A regional rail system was looking to conduct research specifically around the topic of fare evasion. The goal was to learn directly from those responsible for enforcement about which tactics are and are not effective in managing and preventing fare evasion.

To that end, CSA conducted two 75-minute in-person focus groups with personnel who are

involved in fare enforcement within the system. One group was comprised entirely of sheriff’s deputies, and the other consisted primarily of private security guards deployed on a specific service line (along with one train master from Amtrak who has been supervising their conductors for the past two years). A total of 15 individuals participated in the groups, which were held at the client’s own operations center.

In defining and discussing the many types of fare evasion, respondents shared their own experiences and approaches to handling such incidents on a regular basis. The conversations clarified how evasion is only a part of a larger mix of concerns and responsibilities, and illuminated the ways in which personnel will respond to evasion with discretion, depending on the nature and context of the incident. These findings and takeaways were shared with the client in an effort to provide a more qualitative and experiential dimension to data already being collected on fare evasion, as they continue to explore ways to reduce incidence and limit lost revenue.