14 July 2010

skeezy Metro increases

I don't normally go off on rants and raves about things NOT related to bands, so humour me for a moment.

I am going to see We Are Scientists this Friday with a mate. Chris Cain is looking forward to seeing me and covering the gig so this is better than the average gig.

Metro, the DC area beleaguered transit system that has been suffering from all sorts of accidents and deaths in the last year or so, recently raised prices. I don't ride Metro all that much except for concerts, so this is gig-related. so I wanted to see how much it'd cost to travel downtown, b/c said friend and I may be having dinner first, in which case I need to head down earlier.

ok, I'm not too perturbed by an increase of $2 or so by leaving during the rush hour (thus paying the peak travel rate) if we're having dinner early.

what perturbs me more: starting 1st of August, any travel between midnight and 3 AM (closing) on Friday and Saturday nights will be charged at peak rates.

the other night when I saw Holy Ghost! on a Saturday night at U Street Music Hall, I paid $2.45 each way (the max usually for off peak and weekends), $4.90. this was already up from $2.35 each way, but I can deal with a $0.20 increase.

with these new rules, if I can't get on a train before midnight, I'll be paying $2.45 into the city and $5.o0 (the max for peak travel) or $7.45.

Friday night shows are even worse because you are charged parking until after 3 AM early Saturday morning, when the stations 'close'. $7.45 plus parking of $4.75 (or so I am guessing b/c that's how much parking USED to cost...the price has mysteriously disappeared from the Parking fee page) so that's $12.20. with those rates, it's cheaper to drive downtown and pay $10 at a monitored lot.

the whole point of mass transit is to get cars out of the city. with fare increases, more people will drive, traffic will get worse, and people's nerves will be frazzled. even worse, they're shooting themselves in the foot. people from outside the city aren't going to want to go into if the fares go this far up. this is going to affect how much restaurants and clubs take in on the weekends.

I'm definitely going to reconsider my evening activities. I don't get paid for my review writing and these costs add up. before it was desirable to have Friday and Saturday night gigs to cover but counter intuitively, now that prices have gone up for Metro it's better wallet-wise to catch a show on a weeknight.

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