Only in Los Angeles, where they are accused of having strange substances in the air and water, would think that an honor system for fares on its subway system would work.
It turns out that a gateless subway entrance is hardly the way the daily costs of the system’s expenses can be met.
Now L.A. transit officials freely admit that millions of dollars in annual revenue has been lost. “A lot of people, if not the majority, are not paying,” said Zev Yaroslavsky, a county supervisor and an L.A. County Metropolitan Transportation Authority official. “There is no reason for them to pay. The odds of them getting a ticket are slim and none.”
Things will soon completely change. The goal: 192 turnstiles at 42 stations will be locked and readied for accepting money soon. The L.A. Metropolitan Transit Authority estimates that 300,000 riders use the system every 24 hours. At $1.50 per head, that adds up to $164,250,000. Any way you look at it, that ain’t chump change!
The free L.A .subway opened in 1993 with 4.5 miles of underground track and five stations. The current free system encompasses subway and light rail and stretches for 88 miles with 101 stations from Long Beach to Pasadena. And now its users will have to finally pay the freight.