I read this Times article the other day about the honor system and LA’s subway and light rail system and how their transit authority is starting to phase it out. The basic idea of a honor system baffles me because if there is no  enforcement then no one is going to pay. That’s just human nature. If you can get away with it then you’re going to do it. So when the LA Metro started operations, the honor system was used as a way to entice people to use the train. It’s a good idea. When new rapid transit systems open, they are free at the beginning to get riders, but after weeks or months the turnstiles start collecting fares. I’ve been on the LA Metro and it’s not bad. It’s not the New York City Subway, but the system is a work in progress. LA has been making a big push in the development of rapid transit for over twenty years and continues to do so. Now when I rode the train in LA, I paid for my ticket. My friends laughed at me and they made the argument that no one ever enforces it. As I mentioned in the beginning of this post, the honor system baffles me, but I should also add that growing up in New York City that I have been regimented by the MTA’s fare control. The MTA will make you pay. Everything is designed for you to swipe your card. To conclude, when I walked into my subway station after Sandy and was getting ready to swipe my Metrocard the token clerk yelled, “Go through the gate! You don’t have to pay today!” My surprised response was, “Really?”

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