dmlaenker Woo free bus ride! THANKS #wmata AND YOUR DYSFUNCTIONAL SMARTRIP INFRASTRUCTURE. #metrofail
In our own, highly scientific poll, more than half of those who answered said they'd had a free ride in the past month. Even if the majority are lying and only 10 percent actually got free rides, that would be a considerable revenue leak in a "cash strapped" agency. Metro estimates that bus ridership is about 450,000 a day. Do the math.
You'd think WMATA would want to plug that leak, especially when it's considering fare hikes and service cuts.
We asked Metro a while ago to provide statistics about broken fareboxes, but they only said they didn't send buses out with broken fareboxes.
After hearing more and more cases of free rides, we went back to Metro to ask if they keep any kind of data about how much money they lose over things like this.
They said they don't keep the data. "This is data that would be helpful to us," they said, but they are, like many other things, "examining" tracking it.
And reader Russ offers up another example of easy money escaping WMATA:
I park at the Grosvenor station each day. Some days, especially if I am running a little late, the parking lot is full. I usually will drive in at that point, but some days, I will park in the "reserved".Other items:
About 50 percent of the time, I will get a $50 from the Metro police. This has happened three times in about as many years.
The best part about it? The tickets are meaningless. In theory, I should be able to go onto the Montgomery County Web site to pay them off, where they are supposed to appear within 24 hours. However, and I think this is a lot more than a coincidence involving me, the tickets never appear. I can search using my tag number or the ticket number, and neither ever shows up.
So, not that I WANT to get charged the $50 for the ticket, but here is yet another example of Metro employees not following through on their job, and, losing a revenue stream because of it.
TOC monitors to begin safety checks (WaPo)