Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Another Trial Balloon

There certainly are appropriate times to float trial balloons, especially if you're going to be eventually giving some bad news, but Metro seems to think it's the smart thing to float out every negative idea for saving money given the dire financial straits in which it finds itself. First it was cutting service, and now it's charging for parking on the weekends.

We think the problem with this PR approach is that now everyone is going to remember the uproar, further deepening the negative image Metro has among so many, particularly those who would pony up real money, like say the Virginia legislature. Even if tomorrow someone were to magically put Metro's books back in the black, many people would still be irate that it was even considering service cutbacks or charging for parking on the weekends.

At least Metro seems aware that charging for parking could deter many from even riding. How much revenue would really be generated from charging for parking on the weekends?

Do you think these "nightmare scenario" trial balloons help or hurt Metro?


Anonymous said...

HURT. Many people think it's a joke anyway and don't believe much of what it says

Anonymous said...

I think stories like these make metro seem incompetant.

restaurantrefugee said...

I really don't think this is a mess entirely of Metro's making. When reporters ask what is being done to combat the budget deficit and Metro responds with some version of "we are considering a number of actions to cut costs raise revenue." The answer to the follow-up question of "what's under consideration?" gets more ink than it should when, in fact, everything reasonable should be at least considered.

Anonymous said...

Putting all this out in the media has the effect of making people think they've done it anyway. The sour taste lingers. Good job for pointing that out. Now only if others would learn that death by a thousand cuts is no way to go out.

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