Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Metro 2015: Peak of the Peak of the Peak of the Peak of the Peak

Original pic

Metro's possible new fare structure apparently necessitates an online calculator.


Fast forward to 2015.

Metro has upgraded their software and is running Windows 98. With the powerful new technology, they're better able to slice and dice ridership data.

No more mere "peak of the peak" fares.

In 2015, if Metro still exists, they'll be able to cut "rush hour" into 15-minute segments over a 5-hour span every morning and afternoon, charging different fares for each. They'll also charge according to what station you enter and exit, with surcharges at "core" stations. So much for the advantages of city living.

The new fare schedule will require the hiring of fare assistants who stand at each machine and consult passengers on how to read the actuary table-like fare charts.

One unforeseen drawback will be that the slot to insert your money or credit card will be covered up by fare tables. Metro will then need to purchase new fare machines, causing further fare hikes.

But back to what Metro is contemplating now.

No other mass transit system we know of does this. Does anyone have confidence that Metro will be able to pull something this complex off? They don't even collect bus fares with any sort of regularity.

Other items:
Senators introduce emergency $2 billion funding bill for mass transit (Examiner)
Should Metro flatten fares? (WAPO)
Track equipment derails, causes major Red Line delays (WMATA)


Anonymous said...

No. No confidence whatsoever. In fact, we'll spend more on accountants who try and decipher what Metro takes in in fares then we actually take in.

Flat fares by zone. And fire the damn Board.

Anonymous said...

Metro seems to have absolutely no concept of the "keep it simple stupid" maxim. Incredible

Anonymous said...

More accountants and more consultants! I am surprised they've not come up with the airline-style extra charge for luggage and children. Eventually they will put in weight meters to check your gross total weight as you go through the faregate. The heavier your lunch, the more you pay. The lack of common sense within Metro decision-makers is downright stunning.

Rich said...

I am wondering who thinks charging already pissed riders and extra $1500 a year (for me at least since I get on and off at bethesda/dupont every day during rush hour) is going to do anything but encourage riders to leave, making the budget situation worse. I am just going to start driving if these fare increase go through.

Anonymous said...

According the fare Calculator, it's going to cost me $15 per week for rail. That's not counting the DASH bus or Metro bus.

I'm going to have to get a car this summer somehow.

Anonymous said...

I'm going to be paying over a grand more a year! Thanks Metro. You SUCK.

Anonymous said...

I just tried the calculator. It is going to cost me nearly $3K extra per year. I don't have that kind of cash and my salary increase will not cover it. I could lose my job. Thanks Metro for the potential bankruptcy of my entire family.

Anonymous said...

I used the Transit Link Card right now so I wonder how this will increase my costs.

Its odd though that the savings Metro is advertising doesn't seem to factor in people deciding to not pay the increase and instead use alternate means. It's no wonder Metro keeps facing greater budget issues if no one is even trying to account for how things like increased fares and poor performance is driving people away.

Anonymous said...

@10:02 and 10:03...that's a grand and $3K *total*, not extra. The calculator's poorly worded.

Kattoon said...

I have one question that I have not seen in this Peak of the Peak fare plan. If I get on before 7:30am, but get off at Metro Center after 7:30am, do I pay Peak of Peak? Is this fare calculated at the time of entry or exit?

Right now, a normal (non delayed) rush hour morning commute to Metro Center takes me about 20-25 min. If the fare is calculated at the time of exit, then I should be able to get on at 6:50am with plenty of time to arrive at Metro Center before 7:30am....UNLESS....Metro has delays.

So, if those delays from Metro cause me to exit after 7:30am do I pay the Peak of the Peak fare? If so, then that's a load of BS and I guarantee you that the metro delays around the Peak of the Peak timeslots will increase. My 20-25 min commute will now take 45 min just so Metro can make more $$$.

Ugh...I wish I could telecommute!

Anonymous said...

Wait, I am wrong. I would have to pay $30 cause it's $3.00 each way. Morning and Evening = $6.00 correct?

Anonymous said...

If Metro's going to charge more during particular short time frames, then it'll be in their best interest to delay people on purpose so that they pay the maximum.

Anonymous said...

To be honest, I don't have any problem with the peak of the peak hours, IF we get something out of it, like 8 car trains at all times during rush hour.

I do think, however, that it's time to start charging the tourists for using Metro. I work on Saturdays, as well, and while it's great to only pay $1.35 to go from Vienna to Foggy Bottom (instead of $4.10), the disparity between the two fare systems is ridiculous. I like to refer to the off-peak and weekend fares as the tourist fares, because that's who benefits from them the most. They'll still use Metro if their fares go up a dollar each way (they do in New York for even more), so why not make them help foot even a small portion of this bill? Come on, Metro. Don't put it all on those of us who have to work for not enough enough money to be tourists ourselves!

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