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Swedish Fare Dodgers Organize Against Transportation Authorities

samzenpus posted about 6 months ago | from the I-will-not-pay dept.

Transportation 389

An anonymous reader writes "Every transit network has its fare beaters, the riders who view payment as either optional or prohibitively expensive. Many cities, most notably New York, view turnstile-jumpers as a top policing priority, reasoning that scofflaws might graduate to more serious crimes if left alone. But in Stockholm, the offenders seem to have defeated the system. From the article: 'For over a decade, Mr. Tengblad has belonged to a group known as Planka.nu (rough translation: “free-ride.now”), an organization with only two prerequisites for admission: Members must pay a monthly fee of about $15 and, as part of a continuous demonstration against the fare, promise to evade payment every time they ride. If travelers keep their side of the agreement, the group will cover any of the roughly $180 fines that might result. (An unlimited ride pass for 30 days costs about $120.)'"

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Insurance (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47031077)

It's just an insurance scheme. With heavier penalties, it would not work.

Hop the strass (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47031115)

Literally meaning, I ain't got no money. You may know the concept better as, open source.

Re:Hop the strass (3, Insightful)

dreamchaser (49529) | about 6 months ago | (#47031725)

Literally meaning, I ain't got no money. You may know the concept better as, open source.

Weak troll is weak. People who write OSS are willingly giving the product of their efforts away for free. That's got nothing to do with scofflaws who deliberately steal a service that they are not paying for.

Re:Hop the strass (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47031781)

If they had money they'd buy decent transportation instead of putting up with what can be had for 'free'. If they had money they'd buy decent software instead of putting up with what can be had for 'free'. Race to the bottom and the bottom is full of shit. But it's 'free'. I want it to be 'free'. 'Freeeee' yipeeee cuz it's 'freeeeeee'. Enjpy your free shit.

Powerful truth makes the fool feel his pain!

In the US the people running the organization (5, Insightful)

mark_reh (2015546) | about 6 months ago | (#47031133)

would be charged with criminal conspiracy.

Re:In the US the people running the organization (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47031163)

I'm fairly certain that conspiracy is not a crime in Sweden. It's a very Anglosaxon concept.

Re:In the US the people running the organization (0)

Eunuchswear (210685) | about 6 months ago | (#47031779)

[I'm fairly certain that conspiracy is] a very Anglosaxon concept.

No, it's not just "Anglo Saxon".

In French "criminal conspiracy" is "Association de malfaiteurs" for example

Re:In the US the people running the organization (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47031197)

In my part of the U.S. the paying customers would just collectively stomp the shit out of mr. Tengblad. But we don't have trains, or other social bloodsucking mechanisms required for Obama like sociopaths. Everybody wins.

Re:In the US the people running the organization (2, Insightful)

NotSanguine (1917456) | about 6 months ago | (#47031541)

In my part of the U.S. the paying customers would just collectively stomp the shit out of mr. Tengblad. But we don't have trains, or other energy and environment saving public transportation required for a more livable and sustainable world.. Everybody loses.

There. FTFY

Re:In the US the people running the organization (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47031221)

Conspiracy like racketeering is one of the totalitarian catch all offenses put in place to counteract the radical spirit of the constitution and is a great way to deprive someone of civil rights when you don't like them. Free countries who have an enlightened populace and a government which represents them and not control will police actual committed crimes and not just talking about crimes.

Re:In the US the people running the organization (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47031291)

Yes, what kind of barbaric country would stop people from planning to kill somebody? Everyone knows that in a free country, you must wait until after the murder has happened before the police will do something about it.

Re:In the US the people running the organization (3, Interesting)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 6 months ago | (#47031353)

Yes, what kind of barbaric country would stop people from planning to kill somebody?

RICO, the primary American anti-racketeering law, has been used against political protesters.

Re:In the US the people running the organization (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47031487)

Thanks for answering that rhetorical question with a totally irrelevant, unverified opinion. Theft laws have been used against children, and fraud laws have been used against charities, and murder laws have been used against little old ladies, and sexual assault laws have been used against religious leaders. Meanwhile, RICO laws have been used against criminal organisations. What is your point, and how does it support the notion that laws against conspiring to commit a crime, or ordering others to do so, should be abolished?

