UTA officials have been forced to stop accepting tokens at two TRAX stations because of fraud.
Thieves discovered they could get a full-ride ticket by putting arcade tokens from certain establishments into UTA's ticket machine. The machine reads the arcade tokens as the regular UTA tokens, worth $1.75 each, said UTA spokeswoman Carrie Bohnsack-Ware.
But rather than buying tickets for themselves, the group was buying a bunch of tickets and selling them at discount prices to other passengers, she said.
"The last couple of months we lost a few thousand dollars at least," Ware said.
The thieves were mostly working at the TRAX stations at 9000 South and 9400 South. UTA officers beefed up patrols in those areas and caught several people, she said.
"We're hoping those few people are causing most of the problems," Ware said.
But because the token information was apparently shared with others, UTA tried to make a compromise and stop accepting tokens at those two stations rather than abandon the program altogether.
The fraud problem has been reduced substantially over the past month, she said.
Those who already have tokens they can't use can exchange them for daily or monthly passes, Ware said.