WHAT: Passkeys for the locked gates alongside turnstiles at all 468 New York City subway stations are supposed to be for only authorized transit workers, police or firefighters. But lately, illegal copies have become widely available from street hustlers at prices about the same as an authentic one-week ticket. Some buyers actually subcontract, quietly selling subway entry for less than the $2.25 fare.
WHY IT’S A BAD IDEA: Some 19 million subway riders per year don’t pay, cheating the transit agency of at least $27 million.
WHAT’S BEING DONE: Police arrested 33 people last year who were suspected of using the keys, plus another 15 so far this year. But the low-level thieves know occasional arrests are inevitable, so they stash extra keys and go right back to business.