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December 21, 2007

News to me

Writing for LA Weekly, D. Heimpel is appalled at plans to charge Los Angeles subway riders for, uhh, riding the subway (via fishbowlLA, in a critical bent).

It is a nice quirk, an amazing anomaly. Of all the subway systems in all the major cities in the world, L.A.’s is, for now, one of the few based on an honor system.

When foreigners come to Los Angeles, says the L.A. Visitors Bureau, they are confused: a subway system with no barriers, no gates? When Angelenos travel to New York, they can say, in a town where the car is king, that at least theirs is a subway system without barriers. In a city of 4 million, where residents tout individual achievement and grow isolated in their buffed cars and designer glasses, the forgiving, trusting subway honor system, similar to those in Portland, Toronto and Paris, is a rare point of shared pride.

I would read the rest of the piece if: A - I believed anyone in Los Angeles rode the subway; B - I cared about public transit in Los Angeles not involving buses and Sandra Bullock, or; C - Toronto had an honour system for public transit. LA Weekly readers planning to ride the rocket should know they will be charged a fare. I seem to recall paying to use the Paris Metro too though, having never been to Portland, Heimpel might not be 0 for 3.

Posted by Ghost of a flea at December 21, 2007 06:41 AM


I'd be happier paying more for public transit if they actually provided more. TTC can triple or quadruple the price of the Metropass, as long as they add express trains, and some perqs. Start splitting up the cars into First Class and Steerage sections with dining and smoking cars. That's worth paying for.

Posted by: Chris Taylor [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 21, 2007 11:36 AM

The key to Portland's honor system is that nobody but the "straights" pay, as no one is willing to perform the task of seeing whether or not a rider has "actually" paid.

I know there are some links to the beauty of the honor system in Portland. Not at my fingertips. But the romance of lightrail is an hideously expensive romance. So the city fathers are looking for ways to increase revenues to maintain the fiction. As the city increasingly moves toward bankruptcy.

Ah! Portland

Posted by: OregonGuy [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 21, 2007 02:13 PM