Bring it back to WMATA

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.


  1. Fuck that, it should be a $20 fare to get OUT of DC. Trap these motherfuckers here and let the C.H.U.D.s do the rest. Then we take all those jobs away from those clarendon shitheads and give them all to Anacostia Indians.

    Only then do we make METRO free, financed by a 200% hotel occupancy tax. That way we can take a few more bites out of the fanny-pack crowd.

  2. i like the way you think.

    when i have enough dirt to blackmail the governor of virginia, i'll get you appointed to the WMATA board.

  3. Inspired by the "take METRO for the love of God" thread from yesterday, last night I drove from my place near eastern market up to U street for a couple drinks, then over to Glover Park for an awesome dinner at Old Europe, then down to the K street movie theater before driving back home.

    Total time in transit for the whole thing?

    About 45 minutes.

    Suck it bitches!

  4. One last thing: the movie was "Mall Cop" and there was a guy in the theater with a laser pointer.

  5. by "a guy" you mean YOU, right?

  6. Ooh, the Powerball connection is a good one. Lotteries are always money-makers, they're kind of like a tax on people who are bad at math. So hike the Metro fares but give riders lottery tickets (run by Metro, not Powerball) so people will think they might win their fare back.

    God I'm a genius. The world has yet to catch on to this.

  7. I'll see your crazy and raise.

    Replace farecard machines with slot machines.

  8. I'm old enough to remember when WMATA cut "ice cream Tuesdays" from the budget. The natives know what I'm talkin' about.


    "Only then do we make METRO free, financed by a 200% hotel occupancy tax."

    Huh. So the way to attract a limited supply of tourists and their dollars to a locality that competes w/ other localities is to INCREASE the cost through taxes.


  9. clearly, because people love obama so much they will come to DC and stay in the District no matter what the cost!

    "District of Obama"

  10. Yeah, but Dave, cost is always a factor. Your southeastern Louisiana Obama fan might not be able to make it after all.

    Money always matters.

  11. to be clear, i don't actually support a 200% occupancy tax.

  12. 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.

    I realize the suggestion is intended to be snarky, but how would that encourage people to take mass transit? I come in from Vienna every day, and that WITHOUT PARKING costs enough as is.

  13. it doesn't actually make any sense, other than that's the best alternative to a commuter tax, since we aren't allowed to enact one.

  14. Scientific American has a good article online about how reducing transportation choices sometimes makes the entire system more efficient as a whole, which, counterintuitively, actually increases the individual's efficiency.

    I mean, I get the concept but how to implement.... We need Obama and Al Gore to form like Voltron.

  15. So M@, in a post about 1. a punitive hotel tax, and 2. CHUDS, you take issue with the tax?

  16. i love your pictures.

  17. More tolls on 495, 395, 295. gas tax.

  18. Higher gas tax, tolls on the 14th St Bridge, the T.R. Bridge, Memorial Bridge, and Key Bridge. Make it $10 tolls and also do a fare hike on Metro.

  19. WMATA should increase train frequency and slightly increase the fare. A big problem is that taking the Metro is time consuming. If you take it outside of rush hour, it takes like 3 times longer to ride the Metro. If you take it during rush hour, trains are packed.

    The key to this plan is the next step, where DC charges a rush hour congestion fee like London. I think DC should allow DC cars to drive for free but that's because I live here.

  20. Weren't WMATA employees running a brothel at the Dupont station?

    Instead of giving them new responsibilities they are certain to fail, why not encourage their natural instincts and turn it into a money-making venture?

    Look, I know we revel in our DC street-cred pride, but each of us knows deep down inside that this city needs commuters.

    Asking DC public school graduates to staff all these jobs is like asking a beagle to play Mozart. It'll look cute at first.

  21. My boss had to go down to "the people's building" to file some shit with the DC dept. of labor last week.

    A gang of girls surrounded her and threatened her in the hallway, convincing her to give up her necklace.

    I asked why she didn't call security or the cops.

    She said the gang was made up of secretaries and shit -- girls who work there and are probably friends with the security "guard."

    DC is the most ghetto place ever.

  22. "DC is the most ghetto place ever."

    In your FACE East St. Louis!

  23. Woohoo! Rusty's gone! Maybe I can start reading this blog again.....

  24. I must want to congratulate you for your use of the word "Commentariat." That made me LOL.

  25. I'm calling bullshit on that secretary story.

    I hope you're jokin Dave because I'm going to have a nice middle finger to your raise metro costs AGAIN suggestion. I already pay about $10 a day for transportation. I like trying to be environmentally friendly and all but when it starts being cheaper to drive than take the train I'm going to have to hop on that option.