Re:In the US the people running the organization (3, Insightful)

mark_reh (2015546) | about 6 months ago | (#47031579)

Political protest is not illegal in the US. However, breaking laws as a form of political protest (or as a means of generating income, or whatever other purpose you can think of for breaking laws) is illegal.

In the US the people running the organization (3, Insightful)

Dereck1701 (1922824) | about 6 months ago | (#47031267)

Because the US "justice" system is such a shining example for the world. Threatening college students with decades of prison for "stealing" public research papers. Approving no-knock warrants resulting in hundreds if not thousands of innocent deaths. Militarization of police forces and the use of SWAT teams for even the most benign crimes. Crushing people pirating a few songs/movies with hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines. Yes, the rest of the world would do well to emulate us.

Re:In the US the people running the organization (1)

MarkusH (198450) | about 6 months ago | (#47031273)

If they remove the requirement that you must break the law, then it is probably legal as a type of insurance. For example, there exists in the US insurance for speeding, expired tags, etc. that will pay your fine. You just have to phrase it as "if you forgot and broke the law accidentally, we will cover your ticket".

Re:In the US the people running the organization (1)

mark_reh (2015546) | about 6 months ago | (#47031589)

Can you point out where such insurance is sold? I have never heard of it.

Re:In the US the people running the organization (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47031297)

like UberCab ? they are a $5B operation based on evading cab/taxi licensing/insurance laws no ?

Re:In the US the people running the organization (4, Interesting)

mark_reh (2015546) | about 6 months ago | (#47031565)

Taking advantage of loop-holes is perfectly legal and extremely American. We have always been about following the letter but not the intent of the law which is why we're still arguing about guns, abortion, and grazing fees on federal land. Mitt Romney takes advantage of loop-holes in tax laws to hide his money from US taxes by shuffling it around shell corporations in the Cayman islands. Mitt pays accountants and lawyers to set all that stuff up. The whole reason the US produces so many lawyers is to help rich people and corporations walk right up the the often fuzzy line between what is legal and what isn't.

Taking advantage of loop-holes is not the same thing as breaking laws. The people in Sweden are breaking laws by not paying for tickets to ride mass transit. The group that is encouraging and assisting them to break the law is no different that any other organized criminal gang. Now that they've invented/discovered the advantage of organizing criminal activity (duh!), I wonder what business they might get into next. I hear there's a lot of money to be made in drugs and prostitution.

Re:In the US the people running the organization (2)

tompaulco (629533) | about 6 months ago | (#47031719)

Ubercab may be taking advantage of loopholes in some jurisdictions. In other jurisdictions, they are merely attempting to relabel their service as the service they actually provide would require them to pay fees, be licensed and be regulated. They claim they are a "ride sharing" operation, but in fact, you are not sharing a ride with them. You call them up, tell them where you want to go, and they take you there. Kind of like a taxi. You can't just walk up to one and ask for a ride, you have to prearrange it, but where I live, you can't just hail a cab either. You have to call them first, even if there is one idling out at your curb.

Re:In the US the people running the organization (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47031325)

Could you tell us why fare dodging is a good thing, and why the act of fare dodging should be decriminalized?

I'm interested to see if there are any real, practical, workable benefits from fare dodging in the US.

If you have any hard data to back up your ideas that would be great.

Re:In the US the people running the organization (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47031381)

Because it's perpetrated by the brother to keep the man down. Duh.

Public transit (3, Insightful)

rossdee (243626) | about 6 months ago | (#47031137)

Or the Transit Authority can lower the monthly cost for a full time rider to $14.99, and get the government to covere the difference from tax revenue. It is a socialist country you know.
Just increase the tax on petrol (or whatever is Swedish for gasoline)

Re:Public transit (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47031177)

(or whatever is Swedish for gasoline)

Schveetbang.

Re:Public transit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47031303)

Sounds like something I did to your mom last night.

Re: Public transit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47031655)

That was his dad in drag.

Re:Public transit (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47031305)

(or whatever is Swedish for gasoline)

Schveetbang.

Gesundheit.

Re: Public transit (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47031199)

So people who drive cars, and therefore use public transportation less or not at all, should pay more so that people who do use the system pay less?

