Fare-dodging is France’s new national sport. Some fare-dodgers have even banded together to create a kind of insurance fund to cover the fines if they’re caught.
Many in France have lax attitudes toward buying tickets for public transport. There’s even a famous photo of former president Jacques Chirac jumping over a subway turnstile many years ago. Meanwhile, some cash-strapped university students are paying seven euros each month into a fund that will cover fines rather than shell out for a subway pass. Fare-dodging is estimated to cost France’s state-owned railway system around 300 million euros a year; for Paris’s public transport system, it’s a record 100 million