I love WMATA, you all know this. I go on and on about transit, and about how we should have better transit that is more effective, and all of that. Some of you haters in the Commentariat like to point out sane and logical things, like METRO IS EXPENSIVE AND PEOPLE DON'T USE IT! Or things like, "people are logical and if driving is easiest and cheapest, they will drive" or "you can't force people to take transit."
Well, whatever, WMATA is totally fucked. For a variety of reasons, beyond just the typical "wow, they really suck." WMATA is going to be cutting a lot of things from their budget this year, and today they are announcing the first $103 million of these cuts.
The first $103 million will be in personnel cuts, layoffs, etc. The rest will be made with either service cuts or fare hikes.
Personally, my #1 (SNARKY) suggestion would be to charge greater fares for people traveling INTO the District of Columbia. How about a nice $10 fare each way for people coming from Vienna, Shady Grove, Glenmont, Huntington, Franconia-Springfield, and New Carrollton. I'll cut Largo Town Center and Branch Avenue people some slack. For now.
My #2 (SNARKY) suggestion is even better, I promise. I think WMATA should invest in Powerball and Mega Millions tickets. I don't know what days Mega Millions is, but every Wednesday and Saturday WMATA should use that day's fare collections to purchase Powerball tickets. They should definitely option for POWER PLAY if the jackpot is over $100 Million.
In real life, we should actually NOT cut service, and instead encourage people to use transit, even if it means the government must subsidize it. I'd even make the argument that public transit should not charge fares, and that the "public good" effect of transit existing will pay for itself over time. Think about increased revenue from development around transit! But that's just me musing AGAIN about things that will never be.
Afterall, I'm just a sad, pathetic bastard who sits and blogs all day. What do I know about anything? Other than funny pictures. 'Cause I've got that shit COVERED.