Re: Public transit (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 6 months ago | (#47031281)

So people who drive cars, and therefore use public transportation less or not at all, should pay more so that people who do use the system pay less?

that's socialism for you. in other news, the old people who are too sick to work are in old peoples service homes paid by the people who work and don't need such service homes....

Re: Public transit (2)

beelsebob (529313) | about 6 months ago | (#47031351)

No, that's not socialism, that's simply public policy trying to drive lower resource consumption. The government would rather that its citizens burn fewer resources, so they make the less efficient solution more expensive, and the more efficient one cheaper.

Re: Public transit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47031663)

Your pretending that you or the government know which uses less resources. Both you and the government don't.

Proof, see every failed communists state. This is the information problem an open market solves and no communist country was able to find a solution to.

Re: Public transit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47031761)

Paraphrase: blah blah blah, communists!

That is a ridiculous statement to make. There are many socially progressive states that are not failed. There are even some communist states that seem to be doing well right now, (and maybe one or two more that would be doing better if their economies weren't artificially limited by sanctions).

Now, back to the topic at hand... I don't think it's unreasonable to conclude public transportation generally uses less resources than everyone driving their own car. With that said, I'm sure there are pretty good examples out there that you could cherry pick to "prove" otherwise (but remember, I said "generally" and not "in every case").

Re: Public transit (1)

Eunuchswear (210685) | about 6 months ago | (#47031809)

The uniquely low resource consumption of the USA being the demonstration of your thesis?

Re: Public transit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47031393)

Without such a system, the old people who are too sick to work would die. Such a system significantly extends the life expectancy of the your people who pay in. Feeble minded people might say the young people are not getting anything for their money, but more far sighted intellects recognize that in fact they are purchasing additional years of life, which is something that's very hard to purchase at ANY price.

Re: Public transit (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 6 months ago | (#47031455)

Yes. You got it. Instead of clogging the street with your SUV to transport a single person, use a more sensible way of transport.

Re:Public transit (1)

beelsebob (529313) | about 6 months ago | (#47031223)

Or... they could just raise the fine to €2000, then they'll have to raise the monthly membership to €167 to compensate, and it'll be cheaper just to get a monthly pass.

Re:Public transit (1)

Zironic (1112127) | about 6 months ago | (#47031491)

They can't raise the fine that much since the fine needs to remain reasonable for those that simply forgot their ticket or lost it.

Re:Public transit (1)

Nidi62 (1525137) | about 6 months ago | (#47031637)

Tier the fine. Get caught once, maybe 100-150 euros. Twice in a month, bump it up to 200. 3 times, 500. 4 times, 1000. Maybe have it over a 2-3 month period, and the fine level resets after the time period. Forget or lose your ticket once, and it's not the end of the world. But this way habitual fare dodgers actually get hit.

Re:Public transit (2)

Zironic (1112127) | about 6 months ago | (#47031693)

I suspect that would be impossible from a legal standpoint since that would require a database of offenders and there are extremely strict regulations on such a thing. Essentially only the police are allowed to do it and they're only allowed to do it if its a criminal offence or necessary for an investigation.

Since
A) The transport authority is not the police
B) This is not a criminal offence
C) This is not part of an investigation

It is unlikely they would be allowed to do such a thing.

Re:Public transit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47031679)

That can still be viable. The first time you are caught in a month you get the low band. The second time you get the low band again, plus a written warning. The third time you get the high band, plus a letter before action and annulment of your right to get back into the low band for 6 months (so it's 2000 a pop each time you get caught afterwards).

What appears to happen there though is that the fare dodgers aren't efficiently caught, so no level of the fine would deter these guys.

Re:Public transit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47031513)

And the first child who lost its ticket and got that fine would make for some great press. Not.
Also, Sweden doesn't use Euros.

Re:Public transit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47031233)

American's seem to be obsessed with the socialist bogeyman. Fare dodging and preventing fare dodging has got nothing to do with socialism.

If the government provides a public utility, yes that is a socialist policy. It is a social policy for the benefit of the population. In that context fare dodging is anti-socialist.

In fact, in Stockholm the public transit is operated by a private company. So, your suggestion of increasing petrol prices in order to pay for the lost revenue of a private company is one of the least socialist thing I've ever heard of.
American's seem to be obsessed with the socialist bogeyman. Fare dodging and preventing fare dodging has got nothing to do with socialism.

