Monday, February 23, 2009

Metro matters...

What a coincidence--Lena Sun must have been working on one of her periodic Post articles on the continuing failure of the Metro board to be accountable when Thursday's monster orange and blue line delay was taking place.

While area commuters should consider as many different forms of transportation as possible, we shouldn't all be pushed to the following mode because of bureaucratic incompetence and indifference:
rack of shiny new bikes for Smart Bike DC usersYet again, it is exposed that half of the Metro board is a kitchen will not eat its own soup, so why are these people on the board? Particularly insulting is the statement that "taking transit is inconvenient for their jobs." What do they think of fellow board member Catherine Hudgins, who got caught in Thursday's delay on her way to a Metro meeting--that she and other Metro riders take transit for entertainment purposes only? Sheese!

Also sickening is that many of these people don't even bother to pay for their parking spaces. This is a "problem" that's easy to fix, if board members were so inclined; when I had reserved parking at a Metro lot, the fee was charged to my credit card. Payment quandary solved. Next!

Most disgusting of all, and related to the fact that so many Metro board members do not take public transit on a regular basis, is that when there is a budget shortfall, their first instinct is to propose service cuts, instead of first attempting to find ways to make other cuts and raise additional funds. Service cuts are risky in that they undermine the reason for public transit's existence in the first place, to offer an alternative to relying on the car.

Now, raising additional funds need not mean raising the fare. As a first resort, how about the board doing something it's been criticized for not doing in the past--upping the fee for its deal with the wireless carrier Verizon, which is paltry compared to the fees other cities receive for similar deals? I suppose broaching such options involves too much mental creativity. Sigh.

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