Painful Commutes Don't Stop Drivers

In spite of increasingly long and frustrating commutes, the survey found that Washingtonians remain addicted to their cars. Three in four area commuters drive to work alone. Carpooling is no more prevalent here than it is elsewhere in the country. Metro is widely admired but largely bypassed, a boutique transportation system that serves a hard-core constituency but is viewed by most commuters as inconvenient.
Our big problem is that we have the wrong attitude toward public transportation. For people to use Metro instead of their cars, you have to make Metro a much more convenient option. You'd have to create a situation in which somebody would be insane not to take Metro.

As it stands, in most cases our Metro is markedly less convenient than driving, even with all the traffic, especially the further out from D.C. you get. When you throw in things like being forced to buy a prepaid card if you're parking, the overcrowding, the breakdowns, slow service, the risk of being arrested for eating a candy bar... it's all a big deterrent, and people stay away.

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