Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Chic to cheat

It's OK to "freeload" (steal) if it's for the environment. Today's WSJ includes "Freeloaders Unite to Fight Subway Fares .. In Scandinavia, It's Chic to Cheat Via Insurance Scheme." It appears that the chic honor-system transit freeloaders in some of the Scandinavian cities subscribe to an insurance combine that pays their fines on the rare occasions that they get caught.

The story mentions that subscribers are also part of a protest movement against rising fares. I guess that it's much more fun to be a protester for good causes if there is insurance for any downside.

The turnstile jumpers (when and if they actually have to jump) are called Plankers and Planka Oslo is the outfit described in the story. You pay less when caught if you can pay on the spot, 750 ($135) kroner now vs. 900 later. A monthly transit pass goes for 570, but Planka dues (premiums) are just 250. Do the math.

This all works until authorities increase fares and/or enforcement. But think of the demonstrations and marches.