The Baltimore Sun reported Thursday it got access to an e-mail exchange between a passenger and Michael Davis, the agency's deputy director for operations.
"Most of the fare boxes are operational, but we are having trouble with operators putting the orange covers or paper over them so they don't have to collect fares. Some operators see this as a way to speed up and maintain OTP (on-time performance)," Davis said.
Passengers board more quickly when they do not have to find change.
Davis said drivers have been disciplined for failing to collect fares and at least two could be fired.
Edward Cohen, a former president of the Transit Riders Action Council, blamed unrealistic schedules that have drivers struggling to stay on time. He said he has seen some relief drivers cover their fare boxes as soon as they get into the bus.
"Rather than never having a bathroom break, they'll do this," he said.