2007: THE YEAR THAT TRUST DIED….The Los Angeles metro works on an honor system, similar to many European transit systems. There are no turnstiles, but transit cops randomly check trains, and if you’re caught without a ticket you incur a hefty fine. The MTA is now planning to switch to ticket gates, which generates this comment from LA’s premier pop sociologist:

“Unfortunately, as L.A. gets to be more urban, it has these breakdowns of trust that happen in big cities,” said Joel Kotkin, a Los Angeles resident and author of “The City: A Global History.” “It’s the flip side of all the good things.”

Where do people come up with this stuff? Is Kotkin seriously trying to suggest that the second largest city in the country was a friendly, trusting little community in 1993 and that all suddenly imploded over the past 14 years? That doesn’t even begin to make any sense.

Anyway, it’s too bad they’re getting rid of the honor system. They say that turnstiles will bring in more money, but it seems like you could accomplish the same thing by increasing the number of fare monitors. So why not do that instead?

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