Monday, 13 August 2007

Controlling payment in subways around the world

So far I have seen three different ways of controlling payment in subways around the world.
The most stringent is in London and Barcelona, where you must use your ticket when you get on the platform and out of it. Also Buenos Aires' trains do something like this, even though not all the time. They just don't allow you to go out without the original payment or a fine.
Then you have a more normal method, that you pay to get in (there are cammeras or a guard to avoid turnstile jumping), but you just leave without further check (there might be checks inside the vehicles from time to time). Buenos Aires', Santiago's and Paris' subways control payment this way.
Finally, there is the honor or trust systems, where nobody checks whether you pay before boarding. However, there are controllers who come into trains quite often, and fines are really steep. Munich transport system works like these. What is peculiar are the controllers. Usually you are in the train and you see a couple of large, unsightly guys getting in; they are certainly easy to spot, since they are the worst looking people in the train. As soon as the doors close and nobody can escape, they show their IDs, and start asking for tickets. In a rude way. In a very rude way; since you are in a train, in Germany, with guys posessing state authority shouting, certain bad memories crop up.

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