If the government provides a public utility, yes that is a socialist policy. It is a social policy for the benefit of the population. In that context fare dodging is anti-socialist.

In fact, in Stockholm the public transit is operated by a private company. So, your suggestion of increasing petrol prices in order to pay for the lost revenve of a private company is one of the least socialist thing I've ever heard of.

Re:Public transit (0)

Arker (91948) | about 6 months ago | (#47031261)

"Or the Transit Authority can lower the monthly cost for a full time rider to $14.99, and get the government to covere the difference from tax revenue. It is a socialist country you know."

It has that reputation, the social democrats ruled post WWII for a very long time and spent their peace dividend on the welfare state. But in some ways it still seems less socialist than the US, having lived both places. Their school system would be seen as an extreme right-wing proposal here I am afraid, which is a shame, as it's a damn good one.

"Just increase the tax on petrol (or whatever is Swedish for gasoline)"

It's called bensin. And it's already taxed to punitive levels increases in tax wont increase revenues. Same is true for Alcohol and Tobacco of course.

Re: Public transit (1)

SLi (132609) | about 6 months ago | (#47031431)

Their school system would be seen as an extreme right-wing proposal here I am afraid, which is a shame, as it's a damn good one.

Care to elaborate? I live in a Scandinavian country too and I'm curious about what's american-right-wing about our school system :)

Re: Public transit (1)

cycler (31440) | about 6 months ago | (#47031721)

As only in Sweden and I think Chile, risk capital ventures can own schools and they are not obligaded to reinvest the profit.

The ever perpetual Swedish notion that always "be best in class and play by the rules".
Trouble is that no-one else is playing by the rules......

That's why we had a large school company that just said: "We don't make enough money. We'll shutdown business"
The unfortunate pupils where left for the municipality to sort out.

Hence the notion of far right wing idea compared to the US.

/C

Re:Public transit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47031359)

The cost is already 50% subsidised using taxpayer money. $120/month is roughly the cost of car insurance in Sweden (roughly $1000/year). And gas is more expensive per liter than it is per gallon in the US.
$15 is the cost of a return ticket from one end of the Stockholm subway to the other end (and yes, that is the subsidised cost).

Re:Public transit (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 6 months ago | (#47031483)

Umm... well Stockholm is quite a bit of a city, but what the hell makes your public transport system that expensive? Ours is subsidized, true, but we're a far cry from such prices. 2 bucks across town, about 50 for a month ticket and somewhere around 500 (that includes free guarded parking at the edge of the city).

And that system is fast, clean and reliable.

Re:Public transit (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 6 months ago | (#47031493)

around 500 for a year. Gee, I should start to proofread...

Re:Public transit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47031495)

Just increase the tax on petrol (or whatever is Swedish for gasoline)

Bensin or diesel.

Re:Public transit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47031559)

But that would not show the strength of the police society. The next step is to arm police with bean bag guns and the authority to shoot anyone who looks like they might be trying to evaid payment

Re:Public transit (1)

richlv (778496) | about 6 months ago | (#47031659)

it would be cheaper to do an estonian thing and just make it free: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

In other parts of the world... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47031139)

This is known as organized crime.

Re:In other parts of the world... (1)

Spritzer (950539) | about 6 months ago | (#47031143)

You beat me to it.

Re: In other parts of the world... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47031169)

You're referring to the government, I assume.

Re: In other parts of the world... (1)

beelsebob (529313) | about 6 months ago | (#47031361)

What has the government got to do with a private company, and some private individuals avoiding paying for the services they agreed to pay for?

Re: In other parts of the world... (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 6 months ago | (#47031499)

Depends on whether public transport is actually privately run there or whether it's part of the public service offered by the town itself, funded (partly) with tax money. BIG difference there.

Re:In other parts of the world... (1)

mpe (36238) | about 6 months ago | (#47031593)

This is known as organized crime. Depends who's doing. It can also be known as a "business plan" or "good business sense", etc.

Sounds like a sting (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47031179)

Get the fools to sign up and chip in money, or better, submit a request for reimbursement. Then you have a traceable money trail. to the culprit.

Or perhaps it's a quick Ponzi scheme. If any of the idiots ever tries to file a suit on the basis of not getting reimbursed, what can they do? Take the case to court? At least in the US, you cannot make a contract to do an illegal act.

