New York City is cracking down on public transportation fare evasion.
The 24/7 AI surveillance technology is connected with stations’ cameras to see the peak times when people are hopping over the turnstiles as well as how they’re doing so.
The outlet details that the AI video analytics system is called “DETECTOR,” which has been used for Barcelona’s subway network.
“It helps us just measure the amount of fare evasion happening,” an MTA spokesperson shared, according to the outlet. “It’s not alerting any NYPD officers in real time if fare evasion takes place, it’s not used to ping an officer and have them go after a person who fare evades. That’s not how the system works. It’s just our effort to see what is happening out there.”
Based on the data gathered from AI, 50% of people are walking through the emergency exit gates, 20% hop over the turnstile, 12% go underneath it, and 16% pull the turnstile backward and go through the gap. The analysis also showed that the time when fare evasion spikes are around 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. and during the morning rush hour.
Along with AI technology, the report proposed that there should be better outreach to students, implementing more challenging fare gates, and eliminating emergency gates.
“Social media chatter makes clear that many see fare evasion as outright cool or somehow socially justified,” the report wrote, per the outlet. “It is neither.”
The implementation of DETECTOR is a result of MTA losing a reported $690 million in 2022 due to fare evasion.
As of this writing, the technology is being used in seven stations in New York City, but the specifics have not been disclosed. Additionally, MTA is said to be aiming for expansion to 24 more stations by the end of 2023.