This morning I was given a fine of $205 (two hundred and five dollars), one hundred and fifty for my transgression, fifty-five for processing, by the friendly officers of my local public transit authority, the STM.
Clearly, given the enormous amount of money required by the fine, I must have committed a formidable crime, or, if I did not commit a crime as such I surely in some way caused them a great problem, grievance and financial loss. For them to be willing to charge a student, who’s bi-weekly paycheck rarely totals $300, a two hundred and five dollar fine, he or she would surely have to be the author of some astronomically malevolent transgression against all that is holy, public, and transitory.
To clarify the extent of my crime I’d like to outline some other crimes, and their associated fines. (I assume “costs” is the fifty-five dollar processing fee)
-$75 plus costs- Riding a bicycle in a metro station.
-$75 plus costs- Delaying a train’s departure.
-$75 plus costs- Damaging a vehicle or building or defacing it with graffiti.
(Semi-questionable as a $125 fine, but all are either directly destructive, or dangerous for those around you)
-$100 plus costs- Hanging on to the exterior of an STCUM vehicle.
-$100 plus costs- Walking on the tracks in a tunnel.
(Both highly dangerous for the individual, as well as highly condusive to slowing down movement within the system, and as such causative of financial loss for the transit authority)
Taking all these into consideration a fine of one hundred and fifty dollars plus fifty-five dollars in “costs” would unquestionably require an act like say:
-$150 plus costs- Attacking a transit employee or customer.
-$150 plus costs- Theft in a metro station.
-$150 plus costs- Explicit destruction of transit property.
My crime (as outlined on the STM’s helpful “urban transit myths” page):
-$150 plus costs- Not having the STCUM’s reduced fare ID card when paying a reduced fare.
An eight-dollar bus photo I.D. that proves that you are a student (despite the absolute abundance of student cards from institutions) is the reason that I will have no money for the next two weeks. When approached by the security officers it was not denied that I was in fact a student, nor whether I was an honest to goodness resident of greater Montreal. It was merely ascertained that I not acquired their pass and I was fined accordingly. 150$, in fact, seems to be the maximum fine possible, including straight-out theft of service by not paying fare (jumping the turnstiles). Despite my status as a student, living in Montreal, under the age of 24, who had paid the 31$ for a pass for students, I was clearly in violation of the most sacred code of such institutions: DONT FUCK WITH OUR BUROCRACY. I had skimped on the paper work and am now paying two hundred and five dollars for the privilege.