People are jamming MetroCard machines, keeping people from buying MetroCards, and then illegally selling MetroCard swipes. According to the New York Post, "In Brooklyn, vandals at the Utica Avenue station that serves the 3 and 4 trains broke machines 198 times in December alone -- second only to Nostrand Avenue, where vandals took out 228 Metrocard machines, according to MTA data requested by The Post."
198/31 > 6. So if they broke machines 198 times in December, they'd need to break more than 6 machines a day. These criminals only jam the slot through which one puts bills. If I recall correctly, at the Schenectady Ave. entrance there are only two machines that accept bills. I don't know how many machines there are on the Utica Ave. side, but I imagine that no more than four accept bills. So to get 198 breakages in a month, they'd need to basically break every single machine every single day. I don't doubt that these criminals are up to that. I just can't believe that the MTA fixes the machines so quickly that they're ready to broken every day--even on weekends and holidays.
The next statistic is even more disturbing. 228 "broken machines" at Nostrand? That's not possible, considering there aren't 228 machines at Nostrand. Presumably they mean 228 breakages, distributed among much fewer machines. Fine. Now which Nostrand are they talking about? If it's the Nostrand Ave 3 station, there are only two bill-accepting machines there. To break two machines 228 times in one month requires breaking each machine (228/31)/2 = 3.67741935 times each day. There is no way the MTA could fix a machine more than three times a day, so how could vandals break the machines that often? Perhaps they meant the Nostrand Ave A/C line? I'm not familiar with that station, but I don't think it's such a huge station that 228 breakages would be plausible. Maybe the 228 breakages weren't all in December? Maybe they meant 228 breakages on the entire Nostrand Ave, which would include the A/C station, the 3 station, and all the 2/5 stations between President and Flatbush Ave-Brooklyn College? 228 breakages between all those stations is plausible. But if that's what they meant, then why the hell can't the Post write that? And if that's what meant, then how can they say that Utica is second to Nostrand? Maybe they should compare the entire Eastern Parkway to Nostrand Avenue?
Unlike the innumeracy I mentioned in the previous posts, this article does not talk about any huge numbers. Everyone has a pretty good grasp of magnitutes like 198 and 228. So then how could the Post publish these numbers without thinking about what these numbers mean? These numbers came from "MTA data requested by the Post." If the MTA coughed up the numbers just for them, can't they report the numbers in context?
PEOPLE!! Numbers are not conceptual art! You can not just play with them to make them mean whatever you want them to mean!