Advent of Fare-Box Has Reduced "Crashing the Gate" to Minimum, According to Harvard Square Subway Guard
"Crashing the gate" no longer provides the financially embarrassed student with free rides on the subway, elevated or surface lines, according to a guard in the Harvard Square subway station. The guard has been working for the railway for the last 15 years, and has worked in all three divisions of the service.
"In the good old days on the surface lines students would crowd, on the cars and bluff the conductor out of his fare, but now in the subway with the fareboxes, they can no longer get away with it much," he said. On days when the crowds were especially large, such as on Saturdays during the football season, according to the former conductor, only about half the fares were collected; but now very few people get by without paying, even in the greatest crowds."
The guard stated that students as a whole are about as honest as the test of the 50,000 people that pass through the station each day. "If they haven't the necessary ten cents they generally manage to borrow it from, some friend," he said.
He declared that most students travel to and from the station just before the theatre hour, presumably going downtown for an evening's entertainment, but that a number pass through the station before and after class hours on their way to and from their homes in Boston. Mid-year examinations have no great effect on the use of the subway by students, for when questioned whether he had noticed any change in the number of students about the latter part of January, the guard said that he had never noticed and particular variation during this period.