Tuesday, April 7, 2009
We just got a press release from Metro about how they are "prepared to stay open an extra hour on Thursday night (April 9) to accommodate the crowds attending the NCAA Frozen Four ice hockey tournament at the Verizon Center if the second game of the night ends late." We called Metro's media relations, and the person answering knew nothing about this, but surprisingly went to find out. The cost of doing this is $27,000.
UPDATE: After being told once that the jurisdictions pay the $27,000, Metro now says the Verizon Center will pay. When pressed, the Metro spokesperson would not say if the amount would cover the entire cost--wages, power, wear and tear--of keeping the system open for an hour and grew annoyed that we'd even question it. You know what Metro? Attitudes like that are pervasive in your system and don't help your image.
Another item of interest was in the DC Examiner about how "Metro is seeking an emergency infusion of $6.5 million for its MetroAccess service, the latest shortfall for the fastest-growing yet priciest arm of the transit system."
MetroAccess is a shared ride transit service for people who are unable to use fixed-route public transportation due to disability.
Metro is legally bound to provide this service because of the Americans with Disabilities Act, but they're only required, the article states, to serve an area three quarters of a mile from the Metro system. As you can see here, MetroAccess serves a considerably wider radius.
The article says "the average trip costs the agency $38, according to Metro, far more than the base fare of $2.50 for each ride."
Are these cases of money down the toilet are are they legitimate services Metro should offer?