Matt Donahue

Friday, December 15, 2006

Metro to Raise Fares - Interesting Reactions

An article in The Washington Post today Some Metro Riders May Reach for Car Keys discussed reactions from Metro riders to the potential plan to raise fares in order to meet Metro's budget shortfall.

The Post included angry quotes from riders who are upset about the fare increase. While I don't agree that the increases should be as high as proposed, and it is likely that the hike will be lower in the end, it is interesting that some people say they would rather drive into the city than pay more to ride Metro.

Most interesting, the article didn't include one quote or any other mention of alternate ways to commute. HMMM where am I going with this? Yes, I am disappointed that there is no mention of bike commuting. Nothing.

OK, for people living in Rockville who need to get to Farragut North, biking is probably not an option (I would do it, but I'm not like the other kids).

What are the costs for biking to work? The cost of a bike and some bad weather/good weather riding clothes, maybe some maintenance visits to a local shop, a few tubes. Maybe $1000 a year for all of that? Maybe more? Depends on what you buy I guess. Lets say the trip to work riding Metro is $2 each way. So $4 per day is $20 per week multiplied by 49 (52 weeks in a year but you need to account for vacation) $980. Seems like a wash.

There are some other cost-benefit ideas that are outside of the bike vs. Metro cost analysis. Riding a bike gives you a cardio workout in the AM and PM. This could easily defray the costs of a gym membership. There is also the non monetary benefit of quality of life improvement by riding a bike outside each morning, more exercise and avoiding the stressed out morning crush of humanity in the metro stations. Or the parking lots of cars on regional highways.

With my blog readership, I am preaching to the choir. But I just had to share these thoughts. It's annoying that the Washington Post did not include cycling as an option anywhere in an article with a headline indicating that cars are the obvious option (which they are, but let's get creative please).

Here's a great bike commuting resource: Washington Area Bicyclist Association


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