METRO starts cracking down on METRORail riders who don't pay

Officials say more than 5,000 board METRORail each day without paying

By Mark Boyle - Reporter

HOUSTON - METRORail moves thousands of riders each day on its tracks, but transit officials say more than 5,000 are boarding the train without paying each day.

METRO Police have plans to increase the number of fare enforcers onboard over the coming months, but in the meantime, officers check for Q cards and boarding tickets on a routine basis.

On Wednesday, Local 2 went along as officers checked passengers for tickets. Several were on board who hadn't paid.

One rider told police he just forgot; another didn't have a ticket and got off at the next stop.

METRO police estimate about 15 percent do not pay on an average day. The agency says the loss in revenue for last year alone was more than $2.1 million.

So far this year, officers have issued 2,823 citations and written 191 written warnings.

The cost to ride the METRORail is $1.25.

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