The MBTA is seeking to impose new fines on fraudsters and could prevent drivers from renewing their license and registration until they are paid, according to a new set of fare collection guidelines proposed by the transport agency in common.
The proposed regulations are part of the MBTA’s “fare transformation project,” an eight-year initiative to update payment methods for transit options. MBTA officials say the program will completely replace the current system “to ensure equal access to a streamlined payment system that works – and will work for many years to come.”
Under the proposed rules, if a person is caught evading payment or if a person fails or refuses to provide proof of fare payment, a fare inspector or transit police officer may issue a non-criminal citation which carries a fine of $50 for the first, second, and third offense with a fourth offense fine set at $100.
Transit police officers can also issue a citation with a $70 fine for someone “fraudulently using” a discount card, under the proposal.
If a person fails to pay a fine and already has one or more outstanding citations, the MBTA may “indicate that the person’s license or right to operate a motor vehicle may not be renewed until the outstanding fines are unresolved,” according to the bill. regulations.
“Upon a violator’s accumulation of two or more unpaid citations, the MBTA will notify the Registry [of Motor Vehicles] unpaid citations, and the Registry will place the offender’s license to operate a motor vehicle on non-renewal status,” the proposed regulations state.
The proposal also requires the MBTA to publish an annual report containing data on warnings and citations issued over the past 12 months.
Until January 2021, state law set fines for fare evasion at $100 for the first offense, $200 for the second offense, and $600 for the third or subsequent offenses. There was no fine for misusing a discount card.
State lawmakers reviewed those numbers and changed the law to reduce fines to a range of at least $10 or more than $250. As part of the update, lawmakers asked MBTA to develop new regulations regarding fare evasion, fine recovery, penalties for non-payment of fines, and new fine amounts , among others.
A public meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, June 1 at 6 p.m. on Zoom. Public comments on the proposed regulations will be accepted until June 10.