Re:Sounds like a sting (1)

Zironic (1112127) | about 6 months ago | (#47031475)

They've been doing this for the past 13 years, a bit long to run a sting don't you think?

Scandinavia is different (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47031209)

Scandinavia is different. In Norway prisons are like hotels. Norway hired someone to be a friend for the convicted murderer who killed 79 people. The friend would visit him in jail and play chess with him.

Re:Scandinavia is different (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 6 months ago | (#47031515)

I wonder how you put this on your resume.

"You were working at a jail for those years?"
"Yeah, I was the buddy of a murderer"

Re:Scandinavia is different (1)

Eunuchswear (210685) | about 6 months ago | (#47031831)

Yeah, but they refused to upgrade his PS2 to a PS3, and didn't let him play FPSs.

(PS I think that they're treating AB correctly - he's a pathetic little fuck and all those who go on about "punishment" are also pathetic little fucks).

hike up the fines (1)

Chryana (708485) | about 6 months ago | (#47031227)

According to TFA, the organization that pays of the fines is currently profitable because it rakes in twice the money as it pays off in fines. It seems simply raising the fines would quickly make that unprofitable.

Re: hike up the fines (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47031279)

Instead of increasing the fines, increased enforcement would have the desired effect: even catching the same scofflaws several times a month would deplete the pool of funds.

Re: hike up the fines (1)

Chryana (708485) | about 6 months ago | (#47031571)

Indeed, but it would probably require to hire more security staff, which increases the costs of running public transit for everyone.

Re:hike up the fines (3, Interesting)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | about 6 months ago | (#47031537)

Since the fine is apparently equal to 12 months of fees to the organization, that implies people only get caught once every two years. As a turnstile jumper you'd actually be better off not being in the organization and putting that $15 a month into a bank account to pay the ticket.

If the government put a couple extra cops on the ticket turnstile beat and doubled the amount of tickets you issued they'd only break even, and if they tripled the number of tickets the group'd start losing cash. If the average jumper starts getting caught every 8 months, that's 1.5 times a year, which means they pay fines of $270, and an insurer needs $22.50 a month in revenue to cover costs. The best strategy would probably be to double the fine and double enforcement on the train lines for a few months. Either option makes the group break even, and combined they'd mean the group has to double it's fee.

Of course back in the real world the Swedish authorities could easily conclude this is just mischievous kids being mischievous, and therefore the group should not be forced out of business.

Re:hike up the fines (2)

Zironic (1112127) | about 6 months ago | (#47031573)

If they tried that the transport authority would go bankrupt within the month. They operate on near zero margin and theres no way they could find the money to double enforcement.

Re:hike up the fines (4, Insightful)

Nemyst (1383049) | about 6 months ago | (#47031539)

Nah, that'd also punish people who legitimately forgot their ticket or something along those lines. The much better idea is to increase repeat offender fines. If the first fine's only like $50, but the fifth is more like $500, those fare dodgers would very quickly go broke while normal people wouldn't be affected.

Re:hike up the fines (1)

Chryana (708485) | about 6 months ago | (#47031619)

I like your idea, I agree it is better than mine. I'm not sure I buy the "forgotten ticket" line though. I admit my total ignorance of the public transit system in Sweden, but where I live, we are issued permanent tickets cards . My card is at all times in my wallet, and it can even be registered so that I can get back my monthly pass in case I lose my card.

Simple solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47031235)

Augment the fine of people getting caught to the point where the other side's monthly payment would be bigger than the cost of a monthly fare.

Fee hypocritical? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47031237)

Isn't it hypocritical for this group to charge a monthly fee?

You can't have services without paying for them. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47031257)

The mentality of these people, like those who dislike taxes, is that they deserve services from the government for free. They don't care about the specifics about how those services are funded. They just want free services.

They should know that without funding the quality of services declines, and in some cases, services stop completely. Perhaps they do, and just don't care.

In an ideal world I wish public transportation was free. But I know gasoline and spare tires and replacement tracks for the subways don't magically appear out of thin air, and I know that services depend on money from the riders to keep going.

If these people really want to make lasting change, instead of being fare dodgers they should actually research how Swedish transportation is funded, and come up with viable, alternative methods of funding. But that's hard work, and these people are lazy bums.

