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I was pleased to find the 1/23 Washington City Paper wanting for its normal volume of cynicism and contrived wit. I was especially content with your having chosen the Metrobus issue as a cover story.
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I want to comment on the New York City transit example. First, single-fare systems are cheaper to maintain. I would be curious to know how much money it costs the Metrorail system to maintain those farecard machines and whether the cost of a simpler farecard technology won’t offset a moderated, single-fare structure. I mean, you can ride from Battery Park damn near to Long Island for $1.50. Surely, on D.C.’s much smaller, more modern system a single fare of $1.10 would work, given the increased ridership.
The second thing is service. For years now, the Metro authority has proceeded with the harebrained notion that the proper response to revenue shortfalls and declining ridership is to cut service. Duh! People don’t ride the bus because there’s often too little service to support their needs. If services were extended to the point where folks could get to and from work and appointments inside of a day’s time, or go out to dinner and a show on Saturday evening without have to beat the pumpkin back…
As one watches summer tourists do the high math of getting on to the Metro, one thinks, “God, this is so Washingtonesque: quintessential bureaucracy in the way of common sense.”
Mount Rainier, Md.
via the Internet