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(Washington, DC) Passengers Would Bear More of Metro's Cost

Dharmster

Cyburbian
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440
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13
Metro directors revamped their proposed fare and fee increases yesterday to shift more of the burden of the transit system's growing operating costs from local governments to Metro passengers.



If the package is made final by the board of directors and takes effect June 27, it will mark the second year in a row that Metro directors raised fares and fees to fill a shortage in their operating budget and then returned extra revenue to local governments to lower their transit subsidies.

Riders overwhelmingly oppose the fare and fee increases; more than 85 percent of those who testified at public hearings or wrote to Metro this spring were reluctant to pay more. But Metro directors said yesterday that passengers should absorb a larger share of the cost of mass transit. The package would increase passenger fares and fees by 6.4 percent, while government subsidies would increase by 3.6 percent, transit officials said.

rest of article at:

Passengers Would Bear More of Metro's Cost
 

PlannerGirl

Cyburbian Plus
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6,377
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29
I fear its starting to be less and less "affordable" I know with this increase I will take my chances with parking on most of my trips into the City.
 

jresta

Cyburbian
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1,474
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doesn't the Metro have serious crowding issues on some of its lines during peak-hours? Wouldn't it make the most sense, given the ticketing system currently in place, to charge peak fares on the most crowded portions?

Not that i'd like to see that money returned to municipalities - it should be funneled into relieving crowded routes.
 

Dharmster

Cyburbian
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440
Points
13
PlannerGirl said:
I fear its starting to be less and less "affordable" I know with this increase I will take my chances with parking on most of my trips into the City.

Really? Planner Girl you live in Arlington so you will likely pay the base fare for most off peak trips. The base fare will go up $0.15 each way or $0.30 round trip. You could burn that much in gas alone (and gas prices have been going up).

The intent of the increases I believe is to relieve overcrowding and also increase revenues. I think there is a lot of blame to go around. MD, VA, DC and local jurisdictions took what today would be in excess of $15 billion and never thought about how they'd deal with the ongoing maintenance and rehabilitation issues. The bottom line is taxes have to go up to pay for this and nobody wants to talk about that.
 

Dharmster

Cyburbian
Messages
440
Points
13
jresta said:
doesn't the Metro have serious crowding issues on some of its lines during peak-hours? Wouldn't it make the most sense, given the ticketing system currently in place, to charge peak fares on the most crowded portions?

Not that i'd like to see that money returned to municipalities - it should be funneled into relieving crowded routes.

What would have made sense is to increase parking charges up to what the market will bear and not increase the bus fare. However, suburban politicians are elected to defend their consitutuent interests. So the bus base fare is only going up a nickel (instead of $0.15) but in exchange the proposed increase in parking was slashed by a quarter.
 

PlannerGirl

Cyburbian Plus
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Generaly Im not going into the City alone so when you have 3 or 4 folks going together its starting to be cheaper to drive in than metro. It does help that there are free decks at night and and on the weekends in Arlington. If I had to pay to park and then metro it would have already been smarter to drive.

I live along the most crowded of lines, the Orange, its PACKED but dont they WANT folks to ride during rush hours to take the pressure off the PACKED roads? it seems like a problem from any angle.

Yes local goverments should have to pay more, The Metro has brought money to Arlington, turned around a sleepy suburb and made it a residental and shopping hot spot. Id be darn happy to see my goverment picking up more of the tab, yup that means taxes :)
 

Dharmster

Cyburbian
Messages
440
Points
13
PlannerGirl said:
I live along the most crowded of lines, the Orange, its PACKED but dont they WANT folks to ride during rush hours to take the pressure off the PACKED roads? it seems like a problem from any angle.

Yes local goverments should have to pay more, The Metro has brought money to Arlington, turned around a sleepy suburb and made it a residental and shopping hot spot. Id be darn happy to see my goverment picking up more of the tab, yup that means taxes :)

But there is no money for 8 car trains which is needed to accomodate just natural ridership growth. So increasing fares to reduce demand is a legitimate management tool.

I think Arlington is willing to pay more, the question is whether Fairfax County and the Commonwealth of Virginia are ready? Last I checked Virginia's transportation funding for new projects is severely restricted.
 

PlannerGirl

Cyburbian Plus
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6,377
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Yes I agree, the more "outter" burbs are not pulling their weight. Any new metro funding in the new T21 stuff?
 

Dharmster

Cyburbian
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440
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PlannerGirl said:
Yes I agree, the more "outter" burbs are not pulling their weight. Any new metro funding in the new T21 stuff?

Here's the bottom line. To fund the $1.5 billion five year shortfall, local/state jurisdictions would have to DOUBLE their funding from what they are spending now on average over that five year period to make up the shortfall.

The new transportation bill will have some increase, but if there is no gas tax increase (as Bush is demanding) it will barely keep pace with inflation.

Federal funding isn't the answer, it's gas tax increases in both MD and VA. That along with additional local funding from DC and VA could fund the necassery increase in funding. The problem is nobody wants to talk about raising taxes in region $300 million a year to meet the needs of Metro.
 
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