Re:You can't have services without paying for them (1)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | about 6 months ago | (#47031653)

I suspect the people who actually do this are mostly kids who don't have steady jobs yet. Being part of a union to dodge fees on public transit is probably viewed by many in the halls of power as a mischievous phase young'ens go through. According to the article only 3% of rides are not paid for, and most evaders seem to be High School age kids. Joining a fare-dodging union specifically designed to protest that taxes on the rich aren't high enough is IMO exactly the kind of mischief the powers-that-be in Sweden want the kids to be into.

It would actually be fairly simple for the authorities to stop this. They have a dude at the gate watching the fare dodger, he almost always sees the fard dodger, he just doesn't have the time/energy to chase down a High School kid whose got a 50 foot head start.

If they just had a real cop sitting before the entrance to the station platform they could probably catch almost everyone who tries to dodge a fare, which would run the fare-dodging group out of cash quite quickly. You borrow 200-300 police for a couple months and you'd destroy this organization pretty much forever. It would cost money (a couple months of borrowing 1% of the countries police, plus adding more transit police guys to keep the fare-stealers from just going underground for three months and you;re in the $10 million range easy), but according to the article fare-jumpers cost them $36 million a year already so it's be a good investment.

Re:You can't have services without paying for them (2)

Zironic (1112127) | about 6 months ago | (#47031731)

The police has absolutely zero reason to help catching fare dodgers.

To understand why so few fare dodgers get caught it's important to understand that the police has no business being in the metro unless they suspect a crime is going on. The only people in the metro are the metro guards who are explicitly -not- police.

This is important because in Sweden only the police can legally detain you which means that when a metro guard catches you without a ticket, you can simply run out of the metro and the guard can't actually legally stop you.

Re: You can't have services without paying for the (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47031703)

A lot of people dislike taxes because politicians use the money to keep their constituents down and on the dole, just to get votes. Nothing ever improves, but they keep promising, and the people at the bottom get what amounts to a stipend, which keeps them voting.

Not heroes (5, Insightful)

JavaBear (9872) | about 6 months ago | (#47031259)

These people are parasites, and leeches, whose evasion is helping to drive UP the cost for everybody else.
Public transportation is en expensive service, mostly subsidized through taxes, these hypocritical parasites help make it that much more expensive for everybody else.

I hope the Swedish authorities take an idea that was floated when the same was about to happen in Denmark.

The fines the "organization" pay, are to be treated as taxable income.

Re:Not heroes (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47031443)

"these hypocritical parasites..."
you've just described most of scandinavia-
(note: I live in scandinavia)

Re:Not heroes (1)

Zironic (1112127) | about 6 months ago | (#47031523)

Eh, at 3% of the fares as estimated by the transit authority they're a negliable amount of the commuters and probably cost vastly less then the measures put in place to attempt to 'stop' them.

Besides as noted in the article evasion itself is not the point, they're a semi-political movement that thinks that public transport should be 100% public funded rather then as is 50% which is why they're against false tickets.

Re:Not heroes (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47031773)

Besides as noted in the article evasion itself is not the point, they're a semi-political movement that thinks that public transport should be 100% public funded rather then as is 50% which is why they're against false tickets.

The core of planka.nu might be a semi-political movement, but most members are not, at least not believing in how politics work in a democracy. They are just freeloaders wanting to be able to travel for free in the public transit, not caring how it works or who pays.

Having said that, even the core of planka.nu does very little towards reaching the goal of a totally publicly funded public transit, they mostly use stickers to illegally promote their website and not much more to change public opinion or doing anything that gets them closer to their goal.

As for the "turnstile jumpers", I have stopped everyone trying to sneak through the gates by pressing themselves up against my back. I just stopped dead in my tracks, turned around shoving them back and told them to stop using me as a free entry pass and that I didn't enjoy some unknown person squeezing up close to me. Some got aggressive, but I didn't back down and eventually they all turned back and waited for another "victim". Of course they didn't have to wait long for another person to come along, one with a little less spine. If more people were opposing these practices this wouldn't be a problem, but Swedes are terribly scared of conflict, so it is relatively easy for them to continue. With current laws only security guards can do something IF they catch them red-handed, the civil employees cannot do much.

