Scofflaw Insurance For Subway Freeloaders

If you're caught jumping the turnstiles or sneaking through the exit barriers on the Paris Metro, you'll face fines up to $60. Sacrebleu!

Subway freeloaders have banded together to come up with the perfectly logical solution: a scofflaw insurance fund!

The answer, here in the land that gave the world the motto "All for one, one for all," is as typically French as it is ingenious: They've banded together to set up what are, essentially, scofflaw insurance funds, seasoned with a dollop of revolutionary fervor.

For about $8.50 a month, those who join one of these raffish-sounding mutuelles des fraudeurs can rest easy knowing that, if they get busted for refusing to be so bourgeois as to pay to use public transit, the fund will cough up the money for the fine.

It provides a little peace of mind, however ethically dubious, in a time of economic uncertainty.

But for many of these fraudeurs, cheating the system and forming a co-op isn't just about saving money; it's about striking a blow against a capitalist state that favors the haves over the have-nots. Fare dodgers of the world, unite!

Henry Chu of LA Times Column One has the story: Link


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Actually, Mektoub, metro and train fares are different for adults and children, so it wouldn't be close to $730.

Plus your example is pretty exagerated: how many kids need a monthly subscription for 6 zones? Some teenagers could need one, but they get special discounts.
There are discounts for students and some departments actually pay half of the subscription for them. It's not as expensive as you're claiming.

I've actually met a few guys who are part of the Mutuelle des Fraudeurs. Surprize: not one lived in the suburbs. All of them had plenty enough money to pay for the train fares. For the most part, they were self-inflated bobos who explained that "it was an act of rebellion against the system". Except for one guy, who explained to me he didn't want to pay for the pass because "the government uses it to spy on you".

So there you go: buying 1501€ Wayfarer glasses without lenses = awesome; paying for your train = square.
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Sweden has something like it. You pay a small sum annually and they'll pay any and all fines you might get for not having a ticket in Gothenburg (possibly other places, too, but I don't know for sure).

While I don't agree with it in the case of public transportation, I believe that, in general, public disobedience like this is very important for progress. As long as nobody is getting hurt but an outdated system in dire need of change, of course.
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Don't know about France, but here in the UK setting up such a fund could well land you in jail. You'd be looking at a charge of Conpiracy to Defraud or perhaps Conspiracy to Commit Theft or similar.
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