Wednesday, April 28, 2010
I see the problems with Metro from a slightly different perspective than that of a regular user, which I'm not.
Yes, Metro has some issues, but underlying it all, I think, is that many of us in the region are basically encouraged to drive by various policies.
I live in Falls Church, and I work in Rosslyn. It's about a 15-minute walk to East Falls Church Metro and then another 5 minutes from the station to my office.
Maybe I should feel guilty, but I never think of Metro as an option unless I'm going for drinks after work. I drive to work almost every day.
Well, there are several reasons.
First of all, gas is cheap. Even though it's creeping up to $3 per gallon here in the Confederacy, gas is a CRAZY "bargain."
Secondly, parking is a deal as well, and it's subsidized by my employer. (Unsuck used to pay about $70 per two-week pay period to park Court House. The daily rate is $10.) And the parking is plentiful. I get a nice spot in a garage every day, and I can use that spot on the weekends as well if I want to go out.
My employer does subsidize Metro by taking out pre-tax dollars from paychecks, but that's not enough savings to tip the scales. The "regular" Metro fare would be $2.25 each way, soon to be more.
There are some people at my office that don't live "in range" of Metrorail--not sure if the bus is viable for them--so it's good they have a place to park, but there are plenty of people who live in Arlington, and yet they still drive to work every day.
Another reason I drive is that traffic is seldom bad, so I'm there much faster than Metro could ever deliver me and without the hassle. Getting on a westbound Orange Line train at Rosslyn is about the worst place to catch it, and frankly, trains are usually pretty full at East Falls Church in the morning.
There is one thing I'm curious about with all of this. I work in a "green" building," which I guess means it follows these specs, but there's nothing I can find that mentions parking, or encouraging the use of public transportation, and for a relatively small building, we have lots o' parking.
Yes, it would be a little cheaper for me to take Metro, and I'd even get a little exercise, but for now, I'm afraid driving wins out nearly every time. I'm sure I'm not the only one in this boat.
Electrical Problem Forces Metro Personnel To Uncouple Train (WUSA)
"Mass transit is the center of American life" Uhhhh (WaPo)
Posted by Unsuck DC Metro at 8:30 AM