Probably cheaper in the long run than trying to convict them of ‘fare jumping’.
Of course the 20 or sos will figure it is free for them also....
Like the man once said
You will never know how much something costs until the government gives it to you free. (Or something like that)
It's far worse in DC. They just lowered the penalty for fare jumping to a $50 misdemeanor. Now the 20 or sos who make the metro unsafe will ride free all the time because of lack of a deterrent.