Green Economics How many Los Angeleans are stealing subway fare?

The city of Los Angeles is grossly underestimating how many citizens don't pay for public transportation, and it's affecting the city's bottom line.

By , Guest blogger

Ric Francis/AP/File

Forget the 1% and OWS.  The new key number in life for the people of Los Angeles is 3%.   In Los Angeles, it is easy to evade paying for riding the subway.  Turnstiles are unlocked, security is lax and commuters often hop over or pass through undetected (source).    Why has the LA Metro chosen not to invest in the basic public transit infrastructure (such as monitoring turnstiles) that New Yorkers take for granted?  The answer is, as reported by the LA Times, that the Metro Authority assumes that only 3% of riders are evading fares!   Talk about the honor code!  Gary Becker wouldn't be surprised to find that there is more crime where there is less punishment.   The honor code is honorable but unreasonable.