The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), which operates New York City’s subway, has started employing artificial intelligence (AI) to combat the growing issue of fare evasion, a problem that costs the city hundreds of millions each year.
The AI surveillance software, created by the Barcelona-based company AWAAIT, has been in use in seven subway stations and the MTA anticipates that by year’s end, the system will be operational in approximately two dozen more stations, with further expansion on the horizon.
The AI system is designed to track fare evasion and calculate the revenue the subway is failing to collect. “We’re using it essentially as a counting tool,” said Tim Minton, the MTA’s communications director. “The objective is to determine how many people are evading the fare and how are they doing it.”
Tthe implementation of this technology has arisen concerns about privacy and ethical implications. The MTA assures that the system is solely dedicated to fare evasion detection and committed to strict privacy protocols.
- NYC subway using AI to track fare evasion, Kevin Collier, NBC
- NYC subways join airports, police in using AI surveillance. Privacy experts are worried, Itzel Luna, USA TODAY
- NYC Is Using AI to Scan Subway Fare Dodgers for ‘Research Purposes’, Mack DeGeurin, Gizmodo
- MTA quietly rolls out AI at 7 unnamed stations to monitor fare evasion in NYC subways: report, Allie Griffin, NYPOST
- NYC is now using AI at some subway stations to track when and how fare evaders are getting through, Kylie Kirschner, Business Insider