STM, media need to learn Bullying 101

The local media is busy rewriting this STM press release (or republishing this Presse Canadienne piece with its incorrect web address) about how students will be forced to use the new Opus smart card as a transit pass this fall. The card, valid for two years, will have a picture and personally identifiable information on the back.

For some bizarre reason, the STM started this campaign without updating its web page on the card so that students could learn more about the new system.

One of the claims by the STM, as highlighted by The Gazette, is that the card will eliminate fraud and, hence, taxing by fellow students. The way this will be done, it suggests, is by revoking the card’s credentials once it’s reported stolen.

Let me repeat that: Once it’s reported stolen (This is assuming, of course, that the student in question knows the serial number of the stolen card or the STM can search a large database of personal information to find it).

Now, to those who have never been bullied in high school: What do you think is going to happen after someone has taxed you for your transit pass and you report it stolen?

Of course, the fact that ID and pass are on the same card, and that ID should be checked any time the card is used, should automatically make it impossible to use the card of anyone but an identical twin. But, as we all know, verification of student ID cards is hardly 100 per cent.

9 thoughts on “STM, media need to learn Bullying 101

  1. Christelle

    Hmm? What is going to happen (after someone has taxed you for your transit pass and you report it stolen)?? I don’t know :P

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  2. Sam

    I’d generally think that the whole point of attaching one’s name to the card, beyond being able to verify students’ credentials, would be the ability to look up users by name. If they’re using virtually any decent database setup, this should be essentially trivial. I doubt they’d make anyone ever memorize a card serial number.

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  3. Fagstein Post author

    Hmm? What is going to happen (after someone has taxed you for your transit pass and you report it stolen)?? I don’t know :P

    The same thing that happens when you get taxed for your lunch money and you report it to the police/principal/teacher/parents as a theft. They’re going to come back and beat you up for snitching.

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  4. Christelle

    Oh right… But if you just report it stolen, without saying who took it :P Shouldn’t that be fine? :)

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  5. James Lawlor

    The difference with this one is that if it is lost/stolen/taxed, you have a financial incentive to report it.

    By reporting it stolen, you will be able to get the old one de-activated, and a new one issued at no cost (perhaps they will charge you the cost of the card – currently $3.50).
    This will also be possible for the adult cards as well as long as you don’t have the anonymous version (they currently all are this type – but this will change).

    So on the first of the month, the ‘taxer’ will get a new card and on the 2nd of the month won’t be able to use it. But, the ‘taxee’ still has to snitch to get their money back.

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  6. wolfa

    Of course, the whole thing is theoretical, because you cannot actually register your pass at this point, and when I asked the STM about it, they estimated it wouldn’t be available until Oct/Nov. If you

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  7. Quizzical

    This is, believe it or not, the first time I have seen the word “tax” used this way… Is this a Montreal English thing? I imagine this means getting something from someone by threatening them?

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  8. Fagstein Post author

    Oh right… But if you just report it stolen, without saying who took it :P Shouldn’t that be fine? :)

    Either way he’ll still notice that the card doesn’t work (and/or has been confiscated). It won’t take a rocket scientist to conclude that the student in question must have reported it stolen.

    Reply

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