Friday, March 6, 2009
As is often the case with Metro trains, the Board finds itself stuck in a tunnel with no apparent way out.
The The Washington Post is reporting that Metro is delaying a decision about how it will close a nearly $29 million budget gap because some jurisdictions weren't able to reach a consensus about service cuts. Metro officials will try again next Thursday.
Meanwhile the suggestion of charging for parking on the weekends seems to be withering on the vine. According to the Post, "a Metro staff analysis found that charging as little as $1 for weekend parking would reduce ridership and produce a net revenue loss." Way to think that one through.
The Board is deadlocked.
"Nobody wants to cut any stuff," said Chris Zimmerman, who represents Virginia. If subsidies are not increasing and "nobody wants to talk about anything on the fare increase, what the heck is left?"
But heck. There's a light at the end of the tunnel that will save us all. The report said Metro is considering "a deal with Redbox, the automated DVD rental company, to install kiosks at Metrorail stations." Here's the kicker: "He did not know how much revenue such an arrangement might generate."
So there you have it folks. Metro may depend on DVD rentals, a quickly dying industry, to save it. Good luck!