May 23, 2010

Folded transfers

While boarding a Barton bus this afternoon, my folded transfer slip refused to cooperate by straightening for display to the operator of the bus.
The operator looked at me with a smile, nothing nefarious, as I tried to display the transfer.
At that moment, I could not help but remember what it was like being a teenager and getting kicked off buses for committing the infraction of “folding a transfer.”
Transfer slips used to have a statement on the back of them which read “Folded and mutilated transfers are not valid”
Of course, this meant drivers who discriminated against teenagers were fully justified – in the eyes of the City – in kicking teenagers off of buses for having folded their transfer. This created a dilemma for me and other teenage riders – we could take our chances that our transfer would rip by not folding it, or we could take our chances that an operator would not accept it because we cleanly folded our transfer to prevent it from ripping.
Today, after I finally showed the operator my transfer, I flipped it over and read the fine print. It is now acceptable to fold a transfer slip.