Too Frugal, Too Risky
Everyone knows I love using the Metro. I even have a page tracking my savings! I’ve got my work commute down to a science, but there’s one thing very odd about the LA Metro. It is heavily based on the honor system. When things are based on the honor system, questions arise.
Every other mass transit system I have used has paid entry gates. The only way you are getting a ride is if you pay, insert your ticket or token, and then you get to board the train. LA has open gates with signs demanding a paid ticket and the occasional guard asking to see your fare. Was this improper planning? LA being cheap? Here’s another example of taking time to plan. We’re stuck with this system because it’s going to be a pretty penny to overhaul the entire system’s entry gates. I digress. If you are caught, you will get a citation and may even be put on probation like one of the American Idol contestants.
There are times when I have to get to another part of the city, but it is only a few blocks away. It’s too far to walk, but for $1.50 it seems pretty steep. All my months of riding, I’ve only seen the guards a handful of times. Should I take a chance? Save my $1.50. Get a free ride? It doesn’t really matter in the big picture right?
Then a little voice whispers in my head. “You’re breaking the law. My fare helps maintain the system. Do I really need a citation? Do I need probation? Do I need the humiliation?” I shake off my initial thoughts and gladly pay my fare. It’s nice to save money, but in this case, being too frugal is risky business to me.
Are there other times when being too frugal can cost you?