Thursday, August 26, 2010

A Lonely Voice?

We have a contrarian. Anyone else share this point of view?

From Eric C.:

I doubt you'll publish this because it defends Metro, but here goes nothing.

I don't get the uproar over Metro's SmarTrip changes.

First of all, too many seem to brush aside the notion that people will try to game the system, say, by buying a card for $2.50, adding a small amount to it, then taking a trip that costs, $4, and then dumping the negative balanced card, for example. Never underestimate the lengths to which people will go for a "deal."

But let's say there really aren't that many people willing to go this far.

There's a simple remedy to this situation. Take some responsibility and DON'T LET YOUR SMARTRIP CARD RUN LOW.

You don't (or shouldn't) with your checking account, so why would you with your SmarTrip?

I assume your SmarTrip card is your principal way to get to your job, so why be lazy and let it get to the point where it would have a negative balance? I don't know, but it seems pretty simple to, say when you get below $10, uh, add some more money. Problem solved. Better yet, problem avoided.

And while I don't monitor exitfare machine usage, I don't think I've ever seen more than one or two people using them ever, and I ride every day. Seems like most people take the time to have the right fare.

Believe me, I hate WMATA's endless BS just as much as the next guy or gal, and this confusing fare system is insane, and yes, the increases are pure robbery, but getting rid of the ability to run a negative balance on your SmarTrip seems, well, smart.

On this issue, I guess the only "wrong" I see was how the press release was written. It certainly appeared as though Metro was hiding something that was, in my mind, perfectly acceptable for them to be completely candid about.

For the first time, I'm on Metro's side on this one.
TBD has Metro's explanation here.
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