I pay my taxes, I pay for my public transit pass and I would expect every other upright citizen to do the same. These guys have no real excuse, everyone I have come across have better label clothes than I and a more expensive phone than I. It is pure egoism and nothing else.

Re:Not heroes (1)

rasmusbr (2186518) | about 6 months ago | (#47031533)

These people are parasites, and leeches, whose evasion is helping to drive UP the cost for everybody else.
Public transportation is en expensive service, mostly subsidized through taxes, these hypocritical parasites help make it that much more expensive for everybody else.

I hope the Swedish authorities take an idea that was floated when the same was about to happen in Denmark.

The fines the "organization" pay, are to be treated as taxable income.

And give them free advertisement in the form of news coverage and other attention?

Planka.nu state that they have 600 members in the Stockholm metro area. That's about 0.03% of the population and perhaps 0.1% of daily transit travelers. They also state that all of their surplus revenue goes towards flyers and stickers and other means of spreading the word. Advertisement is hard, especially when you're barred from using billboards and other conventional outlets.

Re:Not heroes (1)

Zironic (1112127) | about 6 months ago | (#47031613)

I imagine that most people in the Stockholm metro area know about Planka and many of them support them philosophically. The reason their members are so few is because it's a hassle to always have to bypass the entrence and it can be kinda embarrasing to get caught.

Re:Not heroes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47031563)

Easier just to make it so if you get caught enough times you don't just pay a fine, you go to jail.

Re:Not heroes (1)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | about 6 months ago | (#47031687)

Keep in mind three things:

1) According to the article this is 3% of fares.

2) According to the article most of the group members are High School Age.

3) This is Sweden. Joining a Union devoted to publicly pressuring the government to reduce fares is precisely the kind of thing every patriotic Swede wants his 16-year-old doing, because a lot of things a rebellious 16-year-old considers doing are much worse for society then free subway rides.

Re:Not heroes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47031769)

Make non taxpayers pay, the problem is, these systems are funded by TAX PAYERS, and then to use them, TAX PAYERS HAVE TO PAY AGAIN, wheras, a NON TAX PAYER (TOURIST Et al.) ONlY PAY ONCE, FOR A TICKET. A tax payer pays TWICE, in TAXES and TICKETS.

Make tourists pay more, tax payers pay less.

Why bother to pay the membership fee? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47031277)

If they were truly deadbeats and believed fees are optional or too high, they would also scoff at paying the absurd $15 monthly fee to the group, because that should be free as well.

It's like forming an "Apathy Anonymous" group and expecting everyone to show up for the weekly meetings.

Transit is cheap ... (1)

MacTO (1161105) | about 6 months ago | (#47031315)

At $120/month for a pass, you're probably paying less to use transit than you would pay for gasoline. On top of that, you don't have the expense of purchasing and maintaining a car, insurance, or parking.

On top of that, people who cannot drive or cannot afford to drive usually have access to cheaper bus passes. Those who live in walkable or bikeable communities have the choice of paying a single fare when they need the service, rather than having to deal with the full expense of car ownership for the few times that you do need a car. (Well, I suppose there are taxies and rentals -- but those aren't cheap either.)

Re:Transit is cheap ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47031639)

Big cities like Stockholm are probably different, but here in Lund the bus ticket just for Lund city is just below $70/month.
You get over 30l of gasoline for that, which in my case is good for almost 600 km, which translates to 60 days of driving to work.
In addition, I save money every day I take the bike, which I don't if I go by bus (paying for single tickets is too expensive to be a real consideration). In addition, travel time by car is 8 minutes, by bike 15 minutes and by bus 30 - 50 minutes since I have to switch busses and still walk quite a bit (during the day, in the late evening or early weekends going by bus becomes walking, 50 minutes).
In June and July there are even half as many busses going, which will increase travel times further.
Prices btw. are after public transport has been subsidized with about 50%.
I actually like taking public transport however a lot of people have the same experience as me: Even half of the real price is 2x the gasoline cost (admittedly, assumes that you want or have a car anyway) and it's a huge waste of time. A horrible deal in other words.

Re:Transit is cheap ... (1)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | about 6 months ago | (#47031759)

According to the article most of the group's members are under the age of 18. In the unlikely event mom bought them a car, instead of simply insisting they bike everywhere, they would not be paying any of the bills.

