Skip to comments.Metro loses more than a million riders on bus, rail ( DC )
Posted on 10/05/2010 3:17:56 PM PDT by george76
Metrobus ridership plummeted and the number of rail passengers fell well below staff projections during the first month of the agency's new fiscal year -- and the first month of higher fares.
Metrobuses transported 11.66 million passengers in July, nearly 1.3 million fewer than during the same month last year. Metro officials had anticipated a much smaller drop, projecting about 200,000 fewer trips.
Rail ridership was also down...
Beginning in late June, Metro officials raised the cost of all trips for bus and rail passengers. The fare increases included a 25- to 35-cent increase for bus riders, depending on payment method, and a roughly 18 percent increase for train passengers.
Kissal said she did not believe the fare increases were to blame for the lower-than-expected ridership figures...
"At this point, there are no fire alarms going off," Kissal said.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonexaminer.com ...
One Nation rally wasn’t even noticed was it?
That’s because the DC denizens no longer need to ride the rails to collect their welfare booty; it is direct-deposited to their Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT for us laymen) cards.....
Perfect example of an elastic demand.
Maybe someone just stole the money and doctored the stats.
That'll teach em!
Since I ride METRO daily...I’ll offer the answer. Broke bus card scanners. I’ve been here in DC since 4 Jan, and ridden to the Pentagon five days a week on the bus. I would say since the arrival...I’ve had twenty times where the scanner did not function as I entered the bus, and the driver simply waved me on. I noted at each stop...same deal...the scanner was broke and he completed his entire route before returning to the ‘yard’.
If you consider that a driver is supposed to run his route three times typically...you could have 100 passengers on each route (to and from)...meaning that one driver could miss out on 300 passengers during his entire run if the scanner was broke (that’s $450-plus that they missed). Mind you....it’s only early October....so I’ve got 90 days left before my one-year period. If you had five of those episode each day...you’d miss out on a significant amount of income.
The critical nature of this scanner is such...that missing any income...is just plain stupid, and no real company would stand for it. But this is METRO...the company with broke escalators, broke trains, broke buses, and incompetent management. I’ve sat there and watched folks march on the bus and ask stupidly about how to get to such & such location....then announce that they didn’t have the money, and the driver simply let them stay on the bus until they got to the point. I felt this was stupid, but it’s the nature of these drivers to allow it.
None of them are economically viable. They all are leaches sucking resources from the ones that really create jobs, innovate, and provide those products and services for which there is a real market demand. However, because in the mind of the centralist, the socialist, “public transit” is like “national health care,” a collective means of organizing society. Public transit is not private property, without status symbols or relationship to social class, not managed by for profit multi national private firms and riddled with special projects for the environment, certain special people, etc. You can always tell a socialist, they love to talk about things like a “robust public transit system.”
Who really wants to ride on noisy trains with strangers, unable to adjust ones climate, dependent on the schedule of the system, not able to feel at home in a personalized environment nor able to carry things easily? Who wants to have trouble when traveling with a pet, be exposed to the weather getting there, be annoyed with obnoxious people and be tied to a fixed rigid schedule that allows for little flexibility? Who wants to have to walk a long way, do the park and ride thing and be in potentially dangerous places, look at graffiti or smell the urine? What's really wrong with expressing oneself through a vehicle? What's really wrong with showing the world your car is bigger, more luxurious, more expensive?
Public transit is like every other socialist idea. It's a good idea for others.
Public transit works when you “push” the public into this mode of transportation and when you artificially float it with subsidies in some shape or form.
“Metro Chief Financial Officer Carol Kissal blamed a difficult economic climate and high unemployment rates in the District for the ridership drops.”
Last I read, the D.C. area had one of the lowest increases in unemployment in the country and well as being an area with one of the highest rates of employment. So, is Ms. Kissel just making excuses???
Raising fares to keep paying unions at the level they have become accustomed to is a losing battle. Next year when the states are told no to further bailouts the you what will hit the fan.
“Kissal said her office during budget planning had projected conservative ridership gains of 2 percent above 2009 levels. But the economy has not bounced back as strongly as her office had anticipated, and Metro does not adjust its budget projections during the year.......””We prepare our budgets well in advance, so as we were going through this last January, we were predicting that we’d have a recovered economy,” she said........”
So, should she, can she blame her friends in the White House for leading her, helping her make those assumptions of “economic recovery”, or can we just admit she was too dumb to understand she should not have believed the White House in the first place; which was HER mistake.
I rode the Metro almost every weekday for the 14 years I lived in Northern Virginia. I’ll tell you why ridership is probably down...it’s expensive. I pay less now to drive to work in California, even with our pricey gas, than I did riding the Metro and paying to park at the Vienna station garage.
These fools want to manage our health care
What better example for the DC idiots that raising tax rates produce less income than this Metro example ?
The Laffer Curve in action-—DC Metro hiked fare rates by over 20% this summer, fully expecting ridership to remain stable or actually increase. Now, their short sightedness is biting them square in the butt, with a LOT more auto traffic on the major highway arteries around DC and reduced ridership on the trains and buses.
Then they want to expand with a mind blowing costly high speed rail system. They have it in Europe and often (but not always) it is cheaper to rent a car or fly Ryan Air to your destination.
Please!! somebody get Willie Green.
Did these drivers and “free” riders have anything in common?
Driving can be an annoyance, but it's far less of an annoyance than Metro is.
We better look for them.
I found this out 6 years ago when my wife and her sister were doing a European tour. They extended their stay and wanted me to book them from Paris to Madrid. I tried all the train deals online and was shocked at the pricing compared to earlier trips we had made. Using a European travel site, I booked an Argentine airline for the flight, about half the cost of the train. Using the European online travel services also saved money on the hotel. Some of the flights and hotels were not available on English language services, but a Euro is the same in English or Spanish.
Ridershop tends to drop when there is so much track work going on. And yes, some people would rather drive than pay the higher fees.
And, of course, there is the rush-hour super-duper congestion surcharge for Metrorail. If it has already been implemented, then it is obviously having its effect (reducing passenger congestion), and Metro should quit whining.
And to think roughly half of my MD state gasoline taxes goes to stuff like this...
Maryland “Freak State” PING!
The Brits will tell you to take the train anyway, but... "no pressure."