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The Boston Globe


No more free passes on MBTA

MBTA is seeking easier-to-enforce, tougher penalties

It was nearly 6 p.m. when Orion Lexington, a lanky dean’s list student at Northeastern, clambered aboard the E line trolley through the rear doors at Longwood, found a place in the crowded car, and ignored the conductor’s customary call for those without monthly passes to come forward and pay. Headphones on, Lexington settled in.

As the trolley rolled inbound, a woman in a windbreaker stepped forward, flashed a badge, and asked Lexington to tap his CharlieCard on a handheld computer to see whether he was a monthly passholder. This was Ann Garvey, an undercover officer and part of an effort by the MBTA to crack down on riders who do not pay the fare, at a time when the T boasts record ridership but is under financial pressure to raise prices and cut service.

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