Sup. Dan Sebring
Press Release

Supervisor Dan Sebring Proposes Ordinance to Curb Bus Fare Evasion

Supervisor Sebring’s proposal would prohibit MCTS from providing service to passengers who do not produce a valid M-Card, Go Pass, bus pass, ticket, transfer, or pay the stated fare.

By - Aug 28th, 2018 02:10 pm

MILWAUKEE – Milwaukee County Supervisor Dan Sebring, Vice Chairman of the Transportation, Public Works, and Transit Committee, has proposed a change to Milwaukee County’s Code of General Ordinances to establish a policy regarding fare evasion on County buses.

“On average, someone gets on the bus every 90 minutes and either pays a partial fare or doesn’t pay the fare at all, and it can be as frequent as nearly every half hour. MCTS loses an average of $28,000 monthly or $336,000 yearly as a result of this policy. MCTS faces budget shortfalls year after year. To continue a policy that costs the taxpayers over a quarter of a million dollars every year is a violation of the public’s trust. It’s well past time that this policy is changed.” – Supervisor Sebring

Current MCTS Fare Dispute policy states that the Bus Operator is to request the proper fare only once. If the customer does not pay, the Operator cannot request the proper fare again and the customer is allowed to ride.

Transit companies from across America were contacted by Supervisor Sebring, including the major metropolitan cities within the Midwest, and not one of them had a blatant “giveaway” policy that allows passengers to ride for free or only pay a partial fee.

Supervisor Sebring’s proposal would prohibit MCTS from providing service to passengers who do not produce a valid M-Card, Go Pass, bus pass, ticket, transfer, or pay the stated fare.

The Transportation, Public Works, and Transit Committee will consider the measure in a public hearing at their next meeting on September 5th at 9:00 a.m. in the Milwaukee County Courthouse, Room 201B before it goes to the County Board for final action.

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2 thoughts on “Supervisor Dan Sebring Proposes Ordinance to Curb Bus Fare Evasion”

  1. mkwagner says:

    While passing an ordinance will make Dan Sebring feel like they have “done something.” In fact, an ordinance does little to actually address the problem. His ordinance simply beats up on people who are struggling to make ends meet. With transit fared proposed to be doubled in the 2019 County budget, it adds insult to injury.

    Has there been any investigation about why this is happening. I regularly add money to my M-card and find the online system buggy and difficult to navigate. It can also take up to 3 days for money added to an M-card account to show up. If someone has to ride during that time, well….

    How much of the problem is due to problems with the M-card program? How much is due to issues obtaining the necessary transit cards? How much is due to mechanical problems with the payment equipment? How much is due to individuals not having the exact fare (bus driver cannot provide change.)

    Before declaring everyone a thief, lets find out why this is happening. Then let.s fix those problems.

  2. TransitRider says:

    Sebring’s numbers make no sense. If, as he claims, somebody (fully or partially) underpays a bus fare every 90 minutes, that means it happens 16 times a day, county-wide, or a grand total of 5,840 times annually.

    In order for this to cost the County the $336,000/year he claims, each incident would have to involve an underpayment of $57.50, which is absurd considering that the MAXIMUM bus fare is only $2.25.

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