29 September 2005

as the turnstile locks up and punches you in the stomach

because the mta isn't happy just being shitty, they have to add a few complications along the way. today, it's new software that makes the metrocard readers more "sensitive". if this is anything like the new software i just put on my ipod that makes it cycle through entire albums in 2 seconds without playing a note and then freeze, i couldn't be more excited.

apparently, they're trying to clamp down on fare evader types and people with fake metrocards? i don't even know. whatever it's for, rest assured it will bother we, the fare-paying, mta-hating public.

and now, some quotes from the story:

The Transit Authority has installed the software systemwide to prevent underground thieves who take spent MetroCards and bend them in the right spots to get an extra trip per card - which they then sell.

The TA has estimated that MetroCard fraud costs the authority $16 million annually.

look, man, i'm having a real fucking hard time swallowing the idea that there is $16 million worth of fare evasion every year. i mean really. SIXTEEN MILLION. that's a whooooole lot of money. a year. i am calling someone out. you are lying!!

they say that people are somehow missing the last fares on their cards, in which case the dude(ess) behind the token booth is supposed to buzz them through. this makes me wonder, why not just commit fraud that way? also, this reminds me of a story of a friend.

there is a silly thing that happens in brooklyn sometimes when you can't go into manhattan from the carroll & bergen street stops. my friend was attempting to do this, but knowing there weren't any manhattan bound trains, she went on to the coney island bound platform to get to 7th ave, where she could switch to the manhattan bound F.

so she's standing there waiting for a train and two or three manhattan bound trains roll through--and stop--at bergen street. at this point she realizes that perhaps she can just go to manhattan like normal people, but bergen street is one of those stations that doesn't give people the opportunity to cross back & forth between the two tracks, you go in one way, you're stuck there. so she's forced to walk out of the train station and cross the street and go back down, where her metrocard will not register because it's an unlimited and she just swiped it on the other side of the track. luckily (or so she thought), she was now in the entrance with the dude in the box. she explains to the guy what's happened and he refuses to let her through. she has to watch another train go by whilst waiting for the 16 minutes or whatever it is to elapse before she can swipe her card. this is bullshit.

on the flip side, i was in bergen street station once, late at night, drunk, when i decided to be a fucking retard. i don't know why we hadn't just gone straight through the turstiles, or maybe we'd--yes, that's what happened. we'd gone down the wrong side and were waiting for our cards to be useable again. anyway, they have those little things that say "please dispose your metrocard here" or something to that effect, and i was all "i'm cool", so i said to my friend "here, watch me tempt fate" and i stuck my card in and out a couple of times. it was so stupid on so many levels, but i was drunk and that's a reasonable excuse for just about any behavior. anyway, what i didn't realize was that i wasn't tempting fate in any way, i was de-magnifying my metrocard. my week-old 30-day metrocard. at 2 am.

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