Thursday, January 12, 2012

Don't Let Metro Fool You

Here's a budget slide Metro will try to float to the Board during today's meeting as a rationalization to hike your fares.

I can hear it now: "Look, it's not that bad, and we've already gone up 18 percent, and we're still near the bottom."

Metro does look cheaper compared to all those other big bad transit agencies, but with the others, BART excepted, that "base rate" is actually a flat rate that will take you as far as you want to go, unlike Metro, which charges you based on distance.

That's a pretty big difference, I think.

This chart compares apples to oranges. It is misleading and dishonest.

But given the Board's lack of knowledge of how the fare system here works, they may just take the bait.

Metro's average rail fare in September of last year, according to this PDF, was around $2.63 ($2.65 for 2011 according to this), significantly higher than those other transit agencies.

Additionally, according to a source, most of these other systems allow free transfers between rail and bus, except LA Metro, which has no free transfers for anything, and BART, which doesn't have a bus system.

Furthermore, the source said, most of these systems, again BART excepted, have monthly passes that reduce your average fare if you are a frequent rider.

Thanks, Metro, for giving us and your own Board the real story.

Read more about using low base fares to mislead here.

Other items:
Could fare hikes be even higher? (Examiner)
Purple Line impact would be greater than previously believed (WaPo)
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