This story was originally published by The Atlantic and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.
About 500 subway riders in Stockholm have an ingenious scheme to avoid paying fares. The group calls itself Planka.nu (rough translation: “Dodge the fare now”), and they’ve banded together because getting caught free-riding comes with a steep $120 penalty. Here’s how it works: Each member pays about $12 in monthly dues — which beats paying for a $35 weekly pass — and the resulting pool of cash more than covers any fines members incur. As an informal insurance group, Planka.nu has proven both successful and financially solvent. “We could build a Berlin Wall in the metro stations,” a spokesperson for Stockholm’s public-transit system told The New York Times. “They would still try to find ways to dodge.”
These Swedes’ strategy might seem like classic corner-cutting, but there’s a dreamy political tint to their actions. Like similar groups before them — Paris’s Métro-cheating “fraudster mutuals,” for example — they argue that public transportation should be free, just like education, parks, and... Read more