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Old 04-07-2008, 07:23 AM
 
Location: Home is where the heart is
15,400 posts, read 18,135,737 times
Reputation: 18806

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Interesting guest editorial in yesterday's Washington Post titled "Why I'm Giving Up On Metro." Anyone see it, and if so what's your reaction? We have a variety of experiences in this forum, and your comments could result in an interesting thread.

If you didn't see it, here's a brief summary:

The author is a young man who lives in one urban area (Silver Spring) and commutes to another urban area (Arlington). For years he has been a proud rider of Metro. He liked being able to read books on the train and bragged about ignoring traffic reports. He liked getting exercise climbing the escalator. He liked bragging about how he was eco-friendly as well as not adding to congestion or putting miles on his car.

Also, he lived in a one-car family, and his wife needed the car.

Three months ago they bought a second car, and at first he didn't think this would change his Metro ridership. But after he tried driving to work a few times he discovered driving was cheaper than taking the metro and took substantially less time--time that he wanted to spend with his kids.

The editorial was wistful--the author regrets becoming "yet another car clogging up the Beltway." But it was also firm.

I thought this quote was particularly interesting:

"The second reason I am leaving Metro is cost. I would get home at 7:15 p.m., after the last RideOn bus had left, so I was stuck with a $9 cab ride. Even if I parked at the Metro lot for $4, that plus the Metro fare of nearly $8 was no savings compared with the $10 cost of parking in Arlington and gas for my fuel-efficient car."

So... what do you think? Do you agree?
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Old 04-07-2008, 08:39 AM
 
Location: Loudoun County, VA
1,148 posts, read 2,368,364 times
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Noticed this too in yesterday's paper. As much as I'm for public transportation, I can understand his reasoning for wanting to be able to spend more time with his children. The cost factor was interesting, I have no experience in taking the metro on a daily basis so can't comment on that. Oh and the tree-hugger in me wishes he would take the metro instead.
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Old 04-07-2008, 08:49 AM
 
18 posts, read 56,949 times
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There is always car-pooling.......and I take the back roads for my commutes....they are much faster than the major routes.....so my time back and forth is always short....
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Old 04-07-2008, 09:14 AM
 
Location: Home is where the heart is
15,400 posts, read 18,135,737 times
Reputation: 18806
Quote:
Originally Posted by EuroExpat View Post
The cost factor was interesting, I have no experience in taking the metro on a daily basis so can't comment on that. Oh and the tree-hugger in me wishes he would take the metro instead.
LOL, the tree hugger inside me felt the same way. I really want Metro to succeed... and I enjoy taking it, myself. But to be honest I never used it on weekdays. I used Metro to go to the Kennedy Center or to go to the zoo. Parking is free on the weekends which made it a good deal.

My two cents is that parking needs to be free. If they have to finance that by putting ads up in the tunnels, that's ok by me. What good is having a pristine piece of architecture that nobody can afford to use?
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Old 04-07-2008, 09:31 AM
 
2,154 posts, read 3,168,929 times
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Silver Spring resides on the Red Line which only runs through Maryland. In order to commute to and from Virginia, you have to transfer at Metro Center. The Red and Blue/Orange lines actually come close to intersecting at Farragut Square. As a result of having to transfer from Metro Center, you have to pass through a number of stations each way that would be unnecessary if there was a direct connection from Virginia.

The hub-and-spoke Metro system makes it a very inefficient system for commuting to points near the Beltway since you have go into Metro Center and then back out to the outer suburbs.
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Old 04-07-2008, 10:45 AM
 
Location: Arlington, VA
1,048 posts, read 2,465,048 times
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While I absolutely love metro and use it quite frequently for outings in the city, I must admit I understand people's frustration. I was on a job assignment with my company for two months near McPhereson Square and took metro for the first couple weeks. I found myself getting frustrated more on the metro than driving in. In my car, I at least have more than half an inch of space and don't have to fight other people to just get in the door. The Orange Line in particular is so crowded now that it truly feels like you have just been herded onto a cattle car, the constant moving around and people fighting to get on/off at EVERY stop is enough to drive a person insane...

I also agree with your idea of free parking always on the metro normie!
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Old 04-07-2008, 11:24 AM
 
24 posts, read 105,082 times
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I'm a "temporary" transplant (Florida resident, working contractor in NOVA). I have my vehicle here with me, but I love using the Metro, and have tried very hard to rent as close to it as I can. I really like using it because I don't put the wear and tear on my truck, and I get some exercise walking the three-quarters of a mile to the East Falls station.

I'm far less enthusiastic about the bus service than the trains. I may need to change my attitude; the place I'm moving to (hopefully) by the end of the month has a bus from (practically) the front door to the Pentagon which is slightly more convenient than the Metro.

And I'm about as far from a tree-hugger as it gets. When things begin to come down between us and the tress, I'll be the one waving a chainsaw around.
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Old 04-07-2008, 01:33 PM
 
1,230 posts, read 4,237,286 times
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If it comes down to spending more time and money on commuting, I can see why many would choose driving over using public transportation. Relying on a carpool, commuter train, or rush hour bus service are not options for people who can't get out from work at a specific time every day.
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Old 04-07-2008, 01:36 PM
 
1,230 posts, read 4,237,286 times
Reputation: 489
Quote:
Originally Posted by joe.attaboy View Post
I'm far less enthusiastic about the bus service than the trains. I may need to change my attitude; the place I'm moving to (hopefully) by the end of the month has a bus from (practically) the front door to the Pentagon which is slightly more convenient than the Metro.
I don't think you are alone in your feelings. Bus service is not comparable to rail unless you have the convenience of door-to-door service.

One of my pet peeves about other cities without a subway system is that a commuter bus using HOV lanes can't get you anywhere any faster during rush hour traffic.
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Old 04-07-2008, 02:02 PM
 
Location: Maine
1,317 posts, read 1,618,783 times
Reputation: 1276
My husband has used Metro trains and the Metro Express bus to the Pentagon. He prefers the Metro express bus because it is a little quieter. Metro trains are still more convenient than driving to the Pentagon. Pentagon parking is very limited.

He receives Metro checks for commuting. That helps too.

I like the Metro system. It would be nice if they could serve a few more areas, but it seems to work well for the places it serves now.
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