WELCOME PAY-AS-YOU-ENTERS. ~ Conductors on New Cars Worry No Longer Over "Dead Beats."

November 16, 1908

Conductors on New Cars Worry No
Longer Over "Dead Beats."

Several hundred persons "beat their way" on the street cars every day in Kansas City. Practically every conductor on the lines welcomes the "pay-as-you-enter cars," for it means that he will miss no more fares.

Under the system which prevails on most lines at the present time, it is almost impossible for a conductor to collect all the nickels during certain periods of the day. According to the statement of old conductors, there are many who endeavor to avoid payment of fare at almost "any old time." There is not a conductor with a few months' experience who has not a certain number of passengers "spotted" and from these he always makes it a point to collect the fare early.

Women, and well dressed women at that, are the ones who will avoid payment if they possibly can. Men, as a general rule, take the nickels from their pockets before sitting down, or if compelled to remain standing, have their fares ready when the conductor passes. Working girls are also equally prepared and it is generally the well dressed woman who has been shopping who looks out the window, admiring the landscape, and has to fumble around through her purse for the necessary car fare. Unless directly approached by the conductor, this class will never make a move to make payment of the fare.

The new conductor is many times "bluffed" by this mode of procedure and hesitates to come out boldly and ask "fares, please," but the old fellow with the stars on his coat simply stops in front of the would-be innocent and asks for the nickel. To him it is a matter of business and modesty does not play an important part when it comes to doing his duty.

Conductors have various ways of avoiding this, however. Some of them collect the fare immediately upon the entrance of the passenger, others make careful note of those not disposed to be ready to pay promptly and simply stand in front of them until the coin is forthcoming. One conductor who is on one of the busiest lines in the city waits until his car has passed the shopping district of the city before trying to collect the fares. He then goes through the entire car and all must pay, because no fares have previously been collected.