Friday, January 13, 2006

Let's roll back fares to the 1970s

Transit advocates Wednesday urged the CTA's board to roll back the fare restructuring that began Jan. 1.

"I think you should bring back the transfer," said one long-time rider.

"Taking away the other options or making them more expensive is discriminatory," said another rider ... but admitted that she considered it an imposition to even have to walk down the block to obtain a free Chicago Card or recharge it.

I am one of the few people in the city that is affected by neither CTA fare increases nor higher gas costs. That's because--except for cold and rainy days like today--I walk to work. More people should try it. Live too far away? Ride a bike. But I suppose that would be an imposition on Chicagoans' right to cheap transportation.

The advocates' demands for lower fares does make me think, though. Maybe, as a society, we should bargain more. When traveling, especially to poor countries, you're always told to bargain with the merchants, that it's expected and if you don't you'll get ripped off. So, want to buy a Communist-era Chairman Mao watch for your conservative friend back home? Insist that three dollars is too much and offer two.

Imagine doing that here.

"Sorry, Sushi Mike, this bill is outrageous. Tell you what, why don't I pay what you charged three years ago? No?? Why then, you must be racist against all non-Japanese!!"

We can start these tactics with utilities. "Sorry, ComEd, I'll give you half of what you want. Peoples Gas, don't get me started. And this high-speed Internet connection? It's worth maybe $15 a month, not whatever you're asking."

As a service provider, I am willing to live with this bargaining scheme. So, anytime you're unhappy with the quality of one of my posts on this blog, please feel free to write and I'll be happy to refund your money. Just remember, you get what you pay for.

Image from Upper Midwest Cycling


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whenever I pick up a lady of night, we always negotiate the price of specific services to be performed.

12:49 PM  

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