Sunday, November 28, 2010

Germany is on the Honor System Redux

I wrote a post a long, long time ago on how the German public transportation system operates on the honor system. You buy and validate tickets, but bus drivers are not checking boarding passengers for valid tickets (you can get on in the back of the bus) and there are no turnstiles in the subway. The honor system is probably the reason that you can go to the bus stop in Germany, look at the bus schedule posted, and know at what minute the bus will arrive. There are random checks and fines if you are found without a valid ticket, but I cannot remember ever being checked in the entire time I lived there -- never on the bus for sure, never on the U-Bahn, maybe once on the S-Bahn (actually, that might have been a Deutsche Bahn train). I assumed that the system works because Germans are just more honest than Americans. Anyway, Sean is in Germany right now and he says that today when the ticket checker came into his S-Bahn car, 4 of 8 people did not have a ticket. There goes that theory.

No comments: