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Metro's Proposed Fare Increases I

Tony Dziepak
March 2003

I included the following information in a letter, regarding proposed fare increase in FY2003, to Mr. Harold M. Bartlett, Secretary and Chief of Staff, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, 600 5TH ST NW, Washington, DC 20001

Dear Mr. Bartlett:

I regret that I cannot attend the public hearings, but I would like to convey my recommendations to you regarding the fare increases.

First, make all fares divisible by $0.25. This includes metrorail peak and off-peak fares, metrobus fares, and all transfer fees. This would simplify many aspects of the system and reduce costs. Continue to accept nickels and dimes at the fare machines and on the buses, but give out change only in quarters. Farecards would be dispensed in increments of 0.25 from $1.25 to $45.00.

Second, continue the 10% bonus/discount for cards of $20 or more.

Third, maintain the paper rail-to-bus transfer, but double the rate to $0.50 (1.50 for express bus)--essentially a 0.75 discount.

Fourth, SmarTrip rail-to-bus transfer is $0.50 (1.50 for express bus), but SmarTrip bus-to-rail transfer would be a 0.50 discount of the rail fare.

Finally, both peak-and off-peak rail fares ahould be incremented by 0.25 every two miles during peak hours and every 3 miles during off-peak hours. Why should the lowest fare be equal for peak and offpeak? The lowest fare should be $1.00 for off-peak and 1.25 peak.

Following this protocol, this would be my recommended rate schedule:

  
Bus fare: $1.25 (increase by 0.15).
Special fares: Fairfax County and Antacostia routes: $0.75 (increase by 0.25 and 0.15,
   respectively; however, must pay $1.00 fare to receive transfer (reduction by 0.10).
Express bus fare: $2.25 (increase by 0.25).
Bus-to-bus transfer: $0.25 (increase by 0.25, payable when boarding the second bus).
Bus-to-express bus transfer: $1.25 (increase by 0.35).
Express bus to regular bus transfer: $0.25 (increase by 0.25).
Express bus to express bus transfer: $0.25 (increase by 0.25).  
Any bus to rail transfer: $0.50 discount (new, SmarTrip card only).
Rail to bus transfer: $0.50 (increase by 0.25, SmarTrip card or paper transfer).
Rail to express bus transfer: $1.50 (increase by 0.35).
Mertorail off-peak fare structure of 1.00 for the first 3 miles and an additional 0.25 for every three miles up to a maximum fare of 2.25:
1.00 (0.00-2.99 miles)
1.25 (3.00-5.99 miles)
1.50 (4.00-8.99 miles)
1.75 (9.00-11.99 miles)
2.00 (12.00-14.99 miles)
2.25 (15.00-99.99 miles).
Metrorail peak fare structure of 1.25 going for the first 2 miles and an additional 0.25 for every 2 miles up to a maximum fare of 3.50:
1.25 (0.00-1.99 miles)
1.50 (2.00-3.99 miles)
1.75 (4.00-5.99 miles)
2.00 (6.00-7.99 miles)
2.25 (8.00-9.99 miles)
2.50 (10.00-11.99 miles)
2.75 (12.00-13.99 miles)
3.00 (14.00-15.99 miles)
3.25 (16.00-17.99 miles)
3.50 (18.00-99.99 miles).
Senior/disabled rates (with specially encoded SmarTrip card or senior/disabled ID): Rail fare would be one-half peak fare rounded up to the next $0.25 divisible amount (for all day). For example if peak fare is $2.25, senior/disabled fare would be $1.25.
Bus fare $0.75 (increase by 0.25).
Express bus fare: $1.25 (increase by ?).
Bus to bus transfer: free (no change).
Bus to express bus transfer: $0.50 (?).
Express bus to regular bus transfer: free (no change).
Express bus to express bus transfer: free (no change).
Any bus to rail transfer: $0.25 (new, SmarTrip card only).
Rail to bus transfer: $0.25 (?).
Rail to express bus transfer: $0.75 (?).
Here is a link to an Excel file depicting the fare profile based on selected station pairs. As you can see, fares for some city pairs are reduced, but these are more than offset by fare increases for other city pairs.

I hope my suggestions might help improve the efficiency of Metro. Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

Anthony Dziepak

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Department of Economics at Virginia Tech Send an email to Tony Dziepak

Website address:   dziepak.125mb.com>http://dziepak.125mb.com