Friday, December 14, 2007

Metro Wants More from Me: What I Want from Metro

The following is by Sally Hand who is new to MPW. A law librarian for the past 25 years working in private, governmental and educational settings, Sally is also the Community Outreach Coordinator for Delegate Saqib Ali (D-39). Of course, the views presented here are her own. She and her dog Ginger Jar are residents of Germantown. Welcome!

With the announcement of the new Metro fare hikes on Dec 13th my cost to get to work just went up $1.95 a day, or $39 a month, or $468 a year. I am a middle-class working women who can rearrange my budget to cover this increase and will but it is now cheaper for me to drive into DC, park in DC and drive home than it is to use Metro. I believe that others might give up using the Metro since it is so expensive and the service is erratic.

Since Metro wants so much of my paycheck this is what I would like from Metro:

* Ample parking – either at Metro Stations or at a Park & Rides with frequent bus service
* Buses that travel to the Park & Rides as long as Metro is open (currently the last 124 bus leaves Shady Grove at 8pm – I often have to work late and have to cab it to the Park & Ride)
* Clear announcements that give information
* Train drivers that look before they close the car doors
* Emails that explain the disruption not just say it is cleared

I encourage ridership of the Metro and the ride on buses as the Green way to get to work. There are costs to the environment that Metro can assist healing. My carbon footprint is much smaller using public transportation than if I drove to work everyday. If Metro really wants to be a service to the entire community than they need to look at ways to encourage riders so that there are less cars on the roads these fare increases without service upgrades are just a way to lose ridership ergo losing more money.

P.S. Metro was shocked at the low turnout for the public forum in Reston about the fare increases. Hello, the hearing was not Metro accessible.