Adventures in government incompetence, L.A. County edition

It takes a special kind of genius to burn $50,000,000 in a failed effort to save $13,000,000:

After spending more than $154 million for a system of locking turnstiles and electronic payment cards for the county transit system, officials are discovering that at least a third of the money may have been wasted because they can’t use the new devices as planned.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority placed the locking turnstiles at subway and light-rail stations to stop fare scofflaws and end what had previously been an honor-based system.

Installed under a $46 million contract, the turnstiles were predicted to save $13 a million a year in lost revenue and reduced fare inspector costs.

But the turnstiles can’t be configured to lock until Metro fully converts to a new electronic Transit Access Pass system – and that is proving nearly impossible.

The stalled effort has raised questions from critics about whether the turnstile contract has turned into a costly boondoggle.

“Raised questions?” I should think pitchforks and torches are in order. The subway itself was a grandiose and monstrous waste of money, do we have to keep throwing ever more into its tunnels?

(via Mayor Sam’s Sister City)

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