We were at JFk/UMASS/Columbia/Boston Expo Center station today waiting for one of the trains headed inbound to come in. A T officer walked into the lobby and stopped two potential poassengers, telling them she had seen them slip through the gates without paying thier fair fare. She said, "You need to pay your fare."
The two alleged malfesciants stared at her dumbly. "What do you mean?" the male asked, his twin shopping bags hanging as slackly from his hands as his jaw hung off his face. The T officer said, "I say you walk through without paying. You need to go back and use your ticket or your pass." The female of the duo just stared, open-mouthed. She may not have understood what was happening or she may have been mute. Her companion made up for her silence, repeating again, "What do you mean?"
The bell rang indicating that the inbound train from Ashmont was arriving. The T officer, an slightly built though big-hipped woman stood her ground. She said, "You have to go back through the gate and pay." My companion and I went to the platform and boarded the 10:47 bound to Andrew Square. I scanned the concrete and didn't see the fare jumpers along the length of it. I can only assume they were cajoled to go back through the turnstyles to purchase a Charlie ticket. This officer deserves a commendation, especially when considering the latest news of officers not being bothered with petty fare theft.
I am happy to be a scofflaw when no one is harmed. I park my motorcycle in gray jurisdictions. When it comes to the T, though, everyone should pay their way. I don't complain when I have been caught in a parking violation and people who junp fares shouldn't complain when they are caught in the act. There is no point to playing dumb. We all know we have to pay to keep the trains running. I am glad this T officer had the guts and chutzpah to enforce the letter of the law.