One woman's rush hour bus ride Tuesday afternoon resulted in a $100 fine, and she wants the whole world to hear her cautionary tale. Daryn Mayer was running to catch a bus that had its front doors closed, so she jumped on via the open back doors and dutifully made her way to the front to swipe her MetroCard. But unfortunately for Mayer, this was an M15 Select Bus, and SBS [Select Bus Service] requires straphangers to swipe their MetroCards at a sidewalk machine. After arguing with the driver, she claims she was told, "OK, don't pay. Ride for free." But at the next stop, the dreaded inspectors got on, demanding to see her papers (receipt).
"The doors were closed, and I had no other option—how could I get off?" Mayer asks the Post. "It's not like I was trying to not pay." See, it's like when you go to a restaurant that only takes cash and you dine & dash because you only have credit cards—it's not like you were trying to skip out on the check, but sometimes they leave you no choice! Mayer told the officers that the driver said she could have a free ride, but she claims the treacherous driver turned on her and denied it.
MTA spokesman Kevin Ortiz says Mayer "became combative, responding with an expletive. She claimed the bus operator let her on the bus without paying her fare." Mayer denies cursing, but concedes she was outraged over getting a $100 fine for breaking the law. She calls the summons just "another way of trying to get money out of people" (which we're pretty sure is the definition of a summons). You'll be heartened to know Mayer's going to fight the fine tooth and nail, and because she's a marketing pro, she shrewdly spun her tragic experience into a little free publicity in the NY Post. Does she have a valid complaint? Or is this just a case of SBS [Stupid Bus-rider Syndrome]?