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Posted at 12:43 PM ET, 01/31/2011

Lessons in transit courtesy

By Aaron Morrissey

So when a MARC or VRE train runs into trouble and Metro offers to shuttle those riders for free -- a regular occurrence during the morning rush hour -- how much does that actually cost WMATA? That's a good question, since no one's really sure. According to this report in the Examiner, no agency keeps a reliable count of those who ride Metro for free during MARC and VRE breakdowns. It's just considered "transit courtesy," like holding open an expensive door.

It's not clear how many commuters have been allowed to ride Metro for free under these circumstances. No one appears to keep a reliable count, according to VRE and MARC. "We don't call upon them often," VRE spokesman Mark Roeber noted.
But VRE has relied on the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority to honor its tickets at least six times in the past two months. In the past two weeks alone, MARC has done so on four separate days.

Given that, when does courtesy turn into enabling?

[Continue reading Aaron Morrissey's post at]

Aaron Morrissey blogs at DCist. The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.

By Aaron Morrissey  | January 31, 2011; 12:43 PM ET
Categories:  HotTopic, Local blog network, traffic, transportation  
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