Monday, November 12, 2007

Willing to Pay More for Metro?

From the Washington Post's Dr. Gridlock:

Metro Fare Increase Hearings
They're Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, with open houses at 6:30 followed the hearings at 7 p.m. Full details about the locations in the various jurisdictions are on
this page at Metro's Web site. You can also submit a written statement to Metro by as late as Monday, Nov. 26. Mail it to the Office of the Secretary, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, 600 Fifth Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20001. Or you can send it as an e-mail to public-hearing-testimony@wmata.com. Tell them you're commenting on Docket B07-3.
Personally, I'm willing to pay more for Metro if it helps the trains run on time. I'm also a big fan of gearing those increases towards charging people more at rush hour to encourage off-peak commuting.

The Washington Post has decided to take some sort of a populist stand against any Metro fare increase, headlining its story, "Rider Outrage May Lead Metro to Tweak Fares" even before the hearings take place. Of course riders are going to be unhappy with fare increases - who's going to be excited to pay more for something as thrilling as the daily commute?

The question is, will the fare increases prompt riders to stop taking Metro as a protest or for financial reasons? At just 30 to 80 cents for rail riders and zero to 10 cents for bus riders, I can't imagine anyone changing their commuting patterns. The parking changes are definitely more drastic, but it seems like competition for spots is so stiff, the market can bear them.

What do you think? Let us know what you'll be telling Metro about the proposed increases!
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