Ticket To Ride

One thing I’ve noticed on my trips to North America, is that generally the transit (bus/metro) fares are all the same. Both Boston and Toronto (Minneapolis was, I think?) were this year, and I know Seattle and San Francisco do, though some routes into and out of the city do have 2 zones at least. Inner Seattle has free fares during the day though, a real surprise nowadays, I assume they still do. Personally I like the idea, you know what the fare is going to be, no arguments.

Over here however, nearly all bus routes have fares related to the length of journey made, though I’m not sure if London doesnt use the fixed fare method now? I would love to say this leads to all sorts of hilarity, except for the fact that much of the time I find what I have to report more as frustrating.

There are fares related to distances, based on what they call fare stops, as opposed to the inbetween bus stops. At these points, fares change, should be simple? But no! There are some who think that just because they are getting on the bus one stop before the fare break, that they can ‘barter’ the fare down accordingly. Hey, some think that at any point, they seemingly should get the next fare down anyway. Most of these, to put it diplomatically, are the ones with Indian sub continent (and neighbouring countries) ancestry, though there are one or two others. As far as I know, mainly because in the end they seem to slam down extra coins, they dont win, but that doesnt stop them trying again next time seemingly! Fares are fixed, just pay them!

I guess I get frustrated with them because 99% of my bus journeys either relate to getting into town to go to work, or getting home after a day at work, and I really dont want unnecessary delays!

Saturday, I also got ‘entertainment’ on the train, thankfully they dont stop the train while the conductor checks tickets lol. This woman (yes, you’ve guessed her origin) got most angry when the conductor wouldnt accept her expired (by 3 days apparently) Metro card could no longer be used to make journeys, and the whole carriage got to know it! He politely explained that she would have to buy a new one now, but she wasnt keen on that idea! She eventually paid out for a return ticket for that day, but she wouldnt have won any prizes for charm in doing so.

So, to anyone reading this, you know what your bus/train fare is, just pay it, dont try and get a lower fare, its not going to happen, and all you do is annoy fellow passengers. And as ‘The Hulk’ used to say, “You wont like me if I get angry!” lol!

The song, suitably apt for this rant I guess? One of my favourite groups, one of their early records, a cover version.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fsgj4xcxXyA

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2 responses

  1. Allow me a moment of devil’s advocacy: having traveled in places (like Paris and Geneva) where I was not fluent with the language, I know there are special difficulties with negotiating the transit system, which is even stressful in our native tongues. Now, add a cultural difference–this idea that quoted prices are fixed and not the beginning of a negotiation is a very northern,western, Euro-American concept–and there is a significant potential for misunderstanding and conflict.

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  2. I dont know how things are over there, nor would I claim to. Fact is though, James, that they might have that ancestry, but were born over here.

    I’ve been to North Africa, didnt enjoy all the hassle and bartering, and wouldnt want it like that to be honest, the buses would never get into town if they were lol!

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