Friday, March 18, 2011

Who's for Unlimited-Use Transit Passes?

After all the fare increases, "peak of the peak" fares and threats of service cuts, unlimited-use transit passes are arguably good for riders and good for Metro.

Furthermore, implementing them is something Metro just might be able to pull off.

According to a website advocating passes:
Many transit agencies like Boston's MBTA, London's Tube, Philadelphia's SEPTA, Atlanta's MARTA, and Chicago's CTA offer unlimited-use transit passes for about the same price as a regular, twice per weekday commute. Those passes work on both rail and bus.

Now that Metro has upgraded most riders from paper farecards, tokens and transfer slips to the electronic Smartcard, it's time for Metro to offer convenient, flexible unlimited-use transit passes for all riders with one simple offer: "Pay for your commute and get your off-peak use free."

By offering riders unlimited use for the price of their commute, riders will be encouraged to ride off-peak more, filling seats that would otherwise go empty. This will encourage people to ride transit instead of taking their cars for discretionary trips, reducing emissions and congestion. It will also mean a more steady, monthly stream of revenue for Metro that won't be affected by snow days and other interruptions in transit service.
What do people think about bringing this kind of pass to Metro?

Michael Perkins has a website, a Twitter feed and a Facebook page to explain and promote the concept, which has been getting endorsements left and right.
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