A group of habitual subway fare evaders in Paris have formed an insurance group that pays the fine if a member gets caught. The rough equivalent of $8.50 a month insures you against the $60.00 fine. Now admittedly, that's a pretty clever if nebulously fraudulent scheme: You pay a pittance while the RATP still gets its fine. It follows the letter of the law (if indeed the law doesn't mind criminal liability insurance) if not the spirit.
What really fires up the calliope on this circus of fun, though, is that the group's philosophy and fervent belief is that solidarity in turnstile jumping will strike what Rik the People's Poet would call a "wevowutionaway bwow" to the capitalist metropolitan transit systems. You can only make a claim if you attend their monthly meetings. I can treat an insurance fund with bemused respect, but when there's a Cause attached to it, I admit I start to giggle.
The article in the link is giggling, too, as evidenced by little pieces of snark such as this nugget:
But for Gildas, a rebel whose unshaven cheeks, longish hair and John Lennon glasses seem straight out of French central casting...Mi-aou, fashion police.
I couldn't see someone trying this in Boston, mostly because turnstile jumping is still largely ignored. You'll walk out of one of the automatic gates and before it has time to close a kid will rush right in past you. Sure, the buzzer will go off, the kid will run down to the train and nobody will bat an eye. Enforcement is pretty lax, but then again everybody's used to false positives. That buzzer just loves to go off, even when you're legitimately walking through.
Still, you can't say the T isn't trying something, since Deputy Chief Paul MacMillan reminds us every fifteen minutes that "faih evazhin is a violashin of Massachusetts General Lawr." I'm still not sure if the crackdown has progressed past the finger-waggling. Has anybody actually seen a jumper get nabbed?
And I wonder how the service is in Paris these days...