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March 05, 2024 Mist | 39°F
The 193rd General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 101: Evasion of payment of toll or fare

Section 101. (a) Whoever fraudulently evades or attempts to evade the payment of a fare lawfully established by a railroad corporation or railway company, either by giving a false answer to the collector of the fare, by traveling beyond the point to which the person has paid the same, by leaving the station, train, trolley, car, motor bus or trackless trolley vehicle without having paid the fare established for the distance traveled or otherwise, shall forfeit not less than $50 nor more than $500. Whoever passes beyond the point where a fare is collected and does not first pay such fare shall not be entitled to be transported for any distance, and may be removed from a railway car, train, trolley, motor bus or trackless trolley vehicle; provided, however, that no person shall be removed from a car of a railroad corporation except as provided in section 93, nor from a train except at a regular passenger station.

(b) Passengers who fail to pay or prepay the required fare or who evade the payment of the required fare on a vehicle or ferry owned by or operated for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority may be issued a warning or a noncriminal citation and may be requested to provide identification to the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority police or to any person designated by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority to issue noncriminal citations. Upon request by a Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority police officer, or by a person designated by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority to issue noncriminal citations, a passenger shall make themselves known by personal identification or any other means for the purpose of being issued a noncriminal citation.

(c) A person who is issued a noncriminal citation shall be assessed a fine of not less than $10 or greater than $250 as established by regulations of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. If any such person fails to pay the fine or appeal the citation by the date on the noncriminal citation, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority shall provide such person with notice of nonpayment of a fine indicating that the person's license or right to operate a motor vehicle may not be renewed until the fine is paid. The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority shall provide reasonable opportunity for a hearing and may waive or reduce a fine imposed or may offer an alternative method of resolving the fine imposed under this section.

Each citation issued pursuant to this section shall state that the person receiving the citation shall pay or appeal the fine by the payment due date stated on the citation. The citation notice shall describe the means for payment or appeal and shall state that a hearing may be obtained upon the written request of the violator in accordance with the instructions and timeframe provided for on the citation. The citation notice shall state that failure to respond in accordance with the instructions on the citation may result in the nonrenewal of the license to operate a motor vehicle.

(d) For the implementation of this section, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority shall issue regulations regarding: (i) the nature and issuance of noncriminal warnings and citations; (ii) the collection of fines; (iii) fine amounts; (iv) penalties for failure to pay fines; (v) options for alternatives to resolve fines other than immediate payment in full; and (vi) the administration of appeal processes and hearings.

(e) Upon the report to the registrar of at least 2 unresolved citations under this section, the registrar shall not renew that person's license or right to operate a motor vehicle under chapter 90 until the registrar receives a report from the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority indicating that all outstanding citations have been resolved; provided, however, that the registrar shall offer to accept payment or offer a waiver of fines under this section based on financial hardship; and provided further, that a person who requests or appeals a waiver shall be issued a license, if otherwise eligible, while the request or appeal is pending. Fines imposed under this section shall be paid to the general fund of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority.

(f) The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority and the office of performance management and innovation established in section 6 of chapter 6C shall publish a report annually. The report shall include, but not be limited to, data on warnings and citations issued pursuant to this section during the preceding 12 months. The office shall transmit the annual report to the clerks of the senate and house of representatives, the house and senate committees on ways and means and the joint committee on transportation. The office shall issue rules relative to the data that is to be contained in this report.

(g) Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, no person shall be subject to arrest for fare evasion on the transit system operated by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority.