmotors on Flickr