And let's be honest here, if you're under-18 in Sweden this is an incredibly patriotic form of teenage rebellion. You've joined a collective, which responsibly manages it's finances (it turns a fucking profit!), and has the political goal of increasing equality by reducing subway fares poor people pay and increasing taxes rich people pay.

I strongly suspect the PM could crush this little group with a fairly minimal effort (ie: lend the transit system 200 cops for three months and fine the shit out of fare-dodgers, and then leave a couple dozen cops with the transit authority permanently), and he doesn't because he's got three kids himself.

Easy to fix (5, Interesting)

WhiteZook (3647835) | about 6 months ago | (#47031379)

  1. 1. The authorities should sign up their own staff, and issue them fake fines (1-2 per month).
  2. 2. Send the fake fines to Planka.nu
  3. 3. Collect underpants
  4. 4. Get reimbursed for hundreds of dollars, while only paying $15 a month: profit!

Re:Easy to fix (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47031791)

  1. 1. The authorities should sign up their own staff, and issue them fake fines (1-2 per month).
  2. 2. Send the fake fines to Planka.nu
  3. 3. Collect underpants
  4. 4. Get reimbursed for hundreds of dollars, while only paying $15 a month: profit!

I like it - it's an interesting idea, and the kind of lateral thinking a good programmer can exhibit.

Re:Easy to fix (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47031821)

Yes, exactly. Two can play this game.

Re:Easy to fix (1)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | about 6 months ago | (#47031839)

That's more clever then my proposal of 200 cops writing tickets, but it's got the disadvantage that the group would probably figure out what was going on quite quickly, and throw the staff out. If they're really keeping halof the revenue they earn as profit then they've got a cushion, so clever moves they can counter by being more clever aren't a long-term solution.

Moreover it ignores the fact that most members of this groups aren't 40-something stockbrokers, they're High School kids.

Can you think of any form of teenage rebellion more Swedish then creating a non-profit union/insurer-type organization specifically to protest that taxes on the rich should be raised by dodging mass transit fares?

friSt sTop (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47031403)

An3 promotes our [goat.cx]

dodgy (1)

HellYeahAutomaton (815542) | about 6 months ago | (#47031635)

If you can dodge a fare, you can dodge a ball!

Third World scum, more like, not 'Swedish'... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47031681)

Sweden has been completely destroyed by third world SCUM. Anybody care to prove me wrong?

Easy solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47031705)

Just double the fine for each offense. It'll soon become cheaper to simply pay up like everyone else, and the parasites will disappear.

LOL, members pay a fee?? (1)

p51d007 (656414) | about 6 months ago | (#47031707)

They pay a fee to be a member, but then think it is ok to NOT pay the transit fare?

Turnstile Jumping and Broken Windows Policing (2)

Nova Express (100383) | about 6 months ago | (#47031753)

New York City's crackdown on turnstile jumping was part of the Giuliani Administrations implementation of broken window policing. But reducing low level disorder and misdemeanor crime, broken windows policing makes the law abiding residents of neighborhoods feel safer.

"A government’s inability to control even a minor crime [city-journal.org] like graffiti signaled to citizens that it certainly couldn’t handle more serious ones."

Stopping and arresting turnstile jumpers in particular frequently turned up wanted felons, parole violators, and gangbangers with illegal guns. Arresting them not only took criminal predators, off the streets, it encouraged other criminals to leave their guns at home for fear of having them confiscated. This further reduced their abilities to commit criminal acts in places like subways, and reduced criminal gun incidents when members of rival gangs would bump into each other.

Forget barriers - just a punative penalty fare (1)

Boss, Pointy Haired (537010) | about 6 months ago | (#47031843)

If I ran a transport network, I wouldn't bother with barriers - just occasional ticket checks / smart card validation and upon failure it's a £1,000,000 fine.

A business proposition (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47031865)

Dear Mister Tengblad who subscribes to planka.nu:

I represent an organization called fivefingerdiscount.com which I believe will interest you, since it is similar to the one you are already a member of. Basically, you pay us a monthly fee, and then you have to steal something every time you visit a convenience store. It can be a chocolate bar, a magazine, a pack of gum, anything! Let's face it, the price of those goods is just too high nowadays. If you are caught, we will pay your fine. If not, you can enjoy your five finger discount knowing you've played your part in sticking it to the man.

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