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Metro budget concerns: Right choice to increase fares?

The Metro board approved a 10-cent surcharge on all fares to avoid any service cuts through the end of June. The resolution proposed by board member Chris Zimmerman of Arlington does not call for any withdrawals from Metro's capital budget for long-term maintenance and equipment purchases. Read the full article.

By Jodi Westrick  |  January 28, 2010; 2:05 PM ET  | Category:  Local Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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The problem with Metro is a bloated union. Metro would have many more employees, better service, and lower prices without the union cartel, and the customers would be the beneficiaries.

Posted by: captainscott | January 28, 2010 11:45 PM

I don't know enough about Metro's options in this matter to comment, and since I no longer live in the Washington area, Metro's fares are usually not a concern to me. I will say however, that when I visit my kids in Northern Virginia, a taxi is almost cheaper--at least for short hops--and way less crowded.

I live in Boston where the public transportation is much cheaper, albeit filthy and prone to breakdowns.

Posted by: nicekid | January 29, 2010 7:57 AM

I would rather pay an extra $0.10 than have to worry about the Orange Line into the city in the morning becoming any more impassable.

Posted by: museum_lady | January 29, 2010 8:22 AM

Force everyone other than minors to pay full fare. This means abolishing all senior discounts, and all discounts for Metro employees, police, and everyone else. No more freeloading off commuters.

Posted by: Garak | January 29, 2010 9:16 AM

If you let your car sit in your driveway because you can't afford the gas, your cost per mile of driving goes up. You still have the cost of the car and the cost of insurance to pay for, in greater proportion for the reduced miles you are driving. You don't whine about it - you just make your decision on a case-by-case basis.

When the same phenomenon happens in aggregate, it is just something you have to accept. Just like I want to have the option to jump in my car when I want to even if I choose not to as often, I don't want my public transportation options curtailed.

There may be options to save money through better management. These options exist in good times as well as bad. These options should certainly be explored, but not more so now than at any other time.

Posted by: athuronyi | January 29, 2010 9:44 AM

Given that the current maximum Metro fare is $4.50, which will buy you a dc cab ride of about 10 minutes/blocks, you're going on some really really short cab rides. But your insight is appreciated, just the kind of useless/obvious (wow, cabs are less crowded!) information from out of towners that we're looking for here!

Posted by: mike8 | January 29, 2010 10:19 AM

I don't think the fare increase goes far enough. It isn't enough to make a difference and is supposedly only "temporary." They have a budget crisis looming and have just applied a temporary fix. They should have just tackled the whole thing at once with one, larger fare increase. I think 20 cents all at once would have been a better choice. You can't tell me that people can't afford an extra $2 per week.

Posted by: greatscott47 | January 29, 2010 11:11 AM

The fare hike will only be acceptable if other actions are taken. First, discontinue discounts to anyone but children. Second, end the outrageous union contract where employees get more in their pensions than they do as pay. If fares go up too much you will just put people back in their cars.

Posted by: lostein | January 29, 2010 11:12 AM

I think Metro should have gone further and increased the fare a full $.25. I don't agree with stopping senior discounts, though. Come on people, they've earned it. However, I see no reason for children (obviously not infants) to get a discount, though. Why? They're taking up space just like everyone else. It's not like they're paying for the ticket anyway.

Posted by: cgindc | January 29, 2010 12:06 PM

The biggest drag on Metro is MetroAccess.

Make MetroAccess pay its own way! Give the disabled/elderly cab vouchers, already! Privatize it! Do something!

Yeagh!

Posted by: bs2004 | January 29, 2010 1:07 PM

Unfortunately, with the gross mismanagement, the whole system requires large maintenance fixes, plus all the payouts to the dead and damaged from the Metro's lousy safety record. So once again, we all get to pay again for what should have been paid for in the first place. Reminds me of the way the government works these days.

Posted by: Georgetowner1 | January 29, 2010 1:12 PM

The headline on the front page incorrectly reads:

User Poll: Is fair-hike right for Metro?

It should be "fare hike," not "fair-hike."

Posted by: foofoofoo | January 29, 2010 3:01 PM

I agree with people who say "service cuts? but they've already made service cuts!"

I leave after 9 am and the Orange line is just ridiculous. Someone's going to get hurt.

Posted by: chunche | January 29, 2010 3:01 PM

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