Thursday, February 26, 2009

Free Rides Go Unclaimed

ALERT: Yellow Line service outage this weekend

This was a funny little piece in the Examiner. Apparently, some 2,800 former Metro bigwigs and their hangers on have the right, in perpetuity, to ride the Metro for free.

"As of this week, Metro said it had 2,796 users of such special farecards on file, including 2,739 retirees, 28 former executives and 29 former board members ... The transit agency does not track how much the free ride-for-life cards cost the system in lost revenue. But if a quarter of those who have the cards used them for five Metrorail round trips a month during rush hour, that could cost as much as $377,460 a year in lost revenue. If all used the cards each weekday, that could mean more than $6 million."
What's hilarious and telling is the response from Metro and a former employee to has the lifetime perk.
Metro: "Just because they get them doesn’t mean they use them." The former board member says she's used the perk two times in the past year and a half.
Now we already know that many Metro big shots don't even use the system, and now we know former honchos don't either.
If Metro is not good enough for them even when they get to ride it for free, why should we accept a system riddled with as many problems as this one?

In other news:
Live Blogging from the Metro Board meeting this morning (WaPo)
Extending Metro to Fredericksburg? (scroll down)
DC to bear the brunt of Metro's service "tweaks?" (GGW)
Transit benefit increase (WaPo)
Another analytical GGW piece on the all you can ride concept
Photo: John Morris


Anonymous said...

A lot of companies make their executives use their products so 1) they better understand what they're talking about and 2) so they can suggest improvements. I think Metro executives not using Metro is key to the reason it's such a crap system.

Anonymous said...

Free rides for employees, retirees and Board members is a pretty common transit industry practice.

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