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Oh, Canada

Apparently, in Vancouver someone had convinced the local politicians to spend 171 million bucks, with 15 million dollars in annual costs, to stop about 4.5 million dollars in fare evasions.

Apart from all the figures, can we please remember that this is Canada we're talking about? There's no way that there is more than, say, two or three dollars worth of fare evasions per day, and it's only that one guy who moved from New York City who thinks that paying fares is supporting The Man. There's just no possibility that this one guy (and okay, a few people who forgot their fare card and accidentally got through that one time but felt really bad about it) add up to 4.5 million dollars per year.

And yet? It is still less stupid than LA's turnstiles-with-a-no-turnstile-option system.


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 14th, 2010 03:02 pm (UTC)
I think if they pulled something like that in Toronto, with the current mood of barely-contained-rage-against-the-public-transit-guys, there would be lynchings.

Those west coast guys: they're wacky (hey, I don't have to tell you).

Do you want to explain the turnstiles-with-a-no-turnstile-option system (and I have vague recollection that you might have done so before, and if so, simply aim me at the right post/rant), or would talking about it fill you with incoherent rage?
Apr. 14th, 2010 06:25 pm (UTC)
Not so much rage as a sort of resigned feeling.

I did rant about it at some point, but the short version of the story is that we used to have an honor system, but if you got caught without a valid fare payment, you got a ticket for $250. Then they installed the turnstiles to be used with a "Tap" card (where you just hold the card up to a sensor), before they remembered that many people still have paper and other kinds of passes. So, there are turnstiles... but there's also an area where you can just walk through without having to tap anything. The only difference is that now that there are turnstiles, there's fewer law enforcement officers checking for passes.

This took 10 years to plan and several million dollars to build.
Apr. 15th, 2010 01:54 pm (UTC)
Yeah, that's... that's remarkably stupid.
Apr. 14th, 2010 06:52 pm (UTC)
Fare jumping is kind of a sport, really. I only do it if I'm going one stop. Sometimes I do it even if I have a ticket on me I could punch. Cheap thrills.

If most of the cheating is on the buses, then turnstiles for the train aren't really going to do much for that. There are already attendants who check tickets during peak hours.

Canada (well, Vancouver) fun fact: We have a bus riders union.
Apr. 14th, 2010 07:01 pm (UTC)
We have a Bus Riders Union in LA, too. They used to be pretty powerful, actually managed to force our transit agency into a consent decree where all service changes were overseen by a judge in Washington DC.

They're also completely and utterly insane.
Apr. 14th, 2010 09:52 pm (UTC)
Aww, I thought unionizing weird things was a market cornered only by Canada. Do you have a drug users union?
Apr. 14th, 2010 10:21 pm (UTC)
No, but know I know what to do for a career if I get laid off.
Apr. 14th, 2010 10:39 pm (UTC)
*Now* I know, I mean.
Apr. 15th, 2010 01:56 pm (UTC)
Oh, man, does Toronto ever need one of those.

...or is is this another of one of these things that sounds like a good idea but then turns out to be more horrible than could possibly be imagined?
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )