This post originally appeared on Orphan Road.

I have to admit, this shocks me, and makes me very happy:

Over the past year, Metro has conducted random fare inspections on MetroRail and found that 99 percent of its patrons are paying the full fare. In other words, only 1 percent of rail riders violate Metro’s fare rules.

This rather remarkable stat-istic was further validated June 27 when Metro police “blitzed” the rail line with 20 officers inspecting fares over a 20 hour period. Roughly 25,000 riders were checked. Of that number, only 282 had to be issued fines up to $200 or given a warning for failure to pay.

I know that Europe relies heavily on the honor system, but this is the first I’ve heard of a U.S. transit system using it so successfully. If it can work in Texas…

Oh yeah, and if you build it…

On an average weekday, the 7.5 mile Red Line carries between 40,000 and 50,000 area residents and visitors. This outstanding usage was not projected until the year 2020. For special events, like the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, single-day ridership has exceeded 64,000. These numbers add up to the indisputable fact that Houston’s rail line is easy to use and has earned the distinction of being the most successful light-rail line ever built in the United States.

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