Metro's seven fare principles
During a recent discussion of all the fare increase proposals now before the Metro board, the transit staff laid out the seven fare policy concepts that are supposed to guide the decision-making this spring.
The debate has gotten so complicated -- shall we add a surcharge on peak-of-the-peak travel, shall we cut the bus transfer time, shall we raise bus fares at a higher rate than rail fares -- that I thought it would be helpful just to present the ideas that are supposed to be evident in the results.
On Thursday, we'll probably learn how well the board does at meeting these goals.
1. Charge rail fares based on distance traveled.
2. Charge more for premium service.
3. Maximize the use of existing capacity.
4. Facilitate movement between modes (bus-to-rail and rail-to-bus) and also
between Metro and jurisdictional bus and commuter rail systems.
5. Provide discounted fares for some riders.
6. Collect revenue in a cost-effective manner.
7. Slow the growth of MetroAccess service.
Now, the board can do whatever it wants on specific fare increases and service changes, within the broad bounds of what was included in the notice about the public hearings several months ago. But these seem like a decent set of goals.
The one that I think many readers here will react to, because of the wording, is "Charge more for premium service." I think to Metro the definition of premium is when the most trains are put on the lines. Many riders here and in my Dr. Gridlock column say that Metro does not often hit the mark of what they consider "premium" service.
[See the Fare Calculator for guidance on what you could wind up paying for a ride under the main proposals that Metro board members are considering.]
May 26, 2010; 3:53 PM ET
Categories: Metro , Transportation Politics | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, MetroAccess service cuts fare increases, Metrobus, Metrorail
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