NEW YORK – Council Member Rory I. Lancman, Chair of the Committee on the Justice System and author of the law requiring the NYPD to report fare evasion arrest and summons data quarterly, issued the following statement in response to Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance’s decision to end prosecution of subway fare evasion cases:

“The decision by District Attorney Vance to no longer prosecute subway fare evasion is a critical step forward for our justice system. We know that fare evasion arrests have disproportionately impacted brown and black New Yorkers, and the consequences can be significant: a criminal record, time on Rikers Island, and potentially deportation for some. The thousands of arrests that are made every year for subway fare evasion waste valuable law enforcement resources and clog our court system.

“New York City can hold people accountable for fare evasion without running them through the criminal justice system, by issuing an MTA civil summons, similar to a parking ticket. I applaud DA Vance for implementing this smart policy.”