Wednesday, September 28, 2011

How Boycotting the Metro Changed My Life

Metro is suing its insurer for "turning its back" after a "a drastic drop in rail ridership and consequential loss of revenue" in the wake of the 2009 Red Line crash, according to the Examiner.

Rack up even yet more legal fees!

I guess this is Metro's odd way of finally acknowledging that people are fed up with the service and looking for other ways to get around. They'd always pegged the ridership fall off on the economy.

I'm curious to hear if others have gone Metro free or have sought out other forms of transport to reduce their Metro use--without resorting to solo driving.

From Chad:
I live in Alexandria, and used to take the Metro to work in northwest DC every day.

The majority of my commute was on the Red Line, which always seems to have the most delays, breakdowns and problems.

One day, about two years ago, while the train was stopped between stations for no apparent reason, I read the announcement about how fares would be rising. This was the time they put the green stickers up on the Metro gates.

I was spending almost $10 a day to get to work for sub-par service (That's putting it nicely). I couldn't handle the stress of not knowing if I would make it to work on time every morning any more.

Frustrated, and even angry, by how much I was paying and would soon have to pay for service that was so poor, something inside of me snapped, and I said to myself 'no more!'

I became determined to find an alternative to Metro.

I bought a bike, and a friend familiar with biking in DC showed me how I could get to work from my apartment in Alexandria.

It was a 30-mile round trip, and I started out only being able to do it once a week.

Slowly, I got stronger and upped the number of times a week I could do it.

Eventually, I was riding in five days a week and not spending one penny on Metro.

Two years later, I am so proud that I'm still not taking Metro and am in the best shape of my life.

The decision to make this change has led me to be happier, save quite a bit of money, get in great shape (I am 50 pounds lighter.), and motivated me to start swimming and running as well.

In fact, two days ago I completed my first IronMan distance triathlon.

I owe all of this to Metro's poor service and unfair price increases because they compelled me to say 'enough is enough' and boycott them.

I know that for numerous reasons what I did would not be a feasible solution for everyone.

I firmly believe in finding alternatives to Metro out of principle though and try to not to support the service with my money.

After reading this story, perhaps some of you will be able to send a message of your own by finding an alternative to Metro at least every once in a while.
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