New York’s finest are sworn to uphold the law and by golly that is what they will do regardless of whether it makes any sense or is the right thing to do. After midnight two men were riding on a nearly empty train when a seat cop boarded the train and ordered the two suspects off of the train. According to the New York Times story, “Both men were being issued summonses for seat hoggery, a violation of part of Section 1050.7 of the Rules of Conduct, which says that no one shall ‘occupy more than one seat on a station, platform or conveyance when to do so would interfere or tend to interfere with the operation of the Authority’s transit system or the comfort of other passengers’.”
Business is good for the NYC seat police. Seat hoggery tickets ($50 fine for each hog) increased sixteen percent in 2009 to 9,490 tickets, which is $474,500. Given the financial problems of New York City, maybe it could quadruple the fine and increase the number of seat cops so it could generate much needed revenue. If NYC wanted to make some really big bucks, it would have the bus fare skipper police spend more time nailing bus fare skippers. The New York Daily News had a story last week that said that almost 7 million times last year people hopped NYC buses without paying the fare, but the bus fare skipper police only issued 1,826 tickets.