Date of Conferral



Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.)




Meridith K. Wentz


AbstractUrban rail transit systems are experiencing a decrease in ridership in part due to the perception of increased crime and disorder. To ensure passengers continue riding rail transportation, agency leaders must develop strategies to decrease crime and disorder caused by fare evasion. Grounded in the Kano model and Lean Six Sigma, the purpose of this qualitative case study was to explore strategies urban rail transit leaders use to reduce declining ridership associated with a perceived disorder caused by fare evasion. Data were collected using semistructured interviews of six urban rail transit leaders who manage fare enforcement efforts and a review of documents associated with fare enforcement. Data were analyzed using thematic analysis, and three themes were identified: (a) hot spot policing, (b) focus on education over enforcement, and (c) investigative follow-up. A key recommendation is for transit leaders to conduct focused fare enforcement to educate transit riders while remaining attentive to criminal activity. The implications for positive social change include the potential to lower urban traffic congestion based on increased rail ridership. Additionally, reducing crime will allow those who rely on public transportation, such as the economically challenged, physically challenged, the elderly, and urban youth, to conduct daily tasks.