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edward126 12-13-2009 10:53 AM

Questions for our American friends
When viewing numerous American shows and films there are sometimes two scenarios that occur that I don't understand how they work, they are not life changing events or that important really I guess, just that it bugs the hell out of me.

What does it mean when you ask a shop assistant to 'validate your parking'?

When someone gets onto a bus they just sit down and the bus continues on with it journey. When and who do you actually pay the fare to?

Cheers :confused: from England.

Aubrey 12-13-2009 10:57 AM

I think "Validate your parking" means to stamp the ticket you picked up from the customer car park, to make sure you don't get fined for illegally parking - pretty much the same as happens in Sainsbury's here. (Though I don't drive, so I'm not sure how it works exactly.)

I have no idea about the bus thing. Maybe they have passes, like Oyster cards in London?

karlafong 12-13-2009 04:54 PM

As far as the parking ... in large cities, especially, some stores contract with parking structures so if a customer buys something at the store, they are not charged for their time in the parking garage (we're still a quite car-centered society, if you couldn't tell). When you park in the structure, you are given a receipt or ticket, which you don't pay until you leave (the charge is usually based on how many hours you're parked). So if you buy something, the store "validates your parking." Why the word "validate" came to be used, I don't know.

As far as the bus, I think that's probably more of a film-making shortcut, although some cities do have certain zones where bus travel is free.

surfpunk 12-13-2009 05:28 PM

In regards to the american buses you swipe your fare card at the meter by the bus driver. you can also deposit cash in it. maybe in the movies you have seen they left out that part.

eelcat 12-13-2009 05:45 PM

When the ex and I visited San Francisco in 1990 we decided to catch a bus to Fisherman's Wharf. We were severely lambasted by the driver for not having the correct change and he didn't have change. He begrudgingly let as on for free but luckily a passenger came to our rescue and paid for us with his spare change :)
(Another pointer if you are visiting the US, if the taxi fare is going to be say $20 make sure you have more than the $20 on you!!)

flake56 12-13-2009 05:59 PM


Originally Posted by edward126 (Post 916217)
I take it that you have to make a purchase from a business otherwise you would just be able to walk up to any assistant, get the validation and then bugger off somewhere else for the rest day and not pay a parking fee?

What about the buses?


no actually not, most do but it is not a requirement in most places. they have prepaid for so many spots a year and just use them up.

anklebiter 12-14-2009 03:45 AM

FWIW, I've been here my whole life and never come across parking validation, or fare free busing.Unless it's a free shuttle, or like someone pointed out, a trip that requires a ticket, these things probably aren't as common as the movies would lead you to believe.

electile disfunction 12-14-2009 04:16 AM

Hi edward :confused:,

I have a few answers for North America in general (but not the U.S.A).


Originally Posted by edward126 (Post 916004)
What does it mean when you ask a shop assistant to 'validate your parking'?

Shops and shopping malls that have gated parking lots or paid parking of any kind do not want you to go elsewhere because you parked your vehicle in their lot. So they provide significant discounts to parking costs to customers who purchase something from them--you get your receipt stamped by the teller or get a special ticket from the teller that you present to the parking attendants/computer and your parking fees are discounted when you pay.

Also, many corporations, schools, hospitals, etc. monitor their parking lots and watch out for non-employees parking and taking up expensive spaces. They will also "validate your parking" by providing special stickers or dash cards, or registering your license plates with security personnel, etc. so you do not get fined or towed because you are parking illegally.


Originally Posted by edward126 (Post 916004)
When someone gets onto a bus they just sit down and the bus continues on with its journey. When and who do you actually pay the fare to?

Cheers :confused: from England.

This depends on the civil jurisdiction you are in. In many cities one pays money/prepaid tickets/tokens into a container beside the driver, or you simple show the driver a purchased bus pass that is good for a set amout of time. Also, in some very large centres where some extended-length buses have more than one entry, it is assumed that anyone entering the area of the bus that does not contain the driver has a valid, purchased pass. (Occasionally, officials board these sections to check passengers for valid passes.)

I have noticed that movies and TV shows rarely show the characters presenting any sort of fare or pass--it is not just you who noticed this lack in N.A. buses ... ;)

I hope this helps,

MaxJoker 12-14-2009 10:31 AM

I have a question and it`s been bugging me ever since i saw a movie (So our American friends know what i`m talking about) where this dude (Once again) said he had to hurry up and put on a pair of pants .
But he was already wearing pants and instead put on trousers ???

Hey like what gives you know :confused:

Also i saw another movie where this chick asked for some soda , but wasn`t given any bread simply a carbonated beverage ???

Hey like what gives you know :confused:

Just thought i`d ask a couple of blindingly obvious questions , to fit in with the theme.

Blame peer pressure ok ;):thumbsup:

brianwp 12-14-2009 12:25 PM

Hardee har, GreenSkull, you're so full of it!

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