Tuesday, June 1, 2010

How to cheat MARTA fare gates — and get caught

Posted By on Tue, Jun 1, 2010 at 4:07 PM

At last week's MARTA board meeting, General Manager and CEO Beverly Scott said the cash-strapped transit agency planned to start cracking down on scofflaws who jump the gates or piggyback on buddy's Breeze cards. Scott said MARTA — which is facing budget cuts that include eliminated routes, layoffs and closed bathrooms — could no longer miss a single penny of revenue from the fare box.

The transit agency first had to figure out how people were bypassing the station gates. So in mid-May, Scott asked MARTA police to monitor surveillance cameras and gather footage of people who appeared to be skipping fares. Last week, she presented a Best Of reel to the board.

CL kindly requested a copy of the tapes, simply because surveillance camera footage of people acting shady can be quite hilarious and teach us much about the human condition. Our crack team of video experts and fare scofflaws analyzed the videotapes and noticed many familiar — and some new — ways to bypass paying fares.

The "Mighty Mouse"

Very daring. First attempted in France. Fast forward to 0:10. This bold gentleman did a belly slide under the gates and into transit freedom. Transit officials say he allegedly made a little cash by collecting money from the woman who follows, who ostensibly didn't want to go through the hassle of buying a Breeze card. MARTA Police couldn't just sit and watch this happen, a transit official said at the board meeting, and questioned the man after his courageous act.

After the jump, more daring, videotaped acts of fare evasion.

The "Late-to-Britney-Spears-at-Lakewood"

Those wacky white girls.

The "I'm Just Standing Here, Chilling. ... Thanks, Ladies!"

"Excuse me, fellow transit riders, I must take advantage of your exit."

The "OutKast"

Lift your hands and backpack in the aye-urrr, push like you just don't cay-urrrr.

The "Twofer"


The "Smooth Operator"

Sometimes all it takes to open a fare gate is a little finessing.

The "My Breeze Pass Is Your Breeze Pass"

Helping a buddy out by double tapping a Breeze pass.

The "When Life Closes a Door, It Leaves Open a Fare Gate"

Never miss an opportunity.

And finally, "The Emergency Exit"

Far right. Crafty, yet soon-to-be a thing of the past, MARTA officials say.

The lesson: If you occasionally skip swiping your card, know that MARTA Police are looking out for you.

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