It happened again, some punk stole $2 from me in the subway.
Well, not exactly. What happened was, somebody squeezed through the fare gate behind me without paying. I hate it when that happens because it makes me feel somehow complicit in the fare-beating, or even that the fare beater has somehow stolen the fare directly from me.
This is generally silly, as there have been fare-beaters – such as turnstile jumpers and token suckers – for as long as there’s been public transportation. In fact, token suckers were punished by a fine of four shekels in ancient Mesopotamia per the Code of Hammurabi. But recent changes in the T’s system have made it feel more like a personal robbery because fare beaters can’t just jump the gate, they have to wait for you to pay and then scoot in behind you. Either that or hack the Charlie card system with some help from MIT.
Any economist will tell you that the cost of fare evasion ultimately falls to the commuters, so I’m going to have to be more alert going through the gate, and I hope you will be too.
PS you might want to take the T to the grand opening of the Hudson Street Gallery this Saturday.