Thursday, November 25, 2010
NYC: Woman fumes over fine for not knowing how to pay on new bus
Furious straphanger Daryn Mayer's next stop will be in front of a judge -- to challenge her "outrageous" $100 ticket for not knowing how to pay the fare on the MTA's newest super-express bus route.
At East 79th Street and Second Avenue Tuesday afternoon, Mayer, a marketing executive rushing to a meeting, saw the front door close on the M15 Select Bus.
So she jumped in the still-open back door instead, and rushed to the front to pay.
But the driver said her MetroCard wasn't welcome.
"He said, 'You have to pay outside,' " Mayer said.
Unlike nearly all other MTA buses, the M15 Select Bus requires passengers to buy tickets from outdoor machines.
Mayer asked the driver if she could get off and drop her MetroCard in a machine. But the bus's doors were closed, and the driver did not open them.
"He said, 'OK, don't pay. Ride for free,' " Mayer said. "So I sat down."
At the next stop, Second Avenue and East 68th Street, several uniformed officers boarded and headed directly for Mayer.
One of the officers "comes up to me and says, 'Where is your slip?' " Mayer recalled.
"The doors were closed, and I had no other option -- how could I get off?" Mayer said. "It's not like I was trying to not pay."
In a statement, MTA spokesman Kevin Ortiz said Mayer "became combative, responding with an expletive. She claimed the bus operator let her on the bus without paying her fare.
"When asked by the inspector, the bus operator denied he had let her on the bus, and said he explicitly told her she needed to pay her fare. At that point, she was removed from the bus and received a summons," Ortiz said.
Mayer denies cursing at the officers, but admits she was angry.
She said the way she was hit with the $100 fine was essentially a trap -- "another way of trying to get money out of people."
An MTA source said that if Mayer didn't have a ticket, she should have gotten off the bus, bought a ticket from a machine, then waited for the next bus, "which shouldn't have been far behind, considering it was rush hour."