A group called Swipe Back! is encouraging unlimited metrocard users to swipe people into the subway on their way out to boycott fare increases.
A lot of people with ulimited metrocards already swipe strangers in every day because it’s a Good and Nice Thing To Do that costs $0 and is totally legal (it’s only illegal if you charge money for a swipe).
I do wish there was an easier way to show that you’re willing to do it, though. Swipe Back! has made buttons, but I was thinking more like a very long bright blue curly ribbon attached to your card. A party hat. A golden scarf. A secret hand signal. A tiny turtle pin on your lapel. Purple shoes. Patting your head and rubbing your belly simultaneously while exiting the subway. Or the old standby, trying to make eye contact with people loitering by the exits, in hopes they pick up on what I’m putting down and … ask me to swipe them in. (This has worked one time.)
Check out Cord Jefferson on the the importance and value of public transit as, if not an equalizer, a way to expose us to different people than we normally encounter, particularly the homeless: “One bad thing about LA, I think, is how easy it is to avoid homeless people … At least New York—being a place of walking and public transit—makes you regularly confront the fact that there are homeless people all around, and that many of them are not receiving adequate care.”